North Carolina General Statute § 20-279.21 (d)(1) Diminished Value

NCGS 20-279(d)(1) Senate Bill

SESSION LAW 2009-440

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 20-279.21 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
“§ 20-279.21. “Motor vehicle liability policy” defined.

(d1) Such motor vehicle liability policy shall provide an alternative method of
determining the amount of property damage to a motor vehicle when liability for coverage for
the claim is not in dispute. For a claim for property damage to a motor vehicle against an
insurer, the policy shall provide that if:
(1) The claimant and the insurer fail to agree as to the difference in fair market
value of the vehicle immediately before the accident and immediately after
the accident; and
(2) The difference in the claimant’s and the insurer’s estimate of the diminution
in fair market value is greater than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or
twenty-five percent (25%) of the fair market retail value of the vehicle prior
to the accident as determined by the latest edition of the National
Automobile Dealers Association Pricing Guide Book or other publications
approved by the Commissioner of Insurance, whichever is less, then on the
written demand of either the claimant or the insurer, each shall select a
competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser
selected within 20 days after the demand. The appraisers shall then appraise
the loss. Should the appraisers fail to agree, they shall then select a
competent and disinterested appraiser to serve as an umpire. If the appraisers
cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, either the claimant or the
insurer may request that a magistrate resident in the county where the
insured motor vehicle is registered or the county where the accident occurred
select the umpire. The appraisers shall then submit their differences to the
umpire. The umpire then shall prepare a report determining the amount of
the loss and shall file the report with the insurer and the claimant. The
agreement of the two appraisers or the report of the umpire, when filed with
the insurer and the claimant, shall determine the amount of the damages. In
preparing the report, the umpire shall not award damages that are higher or
lower than the determinations of the appraisers. In no event shall appraisers
or the umpire make any determination as to liability for damages or as to
whether the policy provides coverage for claims asserted. The claimant or
the insurer shall have 15 days from the filing of the report to reject the report
and notify the other party of such rejection. If the report is not rejected
within 15 days from the filing of the report, the report shall be binding upon
both the claimant and the insurer. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party
selecting the appraiser, and the expenses of appraisal and umpire shall be
paid by the parties equally. For purposes of this section, “appraiser” and
“umpire” shall mean a person who as a part of his or her regular employment
is in the business of advising relative to the nature and amount of motor
vehicle damage and the fair market value of damaged and undamaged motor

SECTION 2. G.S. 7A-292 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:
Ҥ 7A-292. Additional powers of magistrates.
In addition to the jurisdiction and powers assigned in this Chapter to the magistrate in civil
and criminal actions, each magistrate has the following additional powers:

(15) To appoint an umpire to determine motor vehicle liability policy diminution
in value, as provided in G.S. 20-279.21(d1).”
SECTION 3. This act becomes effective October 1, 2009, and applies to motor
vehicle liability insurance policies issued or renewed on or after that date.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 3rd day of August,
s/ Walter H. Dalton
President of the Senate
s/ Joe Hackney
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Beverly E. Perdue
Approved 11:07 a.m. this 7th day of August, 2009