What Happens if My Car is Totaled?

April 15, 2020
Totaled wrecked car

Car accidents are, unfortunately, an unpleasant part of life that we must be prepared for. To prepare for a car accident, it is best to know how to handle a variety of different outcomes that can occur in the event of an accident. One outcome of a car accident can be that your insurance company deems your car a total loss.

At Freedom Collision Center, we’ve put together some helpful tips and information on what you can do when your car is totaled.

How Your Car is Determined to be a Total Loss

When your car insurance company determined that your car is totaled, their judgment is not only based on the extent of the damage to your vehicle or the value of your car post-crash, it is also based on the repair costs.

A car is typically determined to be a total loss when the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds the current value of the vehicle. Laws can differ from state to state for total loss conditions. A state may consider a car to be a total loss if the repair costs exceed 80% of the vehicle’s current value.

Steps to Take After Your Vehicle is Totaled

Find Your Vehicle’s Title

If you have paid the car off and own it outright, you will need to locate your car’s title to show to your insurance company that you do not owe money on the car.
If you still owe money on the car, you will want to make sure the insurance company has the contact information for your financing company. Your insurance company will have to pay the financing company before they can issue payment to you.

Search for an Auto Body Shop

It is important to find an auto body shop that you and your insurance company trust. This auto body shop will be the one who determines the cost of your vehicle repairs.

Do Your Own Research on the Vehicle’s Value

In situations like this, it is important to do your own research before accepting your insurance company’s evaluation of the vehicle. It is crucial to think through anything about the vehicle that increases its value that your insurance company may be not acknowledging.

By improving on what the insurance company thinks the value of your vehicle is, you can increase the payout you will receive.

Keep Communication Clear with Your Insurance Provider

When working through this situation, it is important to maintain a professional and friendly line of communication with your insurance provide as well as the claims adjuster. This clear line of communication will help you make a more compelling case for why you believe your vehicle is worth what you have determined it is worth based on your independent research.

What Can I Expect My Insurance Company to Pay?

For a totaled vehicle, your insurance company should follow the policy terms that are related to determining your payout. Typically, your insurance company will consider some of the pre- and post-accident value of the car, minus the deductible.

My Car is Totaled, but I Still Owe on It? Now What?

If you still owe money on your vehicle after your insurance company pays the financing company, then you will be responsible for the remaining balance owed. This is one of the reasons that it is crucial to make sure your insurance company fairly appraises your car.

Before you get into an accident, you should consider paying for gap coverage. If you are still paying on your car when the accident occurs, gap coverage will cover what you owe on the car. Be sure to look into this with your insurance provider to see if it would fit into your budget.

Professional, Trusted Service at Freedom Collision Center

At Freedom Collision Center, we can work with you if your car is totaled, providing you with a fair and accurate estimate for repair costs. If your car is not totaled but has still suffered some damage, we can provide you with the high-quality services and competitive pricing you need to get your car back out on the road!



Morgantown Center

696 Fairmont Rd.
Morgantown, WV 26501

(304) -241-1325

Freedom Auto Group's Morgantown Center