Have you been in a car accident recently? You most likely contacted your auto insurance to begin the process of assessing and having your vehicle repaired. You may have been told that your vehicle is considered totaled and a complete loss. When this happens, you may wonder what’s next and how the insurance company determines that a vehicle is totaled or if it can be repaired. InsureWise would like to shed some light on how auto insurance evaluates a vehicle after an accident.
What is Defined as a Total Loss?
A totaled car or vehicle that has been considered a total loss is a vehicle that has been damaged so severely that it is not worth repairing. For example, if the vehicle is worth $10,000 but it received damages that would cost around $7,000, then it is not worth repairing the vehicle and is considered a total loss. In general, if the cost to repair the damage is around 70% to 75% of the total worth of the vehicle, usually the insurance company will consider the vehicle totaled.
What Do Insurance Appraisers Look For?
When a vehicle is in an accident and it is taken to either a compound, owner’s home or to an auto shop, the insurance company will send out appraisers. The auto insurance company will schedule an appointment for the appraiser to inspect the vehicle. Once they arrive, the appraiser will inspect the vehicle and assess the damage. They will make a detailed report and calculate the cost for the repairs. Often if the vehicle is at an auto repair shop, they too will create an invoice and provide that to the appraiser to ensure everything matches up.
An appraiser will not only evaluate the cost of repairs, but they will also take in a few other considerations as well. Often the appraiser will also make note of the vehicle’s make, model and most importantly, the vehicle’s year. As a vehicle ages, it’s value drops considerably. However, classic or antique cars obviously will have more value. If a vehicle has been considered a total loss, the vehicle still has some value as they can be stripped down, the metal received and the working parts salvaged.
How Do You Negotiate a Total Loss Payout?
After a vehicle has been in an accident, it may be a bit stressful dealing with the auto insurance company. However, it doesn’t have to be. Knowing how to talk to your insurance company is key. Understanding what to expect can make a difference. Once the appraisers have finished their work, and if your vehicle comes back totaled, you may wonder what is next. Each auto insurance company will vary on how they handle a totaled vehicle. Some auto insurance companies offer a Guaranteed Replacement Cost, which is common for a new car. If the insurance company provides Guaranteed Replacement Cost, they will cover the cost of a new vehicle. Other policies may cover the cost of your vehicle’s current value. They will give you the cash value of the vehicle. A similar policy will pay the remainder of the vehicle’s loan.
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It can sometimes be difficult dealing with auto insurance companies to find the best coverage at the best price. If you want a quality auto insurance provider, contact InsureWise or click here to get a quick online quote and see our many insurance services.