Auto Insurance Coverage After Totaling My Car

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Here's what you need to know...
  • The damage that results in a totaled vehicle could be from an accident, a natural disaster, severe weather, or theft.
  • To be determined totaled, your car does not have to reach the total amount of the value.
  • In order for your car to be covered if it is totaled, you need to have  comprehensive coverage or collision.

What are some of the important things to know from an auto insurance perspective if your car is totaled?

Car insurance is very important. It is one of the many ways that you can protect your assets including your car, your savings, and your home. But what are the insurance issues that come up when your car is totaled?

Being prepared for the process and knowing how to communicate with your insurance company can help you get through the situation of a totaled vehicle more smoothly.

Read through the FAQ below and then start finding the best car insurance today!

What does “totaled” mean from an insurance company‘s point of view?

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When you hear that a vehicle was “totaled” what comes to mind?

The word “totaled “usually brings to mind a completely smashed vehicle, broken windows, a vehicle that you cannot drive, and a crash that results in severe injury for the driver.

Though these things may sometimes be true, they are not always true. Your version of totaled and the insurance company’s version may be completely different.

First of all, damage that results in a totaled vehicle could be from an accident, a natural disaster, severe weather, or theft. The very basic definition of “totaled” means that the cost to repair the damage to your vehicle exceeds the value of the car. 

At this point, the insurance company will determine your car totaled and send you a check for the value of your car instead of paying for the repairs.

Based on this definition, you may be able to drive your car away from an accident but it may still be determined as totaled. You may still have all your windows intact but have a totaled vehicle.

On the other hand, your car may be un-drivable, and yet be found to be repairable.

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How is a car determined to be totaled?

Most insurance companies will send a total loss adjuster to your home or where ever your car was towed after the accident to access what the damage caused by the accident. The adjuster will use current technology, your car’s current market value, and the advice of a mechanic to determine if your car is totaled.

For example, if your car is worth $25,000 and the repair costs will be $11,000, it is not a total loss.

To be determined totaled, your car does not have to reach the total amount of the value. The adjuster may determine that the car is a total loss if it is close to, equal to, or over the amount of your vehicle.

Make sure that you are a part of the process when the state of your vehicle is being determined.

Do you own research to find out the current market value of your vehicle and ask your own mechanic’s opinion.

Sometimes, you may not agree with an adjuster’s determination. If you disagree, you have the right to file a disagreement with your insurance company and ask for another adjuster to look at the situation.

You should know that this will increase the amount of time it will take for you to get your vehicle repaired or to receive your check, but you have to watch out for yourself. Determine what is best for you financially, and what is the safest way to get back on the road.

What coverage will help you if your car it totaled?

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In order for your car to be covered if it is totaled, you need to have comprehensive coverage or collision. Comprehensive will cover theft, natural disasters, weather-related damage, and collision with objects other than vehicles.

Collision will cover just a collision with another vehicle. You must have the appropriate coverage should you face an accident that results in a totaled vehicle.

You may also want to have rental car coverage. This will cover the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is repaired or while you shop for another vehicle. The amount of time that you are able to have a completely paid for the rental car is predetermined in your policy.

If your need for the rental car exceeds the amount of time determined you will have to pay out of pocket or go without the rental car.

Finding the right auto insurance company that offers the type of coverage you need and whose total loss policy you agree with is easy. You can compare companies, coverage options, and policies online side by side using our free car insurance comparison tool below.

It saves you time and money while allowing you to find the company that is right for you.

Get started finding the best car insurance today!

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