How To Sell A Totaled Car
Your car has quite likely met its demise. It may have been in an accident, taken an unexpected dip in a pool or floodwaters, or gotten a little extra toasty because of a wiring malfunction. You can tell at a glance that repairs arent going to be cheap, or they may not be possible at all. You have to figure out what to do with your totaled car.
Your adjuster is helpful to a degree but you dont get any answers until theyve decided what to do with your smashed-up car. And once they determine its a total loss vehicle, youll have to come to an agreement on its value. But just how much will that be?
Can I Keep My Car And Repair It Myself
Usually a damaged car is auctioned at a salvage yard and the insurance company keeps the proceeds of this sale. If you want to keep your damaged car, and it’s permitted by state law, your company will get bids from salvage buyers to set the fair market value on the salvageand will deduct this amount from your settlement.
Many states require the title to be changed to a “salvage title,” which means you will not be able to register for plates until you complete the repairs and apply for a new title.
Ask your adjuster about the salvage laws in your state and then decide if it makes sense to keep your car and repair it. While your company may call it a total loss, it may be priceless to you.
You might not be able to buy collision and comprehensive coverage on a rebuilt-title car, though, as its value is hard for an insurance company to pin down.
When The Insurance Company Determines Your Car Is A Total Loss
The insurance adjuster gets to work to determine the amount of damage to your car and the repairs needed to make it driveable.;
When the estimate reaches about 70% to 80% of the value of the vehicle, most likely it will be considered a total loss, says P.J. Miller, partner and independent insurance agent with Wallace & Turner Insurance in Springfield, Ohio.;
In some cases, youll actually want the insurance company to total the vehicle, says John Espenschied, owner of Insurance Brokers Group in Chesterfield, Missouri the reason being that newer cars are safer, because they are designed to crumple but;protect the passengers.
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How To Tell If Your Car Is Totaled
There are 6 million car accidents in the US every year. That means around 16,000 a day. Obviously, after an accident, your primary concern is going to be yourself and those involved, but eventually, your mind is going to turn to repairs. So you start appraising what you can in your head, calculating damages, each one driving up the price.;
Eventually, the question becomes, Is this even fixable?
It sounds like a no-brainer, but identifying when a car is actually totaled takes some effort. Youll probably spend some time fighting to convince yourself that its salvageable, but its best to remove such thoughts and deal with the cold, hard facts. Itll make you better prepared to negotiate with your insurance company.
Here are a few surefire ways to tell if your car is totaled.
What Is The Value Of A Totaled Car
Theres no clear-cut formula you can use to determine your totaled car value. Because every vehicles condition is different, you wont get a concrete number until youve hashed it out with your adjuster. And even then, its often up for discussion at least a little. You can, however, get insight into how that number is achieved.
Actual Cash Value is determined. Thats the resale price for your vehicle if it hadnt been totaled. The insurance company will look at recent listings and sales for similar vehicles in your area.
Pre-accident condition is considered. Your cars mileage, options and trim level, and any pre-accident damage is weighed into the equation.
Your deductible is well, deducted. The insurance deductible you chose for your insurance policy is held back from the payout amount for your claim.
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What Is A ‘totaled’ Car
Depending on your state and whether you or another driver were at fault in the accident, the damage to your car may be covered either by your insurance policy or the other driver’s. If you file an insurance claim, your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case. The adjuster’s job is to determine how much their company should pay out on the claim.
The adjuster may conclude that your car is totaled, or a total loss, if it isn’t worth repairing or isn’t repairable at all. Insurance companies have their own formulas for making that determination. For example, the insurance company may call your vehicle a total loss if the cost of repairing it exceeds 80% of its value. If your car is worth $15,000 at the time an accident occurs, then the 80% cutoff would mean repairs likely wouldn’t be authorized if they cost more than $12,000.
Claims against the other driver will fall under their policy’s property damage liability coverage. If your policy is the one that will be paying for the damage to your car, either your collision coverage or comprehensive coverageif you have anywill be involved.;Collision coverage is for damage to your car caused by an accident with another vehicle, while comprehensive coverage is for damage caused by something else, such as a fire or fallen tree.
If your car is totaled, here are seven ways you might consider handling it.;
Have The Vehicle Towed To The Insurers Preferred Repair Shop
If you think theres a good chance the car has been totaled, have it towed to a body shop preferred by the insurance company. Many companies have shops they work with, and you may speed up the claims process by using one of their shops. You can have your car towed to the tow companys lot, but theyll probably charge a storage fee. The preferred shop will usually hold your car without this fee.
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Start Shopping For A New Car
Once you know how much money you are going to receive from your insurance company, you can start looking for a new car. In several states, including California and Florida, insurers are required to pay for the sales tax on your new vehicle as a part of the final settlement. Just keep in mind that you usually have to request reimbursement within 30 days of purchasing the new car.
The Truth About ‘totaled’ Cars: How To Keep Yours
Crashed your car? Bummer. Even worse is getting a call from your auto insurance company saying its a total loss and should go to the junk yard.
Your attachment to your vehicle may be sentimental. In some cases, your bond may be financial: you may not be able to replace the totaled car with the money your insurance company is willing to pay. There are options learn more about what happens when your car is totaled and what you can do.
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What Should I Do If My Vehicle Is Totaled
Your vehicle is totaled. You call your insurance agent and quickly realize the settlement that is still to be determined likely will dictate your options and replacement vehicle.
Listed below are insights into how an insurance company decides if a vehicle will be repaired or written off as a total loss, how the value of a vehicle is determined, and your responsibilities if you owe money on a totaled vehicle.
Got a loan or lease? Insurance required
Lets start with the basics: Comprehensive insurance coverage and collision insurance coverage help pay to replace a totaled vehicle. These two separate, optional policies are typically required by a leasing company and the financial institution holding the vehicle loan. If the loan is paid off, these policies are optional for the vehicle owner. However, both polices offer peace-of-mind in the event the vehicle is totaled. ;
Each state has a formula to determine under what circumstances a car must be totaled by an insurance company. Go online, determine your states insurance regulations. In addition, each company has its own formula for determining a totaled vehicle.
Where comprehensive coverage figures in
Do homework before taking a settlement
Minding the GAP
Salvaging the situation
Is it wise to keep the totaled car, take the settlement and do your own repairs?
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Insurance Claims
When you have an automobile accident, you count on your auto insurer to handle your claim properly, fairly, and with as little inconvenience to you as possible. As a policyholder, you can help the insurance company handle your claim by providing accurate information when you buy your policy, and in collecting information about how an automobile accident happened. If you give false information to your insurer about how the accident happened, or when, your claim may be denied.
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Injured In Your Car Accident Contact Us Today
If you’ve been injured in your car accident, we can help you recover money for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as your lost time at work. We’ve recovered over $1 billion dollars for our injured clients, and we’re ready to fight for you.
Contact us at 412-394-1000 or complete the form located in the top right corner of this page for a free legal consultation. When you speak with our professionals, there’s no fee and absolutely no obligation to use our services. We’ll answer your legal questions and determine the best course of action for your case.
Remember, there’s never a fee unless and until we get money for you.
Why You Should Never Put Money Down On A Lease
Putting money down on a car lease isnt typically required unless you have bad credit. If you arent required to make a down payment on a lease, you generally shouldnt. This is because all of the interest charges are computed into the lease price up front, so the total cost of a lease is set ahead of time.
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Find Out How Much Insurance Pays For Totaled Cars
Insurance companies use a proprietary formula for;how much your non running car is worth. How do you know its accurate or fair, or they are giving you as much as they should?;
The feeling of helplessness from the unknown is never fun. You worry about things beyond your control, lose sleep and add to your gray hair. Thats precisely what happens when you total a car and an insurance company is involved. Rather than losing sleep about how much your insurance will pay for a totaled car, you can find out how much you can get for your wrecked vehicle;now. Get an accurate quote about how much your salvage car is really worth.;
Did You Know?
When your car is totaled you can maximize the amount of money you get by getting your insurance payout, and then selling your wrecked car.
We can give you a market-value offer for your vehicle, and its often the best offer out there! Find out how much you can get with a guaranteed quote!
Can I Keep A Totaled Car
It is possible to buy back your vehicle with a salvage title once it is deemed a total loss, though that is not usually a great idea, for a variety of reasons. Insurance companies pay actual cash value for a totaled car, minus the deductible. You have the option to pay the insurance company a small fee plus the salvage value of the vehicle in some states. Once you buy the vehicle back, it is yours to do with as you please. You will need to check with your insurance company to see whether any restrictions apply to insuring a vehicle with a salvage title.
Knowing whether or not your vehicle is totaled is the first step in the claims process. If you are still unsure whether or not your car is totaled, file your claim and ask your claims adjuster for more information. It is times like these in which you’ll learn a lot about the quality of the customer service provided by your insurance company.
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How To Trade In Totaled Cars For Cash
It doesnt take a major accident for airbags to deploy, although its almost a guarantee that they will deploy in a major smashup.;Now you might have heard the question ‘is your car totaled if the air bags deployed’? Just because your airbags have blown doesnt automatically make your vehicle a total loss. Its just one factor, but an expensive one that can jack up the claim total for any collision.
If your airbags deploy, it will definitely get a closer look from your adjuster. Between airbag replacement cost, collision repairs, and other factors like rental car costs, it could mean your claim is marginal or a total loss. However, if you drive a newer vehicle or an expensive car, the repair cost is less likely to be near your cars value. Is it worth it to fix or should you sell your car as is?
Who Has To Pay The Storage Charges On My Damaged Auto When There Is A Dispute As To The Amount Of The Claim Payment
The;insurance company has to pay the storage charges until it makes a reasonable offer to settle your claim. If you dispute the amount of money offered by the company and the company changes its offer, this does not necessarily mean that the first offer was unreasonable. If you and your company disagree over what is reasonable, your policy has a process you can follow to work out the disagreement.
It is important that you work with the company and stay in communication with them, even if you are in the middle of a dispute. If the company makes you a reasonable offer and you dont respond, you could be responsible for the storage fees if you leave your vehicle in storage.
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Your Cars Mileage Is Too High
Just as age matters, mileage will devalue your car as well. The more miles put on a car, the less it will be worth. You should always keep an eye on the mileage of the vehicle. When it starts to get too high, it might be time to trade it in.
Its never good news when you learn your car is no longer operable. The best you can hope for is a solid replacement thatll be reliable in the years to come.
When Is A Car Considered Totaled
A car is considered totaled when its deemed to be a total loss after something unexpected happens. Insurance companies determine a car to be totaled when the vehicles cost for repairs plus its salvage value equates to more than the actual cash value of the vehicle.
So, how does your insurance determine a totaled cars value? Appraisers will estimate the cost of repairs, then determine if the cost to repair the vehicle including things like cost of replacement parts, salvage value and labor fees will equate to more than what the car is actually worth.
You might take one look at your car and figure you wont be getting behind its wheel anytime soon, but your insurance company will actually decide whether your car is considered totaled. So, when your insurance totals your car what value do they use? Theyll likely use the vehicles actual cash value to determine the worth of the car when your vehicle is a total loss.
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Can I Sell A Totaled Car
- Sell privately. It works the same way as selling a good used car. List it with online classifieds and wait for prospective buyers to contact you. There arent many people who buy junk cars privately, however, so it could take time before it sells if it sells at all.
- Trade it in. When youre buying your replacement vehicle, using your car as a trade-in and reduce the amount you pay for your new car. Dealers dont want to spend much time or effort on totaled cars, though, so this route is only beneficial if you can get your car back for next to nothing.
- Sell it for scrap. Again, if your able to get your car back for almost nothing, you might be able to turn it into a few extra bucks by taking it to the junkyard.
Option : Let The Insurance Company Pay You
The easiest way to deal with a totaled car after an accident may be to simply let the insurance company pay you.;
Depending on the insurance laws in your state, this might involve:
- Replacing your totaled vehicle with a comparable one
- Offering you a cash payment that’s equivalent to your totaled vehicle’s actual cash value
Note that if you believe the insurance company’s offer is too low, you can challenge it.
If you opt for a cash payment and still owe money on a car loan, the insurance company will generally make the check out to both you and your lender. After your loan has been paid off, any remaining money is yours to keep. However, if the insurance company’s payment is less than you owe on the car, you are responsible for paying the difference.
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