Probably one of the most frustrating and confusing issues that come up with a car accident is whether or not the car is going to be considered a complete write-off, or “totaled.”
At some point you’ve probably heard some shocking stories from family and friends about their vehicle being considered totaled when the driver felt it really should not have been. Or even when the car should have been totaled and wasn’t. The processes for determining total loss on a car can be just as confusing for many an insurance specialist.
How Is A Car Determined to Be Totaled?
The process of figuring out if a vehicle can be declared a total loss involves the cost of repairs, the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle and several other factors. A lot of consumers are aware that their car is usually considered a total loss is the actual cash value of the car is less than the cost to repair it. But even this formula is not always reliable when you have a car accident.
Why the Confusion?
Much of the confusion around determining if a car should be totaled is due to the fact that every insurance company has its own criteria for determining when a vehicle should be totaled. There isn’t any rule of thumb that all companies could use to determine the actual value of a vehicle and that adds another layer of complication. What’s more, every state has different regulations.
In some states, insurance companies tend to use the Total Loss Formula to decide whether or not a vehicle should be totaled. The formula adds the car’s salvage value and the cost of repair. The sum is compared to the vehicle’s actual cash value. If the ACV turns out to be less than the sum of the salvage values and repair costs, the car is likely to be declared a total loss.
The entire method really depends on licensed appraisers. It cannot be predicted by anyone other than the people directly involved from you insurance company.
What happens if My Vehicle is totaled in a Car Accident?
Should the insurance company declare your car to be a total loss, you will be paid out the actual cash value of the car. This is the sum of whatever your vehicle was worth prior to the car accident. Naturally, the insurer will subtract your deductible from the final pay out. Most insurance companies tend to replace cars that are less than three months old with brand new cars, but again, this can vary from company to company.
To get detailed information about your insurer’s policy regarding totaling vehicles, you should contact the company’s customer support. They will provide you with any information you request.
Seeking Other Claims
If you have been in a car accident and require compensation for a personal injury, get in touch with a lawyer at Dement Askew who will be able to assess your case and help you get the payout you deserve. Call at (919) 833-5555