A car is generally considered totaled when repair costs exceed the car’s value—or the vehicle can’t be repaired safely. In some cases, state laws require the insurance company to call it a total loss due to the amount of damage.
If you’re involved in a car accident and think your car may be totaled, there are a few steps to follow:
- Take photos of the damaged vehicle from many different angles.
- Contact your insurance agent ASAP to initiate a claim.
- Have the vehicle towed to your insurance company’s preferred repair shop.
- Collect paperwork for your claim, including the accident police report, your car title and loan provider contact details (if applicable).
- Answer any questions from the claims adjuster during their investigation.
The insurer will issue payment for the actual cash value of the totaled vehicle, minus your coverage deductible. Following a total loss, you may want to replace the vehicle right away.