When your insurance company totals your car after an accident, this means the car is damaged beyond the point of repair. In other words, it’s not worth the price to fix it.
Most insurance companies have their own formulas when deciding whether or not the car is a “total loss.” But most use the following factors in the decision:
- Is the damage so severe the vehicle cannot be repaired to the point where it can be safely driven?
- Will the vehicle cost more to repair than it is worth?
- Does your state regulation decide how much damage can be sustained to qualify it for being a total loss?
If you live in the Atlanta area and are in need of a car accident attorney, contact Lawyer Henningsen for a free consultation. You will receive advice from a firm with decades of personal injury experience. Since every car accident is unique, your case will be thoroughly evaluated to get you the compensation you are owed.
The good thing is, that once you report your accident to the insurance company, they will assign an insurance adjustment team who will decide how much will be paid. Although the entire process can be a bit stressful, your team will do its best to get everything completed in a timely manner.
First, your insurer must determine the worth of the car at the time of the accident. Kelly Blue Book is a reliable site to estimate a fair value. In most cases, the 20 percent fair condition is what will be considered. While there is no cookie-cutter method, the adjuster will have the last say.
The car’s resale value or actual cash value (AVC) is something else that will be taken into consideration. In most cases, the owner of the totaled vehicle will receive a payout. However, there are a few things that could stand in the way of your receiving money:
- Is the vehicle leased?
- Do you have a loan on the vehicle?
The insurance company pays your loan provider the amount that is owed on the vehicle. If there is anything left over, you will receive a check.
Always thoroughly understand the terms of your insurance so you will know what to expect. Most loan providers offer GAP insurance, also known as Guaranteed Auto Protection so you will not be left holding the bag. GAP insurance pays the difference after the car is totaled. In most cases, you will not see any of this money because it goes directly to the provider. However, there are some instances where you may be reimbursed a few hundred dollars that you paid for it.
In most cases, individuals will receive enough money so they can get a new car. Sometimes people can use the funds to put down on a new vehicle. There are other stipulations within the insurance that offer more ways for you to get a new vehicle after it is totaled. No one insurance is alike, so it all depends on a variety of factors.
Another note: if the accident is your fault, expect your insurance claims to increase. This is even so if you have been involved in a hit-and-run. While the accident is not your fault, you should still expect your rates to go up.
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