What to Do About a Total Loss Vehicle


In accidents that are severe and even ones that are minor, the vehicles involved may be deemed damaged beyond repair. If you’ve recently been called by your insurer and told that your vehicle has been declared a total loss, you may be wondering why and where to go from there. Here’s what you should know.


Why is my car a total loss?

There are many reasons why your car can be deemed a total loss – here are just a few of them.

  • The cost of repairs exceeds the car’s value. If your car’s value is lower than (or a certain percentage of) the cost of repairs, the auto shop may deem it not worth making repairs.
  • If it’s not possible for a car to be made road-safe again, a total loss may result.
  • State laws. Some state laws impact whether a car is deemed a total loss or not.


Now what?

Your insurer has told you that your car is a total loss. Here is what happens next:


  • Pay your deductible. In many cases, you may be required to pay your auto insurance deductible.
  • Transfer ownership. You’ll essentially sign over ownership of your totalled vehicle to the insurance carrier settling the claim. From there, the insurer sees to its proper disposal. You should maintain your insurance coverage on the vehicle until it’s officially taken off your hands.
  • Receive payment. Your car’s actual cash value (ACV) is the amount, minus any deductible and fees, the insurer will pay to cover the total loss settlement. If you own the vehicle outright, you get the check. If you lease or finance the car, the leasing or financing company will receive the check. If any money remains after paying off your lease or loan, it’s yours. If not, you may be on the hook for the difference.
  • Buy a new set of wheels. Once you’ve found the right vehicle, its time to buy/lease it and find the right insurance coverage. Before you drive off the lot, consider the additional coverage, such as Roadside Assistance.


Finding the right auto insurance for your needs doesn’t have to be difficult. Talk to the team at Jack Stone Insurance Agency to get started on your reliable coverage.

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