What Should You Do if Your Car Is Totaled?

You were in a car accident and your car was totaled.

Even if you didn’t love your car, you don’t want it to be totaled, because this usually means a financial loss.

Totaled Car

How do you navigate the process of dealing with your insurance company and getting the most out of your policy when your car is totaled?

Read Your Insurance Policy Before an Accident Happens

If you have not yet been in an accident, read the fine print on your insurance policy. Call your insurance agent and ask about their process of determining whether a car is totaled.

If you still owe money on your original car loan, you may need gap insurance. This will cover the difference if your vehicle’s total value is worth less than the total you owe. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep making your vehicle payments even though your car is totaled. Get the specifics on your coverage so you know what to expect if an accident happens.

Work Out the Total Payment with Your Insurance Company

After an accident, expect to receive a check that includes the total market value of your vehicle right before your accident, minus your deductible and the cost of disposing the car. The insurance company may include the sales tax, registration fees and title tax onto the payout.

Make sure your insurance company is treating you fairly. Look up the Kelley Blue Book value of your car. Don’t take your agent’s word for it. If you think you aren’t receiving the right amount, you have the right to petition for an arbitration, but be aware of the costs involved.

Consider Buying Back Your Car

In some states, you may have the option to buy back your totaled car and fix it yourself. This might be especially attractive if you think your insurance company has vastly overestimated the cost of repairs.

Even though this might seem like a smart plan, it’s not always a viable option, because some states will no longer register cars that have been totaled. If you repair the car and try to have it insured again, you also could run into trouble, since insurance companies steer away from insuring vehicles that have been declared a total loss.

You also could keep your totaled vehicle and sell it for parts. If you already own the vehicle, this could be financially beneficial. If your car is mostly undamaged, you could get a significant amount of money back at a salvage yard by offering it up for parts and scrap metal.

When your car is totaled and you’re looking for a solution, call Western Auto Wrecking.