Getting into a car accident, even if no one is injured, can cause huge disruption to your life. And if your car is deemed a total loss you have the added hassle of having to find and purchase a new car.
But what if the amount of money your insurance company offers you to compensate for the loss of your car is not enough to purchase or new one? What if you have a loan on the car that you have to pay off too? Having your car classified as totaled can be a real hassle. But you have rights.
Read on to find out how to negotiate with car insurance adjusters about your car being a total loss and if you have to accept the insurers offer on a totaled vehicle.
What Does it Mean if Your Car is Considered Totaled?
As with most issues regarding auto insurance, the level of damage needed to classify a car as totaled varies with each insurance company. Some states also have regulations regarding the damage threshold, above which a car is considered totaled.
A general rule is that if the car damage exceeds 65%-70% of the fair market value of the vehicle, it will be considered totaled. With older cars, many companies are simply not willing to fork out the money for repairs, and it makes sense for them to simply consider the vehicle a total loss and pay you out.
But what if you disagree?
How to Fight Insurance Company Totaled Car Determination
If you disagree with your insurance company’s determination that your car is a total loss you can contest the decision. You will of course have to provide specific evidence as to why the car is worth more than the company has determined and that the repairs are worth it.
You will have to show maintenance records and details of any improvements or custom additions you have made. In some cases, it may be worth the effort.
The insurance company will calculate the actual cash value (ACV) of your car and decide, based on all the information, if the car is worth repairing.
What is ACV?
Actual cash value, or ACV, is how much the car is worth taking into account things like depreciation. The company uses the make, model, year, mileage and condition to estimate the value. In addition, demand for the type of car is also a factor. Some companies will also account for the resale value of the car parts and the metal it’s made of.
If the cost of the repairs is more than the ACV, the car will be deemed as a total loss.
What if You Keep Your Car Anyway?
Even if the car is totaled, you may decide to keep it. You’ll still have to pay your deductible, however.
It can be tricky to get insurance on a totaled car though. Some companies will not touch totaled vehicles, but as with everything with car insurance, it can pay to shop around.
InsuranceWins can help. With a little bit of information, you can start receiving quotes from major car insurance companies and begin to understand just how much it will cost to insure a totaled vehicle. Once repairs have been made, it may just be worth your while.