A car accident is a traumatic experience. Even if the accident wasn’t that severe, a car could be totaled. Failure to repair destroyed vehicles is not a problem, but the cost of such repairs is deemed excessive. If the insurance company determines the car to be totaled, the damage is greater than 75 per cent of its value. Your insurance provider may still allow you to bring your car home before it hits the salvage yard if you recently had a car accident and determine that it is a total loss. However, you must ask yourself if you wish to keep it.
What Is a Total Loss?
Cars are total losses if the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value at the time of the accident. Though the definition may vary from insurer to insurer, however, if your insurance company determines that the car damage is so severe, it will be a total loss, cost considerations aside. In any case, if it is not possible to salvage the vehicle, you should cut your losses and accept the check your insurance company sends you. Your insurer marks your vehicle’s title as salvage once written off as a total loss. Your insurance company will determine your real cash value and issue a check depending on your car’s make, model, mileage, condition, and options. It will then be auctioned off for its salvage value by the insurer.
What To Consider Before Keeping a Totaled Vehicle
One of the reasons to keep a totaled car is to salvage it yourself for spare parts or to believe it can be restored and made safe for driving again. You may be correct, but take some factors into account before making your decision.
The repair cost is a big deal. You have to make sure you can get actual value from your vehicle if your insurance company doesn’t think it’s worth the repairs. Consider getting an expert opinion if you don’t know much about mechanics. One scenario in which such a vehicle is worth keeping is if you are a mechanic and can make the repairs yourself for a great deal less than what it would cost to have another mechanic do it. Other drivers and the environment are at risk if you fail to repair a totaled car properly.
Your repaired vehicle may be difficult to insure—and you’ll have a difficult time finding an insurance company that will cover your vehicle before being fixed. When the car becomes a salvage vehicle, insurance companies are hesitant to write a policy. You may only be eligible for liability coverage.
If you don’t own your baby, don’t get too excited about bringing it home. You may not keep the vehicle if financed, and you have not fully paid it off. The final decision will be by the financial institution that holds the loan. You should consider gap insurance if you are concerned that you will owe more than the vehicle is worth if it is totaled. It will cover the difference between your owed amount and the value of the car.
If You Still Wish To Keep Your Vehicle
Even if you can’t bear to part with your baby, arrange with your insurer to keep your beautiful wreck. Payment will be determined by your carrier the same way it would if you weren’t holding your car, but the vehicle’s salvage value will reduce the settlement amount.