In Georgia, automatic compensation for any diminished value (DV) is the law, but in Canada, you have to sue for it. And while DV has been awarded in several cases, some courts have also ruled against plaintiffs seeking the claim. Peter Fan is hoping that his case will help others get compensation from their insurance companies, but his case is not the first time this issue has hit the courts. Here’s another recent case from the B.C. courts:
Signorello v. Khan (2010)
In March, 2007, Raymond Signorello got in his 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Convertible and headed to the Vancouver airport. He handed his car off to a valet and got on a plane. The valet lost control of the car in the rain and got into an accident.
Signorello’s car is a high-end luxury sports car, worth more than $200,000. The damage was extensive, and repairs came to $26,000. Insurance paid for the repairs, but Signorello was not satisfied. Even with his car fully repaired, Signorello argued, he’d still lost out because of the diminished value.
Diminished value affects high-end vehicles more than their lower-end counterparts. Luxury car buyers can afford to be choosier, so an accident history has a bigger impact on the market value. In Signorello’s case, because his car is a rare, very expensive make, he argued that the diminished value was significant.
After trying to come to a settlement with his insurance company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, he took the matter to court. The matter was decided in October 2010 and the judge ordered diminished value compensation in the amount of $16,000.
In making the decision, the judge weighed the distinction between cosmetic damage and damage that required the replacement of structural parts. He found that because the accident had caused major damage, a buyer would be justified in paying a lower price. This distinction is not made in Georgia.
The judge also found that whether or not Signorello wanted to sell the car, he had lost value. “The law does not require that the plaintiff demonstrate the loss precisely by having sold the vehicle. It is enough for him to establish, as I find that he has, a reduction in its value,” the judgment reads.
Related Link: Car Whisperers: Get Your Lost Value