How Do You Know When Your Car Is Totaled?
The crushing sound of metal can be almost as painful as the impact from a wreck. Once you realize that you are physically okay, your thoughts turn to your vehicle. When you look at the situation you can't help but wonder if your vehicle will survive.
There are a couple of things that insurance considers when it comes time for declaring a wrecked automobile a total loss. The first factor is the existing value of the car. Keep in mind that the insurance company will use a value similar to the blue book value and will include the depreciation of the vehicle. The insurance company does NOT consider any loans you may have on the vehicle.
The second factor that the insurance company will consider is the cost of repair. If the repairs exceed the current value of the vehicle then the insurance company will declare the vehicle a total loss. You will get a cash settlement and the vehicle will be towed to a salvage yard. The insurance company will keep any proceeds that might come from the sale of the totaled vehicle.
Some insurance companies will allow you to keep the damaged vehicle if you notify the company immediately of your decision. The company will pay you the cash settlement less any money that would have come from the sale at a salvage yard. You then have the option of having the necessary repairs done on the vehicle to make it road ready (according to your state regulations).
The decisions as to whether your vehicle is declared a total loss after an accident is not up to you. The insurance companies have specific guidelines that they use. You may have the ability to keep your vehicle – even if it is totaled – but you need to inform your insurance company of your desire. Keep in mind that the cost to make the vehicle legally ready for the road may be more than is worth investing.