Auto insurance

My Car Was Totaled: Tips for Auto Insurance Claims

Once you have recovered from the trauma of a car accident, your insurance company considers your vehicle a total loss. The last time you will see your vehicle before it is dragged to the scrapyard in the sky is when you gather your belongings.

But there is a silver lining to this dark story of utter devastation.

You will be able to ride out the accident and get back on the road with the right form of car insurance.

What does “total” mean?

The market value of your car will be compared to the insurer’s cost to repair. In some cases, an insurance company may consider your car complete if the repair costs are equal to or greater than the value of the vehicle. Some insurance companies may total your car even if the repair costs are lower than they estimate. You can inquire about the source of the determination of the value of your vehicle by the insurance company.

When an insurance company claims your vehicle as a loss

It is ultimately up to your insurance company to determine whether or not your car is considered a total loss as a result of an accident. When the cost of repairing the damage exceeds 51% of the value of the car before the accident, they generally declare the vehicle as a total loss. However, some insurers will increase this limit to 80%. State insurance authorities set the proportion, which can vary depending on where you live.

Suppose you were involved in an accident. The car is 12 years old and as a result has lost much of its monetary value over time. When the value of a car is already low, even a small repairable damage can cause your insurer to declare it a total loss. Another scenario: you own a brand new luxury SUV and are involved in an accident that causes major damage and renders the car unusable. A certain proportion of the car’s value must be damaged before it can be considered an outright total loss.

Once your car is totaled you have a few options

Car Insurance Quotes in Chicago, IL a total loss claim is usually more complicated than repairing a vehicle. It is possible to speed up the insurance claim process and get the best potential outcome if you know what to do and what your options are.

Once Your Car Is Totaled, Here Are Five Things To Do Right Away

In most total loss incidents, the consequences can be quite severe. After an accident, what matters most is ensuring your physical health and well-being. Once you have recovered from the shock of the incident, you should:

File a complaint as soon as possible

Insurance companies can be slow to process total loss claims, so contact yours and other parties’ insurance companies immediately. Contact your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company if you were involved in an accident with someone else’s vehicle.

Tow your vehicle to a reputable auto repair center

The complaints procedure will be easier if you tow your car in a store approved by the insurance adjuster handling your file. You will need to contact your insurance company adjuster to obtain a repair estimate from the shop.

Gather all your necessary documents

The title of your vehicle must be provided to the insurance company. Request a copy from your state Department of Motor Vehicles if you do not have one. If your automobile is totaled, the insurance company will likely need you to turn over the title.

Your vehicle’s ACV should be researched

Before accepting an insurance payment for a totaled car, do your research on the actual cash value (ACV) of your car. Find out the current market value of vehicles similar to yours by checking automotive websites, newspapers, local car dealerships and using online tools.

Review the conditions of your car loan

Your car loan repayments will affect how much you can afford for a new vehicle. Your lender will first obtain settlement funds from the insurance company. After that you will get the rest of the money.


You may be able to handle your insurance claim yourself, depending on your policy. Consult a lawyer if you have questions about your legal rights. The services of a lawyer include more than just legal advice. When you think the insurance company isn’t compensating you fairly for your car total, it’s worth hiring an attorney.