What Should I Do if My Vehicle is Totaled?

What Should I Do if My Vehicle is Totaled?

What Should I Do if My Vehicle is Totaled?

In order for a vehicle to be declared a total loss the repair amount must exceed the “retail value” of the vehicle.  To determine the value, the insurance company does research to find out what your vehicle (same make, model and mileage) is selling for in your area.

Should this occur, the insurance company will contact you to review these numbers.  By the end of the phone call, they should inform you of a settlement amount.  If you own the vehicle outright, you will receive a check for that amount.  If you still you have a lien holder on the vehicle, the insurance company will pay this amount to the bank.  You would be responsible for any remaining balance.

Remember, when speaking to the insurance company this is a negotiation.  If you recently made significant repairs to your vehicle, discuss this with them as that can sometimes make a difference in the settlement amount.

Once this is agreed upon, the insurance company will facilitate removing your vehicle from the repair facility.

Now it’s time to shop for a new car!!

In the event that you would like to try to keep your vehicle, you can inform the insurance company of such.  They will deduct what is called “salvage value” from the settlement amount.  This is the amount that they would have received if they were to sell your vehicle to a salvage yard.  Once you have a final settlement amount, you can then arrange to have your vehicle repaired by the shop of your choice.