Dear Driving for Dollars,

My brand-new Ford F-150 was hit by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign. I hadn’t even made the first payment. It took more than two months to do the repairs. Can I get car insurance money for the diminished value of my truck?

— Lionel

Dear Lionel,

Some states do allow you to make a claim for the diminished value on a nearly-new car or pickup that has had extensive damage in a collision. First, check your car insurance to see if it excludes diminished value. If not, then you may be able to make a claim with your insurer. If the accident has been ruled entirely the other person’s fault, you may be able to make a claim on the other person’s car insurance. This is a third-party claim, which may be allowed in your state even if your car insurance policy excludes it. You can also contact your state insurance commissioner’s office to ask about your state’s regulation in this area.

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