If you were in a car accident and your car was totaled, you likely have a few questions. For one, what does it mean that your vehicle was “totaled?”
Your auto insurance company will deem your car a total loss if its damage is so severe that it’s not worth repairing. Typically, if your auto body shop says the repairs will cost 70 to 75 percent of the total value of the vehicle, the insurer will not consider it to be worth repairing. Instead, your car will probably be sold for salvageable parts.
For drivers with older cars, this is the most likely scenario. Repairs for old cars often exceed the value of those vehicles. If you get hit in your older car, get it appraised at an auto shop to determine just how costly repairs would be. Then, contact your insurance company right away to go over the fine print of your policy. It’s likely that you haven’t thought about certain things that are important to know now, including:
What Happens When Your Car Gets Totaled?
If you total your car in an accident, several different things may happen depending on the type of insurance you carry. You might:
- Drive a rental car paid for by your insurance company;
- Be out of a car until your settlement check comes in; or
- Borrow a friend or family member’s car until you can buy a new one.
None of these scenarios is ideal, but option number one is the clear winner. Call your insurance agent to find out if your policy will provide you with a rental car in the event of an accident that totals your vehicle.
How Common Is Totaling a Car?
Did you know that there is a 1 in 7 chance that your car will be considered “totaled” after an accident? With odds like that, it’s essential that you understand your insurance coverage. Contact your agent today to go over the fine points of your plan.
What Happens If You Still Owe Money on Your Car?
Many insurance plans include gap insurance. Gap insurance covers the difference between the value of your car and how much you still owe on it. This is a great insurance policy to invest in if you have a newer car. Contact your insurance agency today to find out if you have this type of coverage or if you can add it to your plan.
How Does Your Insurance Company Determine the Value of Your Car?
Once it’s been determined that your car is totaled, your insurance company will send you a check for the value of your car before the wreck. This value is determined by:
- The age of your car;
- The type of car you drive;
- The condition of your car; and
- Whether or not you were partially responsible for the crash.
Once the value has been determined, your insurer will send you a check for the value of your car minus your deductible.