When your car is a total loss

Car accidents big or small are never easy.  Sometimes when you get in a accident the damage seems far greater than what it really is or vise versa.  But what happens when your car is a total loss.  What are the steps you need to take with the insurance company?  The auto repair shops?  Even the car rental shops.

No one ever wants to get into an accident when the car is total loss but we can walk you step by step through out the process.  That’s also another perk of having Farquhar and Black Insurance as your independent agent.  We are here for you every step of the way.

What is the actual car value vs total repairs?

Some a big question the insurance company will ask is was is the actual cash value (ACV) and what is the cost of the repairs.  The ACV, or actual cash value of your car is the amount your car insurance provider will pay you after it’s totaled in an accident.  Your car’s ACV is its pre-collision value as determined by your car insurance company, minus whatever deductible you are required to pay for your comp or collision coverage.

So they determine what is higher; the value of the car or the the cost to fix it.  If it is going to cost more to fix it than the cost of the car then the insurance companies will total it.

Is your car safe to repair?

A lot of times people think that cost is the only factor in repairing your car after its been in an accident.  Another large factor is the auto body shop can repair it to make it safe to drive on the roads again.  If it’s just not possible or not cost-effective to do so, a total loss may result.

What does the state say?

Its not always the insurance company that makes the final decision on if the car is a total loss, it can also come down state laws.  Which like always can vary from state to state.

My car is totaled, now what?

Now that your car has been declared a total loss your agent will call you and walk you through the process of what you need to do next.

  • Paying  your deductible – Did you cause the accident or someone else?  And do you have collision on your car?  If you didn’t cause the accident and you you have collision on your car – your insurance company (not the agent) will go after the other party.  Sadly if you don’t have collision on your car and you aren’t at fault, even though you are paying for insurance, you will be on your own for damages.
  • Transferring ownership – You’ll essentially sign over ownership of your  vehicle to the insurance company who is handling your claim – in exchange for any money in which you’re entitled, of course.  From there you will sees to its proper disposal.  Your best bet it you will  want to keep your insurance coverage on the vehicle until it’s officially taken off your hands
  • Getting Paid –  This is when your AVC comes in.  Remember this is the actual cash value of your car.  This is when  your insurance company will pay you for what your car is worth once its totaled.  NOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR IT!  If you are leasing or financing your car, the insurance company will send a check to there.
  • Renting a car – Now that your car has been deemed a total loss, your clearly aren’t driving it.  This is where you are going to be so happy that you called your insurance agent, (that’s us!) and had put rental on your policy.  Our agents will walk you step by step on how much you have a day for a rental and for how many days.
  • Buying those new wheels – The time has come to get a new car.  Make sure that after you purchase your new vehicle that you call us to make sure that its fully insured.  Especially if you have a brand new car, or you are leasing a car you might find that need different coverage then what you had before.

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Farquhar & Black Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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