Dealing with auto insurance claims can be a hassle and at the very least it creates stress and more chores that you must fit into your busy schedule. It’s one thing to deal with your insurance company and the repair shop and the rental car agency when your car is being repaired, but what happens when you car is considered totaled? This is a major happening and hopefully, there were no major injuries associated with your car being totaled. Of course, there are a lot of questions that comes with your car being deemed totaled by your insurance provider. Here, you can get answers to some of those questions.
What Does it Mean to Have My Car Totaled?
The first thing to understand is the definition of “totaled.” Totaled is when the cost to repair your car is as much or more than the value of the car. This value is not what you paid for it, not the balance on your vehicle loan, not even your car’s Blue Book value. It is the value determined by the insurance adjuster. An adjuster will come out and evaluate the damage and give a value for the vehicle according to its condition before the accident. Estimates will be gotten for repairs, and you will have the opportunity to get estimates from a repair shop you trust if you feel the need. At that point, the decision is made as to whether or not to deem the vehicle totaled.
How Much Money Will I Get For My Totaled Vehicle
If totaled, you will be reimbursed for the value that the insurance adjuster concludes your car is worth. The deductible will be subtracted from this total. When estimating the amount, the insurance adjuster will look at many different sources. He or she may consider the Kelly Blue Book value, the NADA guide and/or look at the selling price of similar vehicles in your area. The adjuster may consider none, one or all of these to determine the value to be reimbursed. They may also have their own proprietary software that determines vehicle value. Each insurance company is different in their methods.
What if My Car is Not Totaled But Severely Damaged
In some instances, you may wish that your car was deemed totaled. The repair costs may be close to the value of the car and you would rather have a non-damaged vehicle than one that was almost totaled and rebuilt. If the estimated repair costs are close to the value of your car, and you feel these estimates are low, you can get your own estimates. There may also be the case where you feel that your car is not safe even after repairs are made. You will want to speak with repair shops to get written statements from them saying they agree with this assessment. This will also be an instance where you need to do your research. It may pay to get a couple of estimates. If they turn out the way you think, then get the paperwork in order and dispute it with your insurance company.
Your Rights in an Auto Insurance Claim
You have the right to know how the insurance adjuster determined the value of the vehicle and you have the right to dispute this valuation. If you disagree with the determination of your insurance company, you will need to prepare your case. This begins by reading through your policy so you know your rights and how to proceed. Then, do some research as to the value of the vehicle using the resources mentioned above. You may want to check the local classified ads to see what vehicles similar to yours are selling for. Also visit a local dealership and get an estimate from them for the value of your vehicle.
Shopping for New Auto Insurance
Dealing with your insurance company in these matters can leave a sour taste in your mouth if you feel you have not been treated fairly. You may consider looking elsewhere for your auto insurance. If this time does come, you can quickly find a suitable alternative by doing some research on which is the best insurance companies in South Carolina. You can then get online rate quotes to compare costs and find the best mix of quality customer service and price.
Use our free rate quote tool to do this in just minutes. The quotes will be available instantly once you fill out the short form. Use these quotes smartly and you may save yourself several hundred dollars per year.