Understanding “how do they decide if a car is totaled?” helps you save a lot of time and effort in determining whether your vehicle is going to end up totaled before you even reach out to the insurance company. Typically, the insurance company will determine your vehicle's pre-wreck value and compare it to the total repair costs. If repair costs are close to 70 to 75% of the vehicle's value, your car will most likely be considered a total loss.
Unfortunately, car accidents are one of the very frustrating scenarios that any driver might get involved in. However, if you could get out of the accident without any injuries to you or the passengers, that's the most important thing. After that, anything else can be taken care of.
Once you and the passengers are OK, the next step is to check how to deal with the insurance company and decide on car repairs. One of the first things that you need to familiarize yourself with is what's known as totaled cars. Unfortunately, if your car was determined as a total loss, you have very limited choices, and it will be very hard to resell it.
Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with how they decide if a car is totaled and what else is involved in the process. This article highlights all details you need to know about totaled cars in terms of the definition, the process, and what can you do with your total vehicle.
What is a totaled car?
When a car gets involved in a car accident, the first question that comes to mind is how much it will cost to repair it? Unfortunately, there are instances where the car damage gets beyond a certain point where interest companies refuse to repair the vehicle and decide to pay you money instead of repairs.
When repair costs exceed 70 to 70% of your vehicle's value, that's where when the insurance company claimed the vehicle as totaled or total loss. When the car is totaled, the insurance company advises you to use the pre-wrecked value of your vehicle and use it to purchase a new car.
For example, if you have a car that costs about $4000 and repair costs are about $6000, it is obviously not worth their appearance because the insurance company will end up paying $2000 more than the actual value of your vehicle ad for them, it is easier to pay you the $4000 instead of paying the extra money for repairs.
In most instances, total loss vehicles are older vehicles with a very low resale value. It is very rare to deal with modern cars claimed as little loss unless the damage is severe and there is no hope to repair the car.
How do they decide if a car is totaled?
There is no standard way for insurance companies to decide that your vehicle is a total loss because it depends on an insurance company to another. It also depends on your vehicle's value and the severity of the damage.
By familiarizing yourself with the different factors that go into determining whether your car is totaled or not, you eliminate any surprises when talking to the insurance company. In addition, you will get an idea about whether your car will be totaled or not.
Let's take a closer look at some of the different factors that insurance companies consider when deciding whether your car is totaled or not:
1- Your vehicles type
Your vehicle type is one of the first and most important elements to decide whether your car is totaled or not. Typically, if you own a classic car, you won't be treated as someone who owns an average vehicle. Similarly, if your car is modern, the value that the insurance company considers will not be the same.
2- Your vehicle's age
Your vehicle's age is another important element that the insurance company considers when determining the pre-wrecked value of your car. Obviously, insurance companies do not have a standard threshold and determining how important your vehicle's age is when it comes to determining whether your car is total or not but, in general, nor vehicles are considered to have a much higher resale value, which indicates that there most likely are not going to be considered as total unless the damage is severe as we indicated earlier.
3- Your vehicle's condition
Your vehicle's condition before the car accident is also considered when it comes to determining how much the insurance company is willing to pay for repairs and whether your car is going to be considered as totaled or not.
Therefore, if you know that your car was not in good condition before the car accident, it is most likely that the vehicle's resale value will not be high. Therefore, there's a very high chance that your vehicle's value will be very close to the value of repair costs, which might lead to considering your car as a total loss.
4- Your contribution to the accident
Finally, the insurance company will also consider whether it was your fault for getting involved in the car accident or not. Typically, if you can prove that the car accident was not your fault, you will have more advantages, and it is very unlikely that your vehicle will be considered a total loss. But, of course, this is not always the only theory because sometimes accidents mites completely damaged the vehicle making it hard for insurance companies to repair it.
How much is my totaled Car insurance payout?
Once you confirm that your vehicle will be considered a total loss, the next step for you is to understand how much your trash company is willing to pay you for your vehicle. Obviously, when your vehicle is labeled as a total loss, the process will take a very long time, and it can be a little frustrating to wait without knowing any clue about how much you'll get paid.
The good news is that automotive experts were able to put a list of potential steps that you can follow to get an idea about how much the insurance company is willing to pay you. Obviously, the value that you will determine might be slightly different from what the insurance company will pay you, but it's not going to be a big difference. Therefore, try following these steps to get an idea about how much your insurance company is willing to pay you for your total vehicle:
1- Collect your vehicle's information
Before moving in a step further, you must get the right and accurate information about your vehicle. This involves the vehicle's type, year, mileage, etc. You will most likely find a lot of this information on your vehicle's owner’s manual, but also, you might need to check the dashboard and get an exact number about the mileage.
Obviously, when you don't have many miles on your vehicle, your resale value will be much higher than someone else who's been driving the vehicle, and it hit more than 300,000 miles.
2- Determine your vehicle's value
There are plenty of available online platforms that provide you with an idea about how much your vehicle is worth in the used car market. For example, you might want to try something like Kelley Blue Book, National Automobile Dealers Association, or probably Edmunds.
These tools allow you to input information about your vehicle and provide a minimum and maximum value about how much your vehicle could make. Obviously, you might find a slight difference between what these tools are telling you, but you will get an idea about the average expected value for your car.
3- Calculate the average value
Once you get multiple numbers from the different tools we mentioned, you can calculate the average value of what these tools are telling you. This way, you can get an idea about what to expect from your insurance company. Keep in mind that whatever these tools are telling you does not reflect the damages or any issues in the car.
For example, if you know that your vehicle has problems with the tires or probably the engine, Kelley Blue Book won't know that. Therefore, it is your job to subtract whatever repairs are expected from the suggested Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds value. With that, you'll get an idea about your vehicle's actual value.
It is important to note that the purpose of this task and calculation is different from your vehicle's value before the accident, not after it. This is because we already discussed that your vehicle's value is close to the repair costs, which means that we're not planning to repair the vehicle and the intent here is to get an idea about how much the car was worth before the accident.
4- Highlights all expenses
A very important note here is that you need to contact the insurance company and let them know about any improvements you've made to the vehicle. For example, if you've done a certain repair that costs you a lot of money, they need to consider this in their calculations because otherwise, you won't be paid for these repairs and improvements.
What to do if they decided that your car is totaled?
Obviously, when you hear that your vehicle is considered totaled, it is never a fun situation, and it can be very disappointing to many drivers. However, there are still some options available for you.
1- Continue driving the car
Yes, even a totaled car can still be driven if you follow all necessary paperwork and ensure that your vehicle is not in terrible condition. In other words, if your mechanic decided that you can still repair some of the most important components in the car and you will be able to drive it, you can follow this path.
Obviously, you need to do certain paperwork, including converting that vehicle's title from totaled to salvage, which involves a certain step that you need to do accurately to prevent dealing with some legal issues.
2- Sell your totaled car
The other less stressful alternative is to get rid of your totaled car by selling it to a potential buyer. However, most private buyers won't buy a car involved in a car accident and have major repairs. Similarly, dealerships will not pay you a good amount of money for your car. They don't even pay good money for vehicles in good condition. What about those considered total?
Your best option, in this case, is to reach out to Cash Cars Buyer, who guarantees to buy your vehicle no matter what! Cash Cars Buyer doesn't care whether your car has significant engine damage or probably the frame or the transmission. Instead, a cash cars buyer estimates your car's value and pays you a fair price reflecting the exact amount of money your vehicle can make around your area.
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When your car gets involved in a car accident, companies will take care of older pairs depending on what policy you have. However, there are some instances where your insurance companies decide not to repair the vehicle and consider your car as a total loss.
A car is considered a total loss when repair costs approach 70 to 75% of your vehicle's value, which means that the vehicle is not worth what appears in. Instead, the insurance company will pay you the value of your car before the car accident.
This article walked you through many details that you need to familiarize yourself with when your car is considered a total loss. It also provided we deal with some recommendations on what factors are involved in the insurance companies' process to determine the payout number so you can get an idea before hearing from the insurance company.
Obviously, dealing with total loss cars is not a pleasant condition, and many inexperienced drivers feel overwhelmed with the situation. The good news is that you might be able to drive your total loss car if you follow the necessary paperwork to convert the total loss title to a salvage title, assuming that your car is still drivable. However, an easier route would be to sell your vehicle to a company like Cash Cars Buyer and use the money to purchase a better car.
Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States.
Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money.
All it takes you is to:
- Describe your car’s type and condition
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