My Car is Totaled, Now What?

My car was totaled! Now what?

If your car is deemed a total loss after an accident, you may be wondering what your options are moving forward. Here are three common questions you might be asking.

What does ‘totaled’ mean?

The insurance company will look at the value of your car vs. the cost to repair it. If the cost to repair it is about the same or more than the value of your car, the insurance company will most likely consider it a total loss. Some companies might total your car even if the cost to fix is lower than the value. You can ask the insurance company what source it used to determine your car’s value.

What if I think my car is worth more?

If you think your car is worth more than what the insurance company says, you can try to negotiate with them. Be prepared to show what the car would sell for in your area. The best way to do this is by getting the following:

  • Get quotes for used car dealers.
  • View prices online and look for local ads for similar vehicles.
  • Document any special features or custom parts on you car.

Can I fix it?

If you would like to keep your car you will want to let the insurance company know as soon as possible. The insurance company will subtract the car’s salvage value from the amount it was planning to pay you.

The car may also be issued a salvaged title after the accident. Once it’s repaired, you’ll need to get a new title before you can drive it again. Be aware that a vehicle that has a salvage title is typically harder to sell as the salvage title depreciates the value.