If you were recently involved in an accident where your vehicle was severely damaged, you may be wondering how much insurance pays for a wrecked car. They will declare your car wrecked if it is not worth the cost of repairing it. Every insurance provider has a formula for determining whether or not you should total your car. this formula may vary from provider to provider, but not by much. There are three main factors that insurance companies use to decide when to total a vehicle. they are:
- If the damage is severe and the vehicle cannot be safely repaired, it is considered totaled.
- If your vehicle will cost more to repair than it is worth, they will total it.
- State regulations may dictate the amount of damage your vehicle can have before it is totaled.
Being involved in an accident is stressful enough. Arm yourself with information so you can be well prepared to deal with your insurance provider when your car is totaled.
how much is your car worth in total?
To get an idea of the total value of your car, look up the book value of Kelley Blue so it’s in good condition. Find out what the fair condition value is from 20 to 40 percent. Depending on the amount of damage done to your vehicle, it’s likely closer to the 20 percent range, according to CarBrain. this gives you an idea of the total value of your vehicle.
However, you should be aware that there is no clear method of determining your vehicle’s totaled value. in the end, it’s up to the adjuster, but can be open to discussion.
Your insurance provider will send an adjuster when you report an accident to them. They will assess the damage done to your vehicle to determine whether or not it will be considered a total loss. if they decide it is totaled, they will assess its value based on its condition immediately before the accident occurred. A third-party adjuster will also be consulted to ensure a fair price is awarded. The insurance company will consider the actual cash value provided by both adjusters in deciding how much your vehicle is worth.
Investopedia explains that actual cash value (ACV) is the resale price of your vehicle before it was involved in a serious accident. The insurance company will search for recent sales in your area of vehicles similar to yours and compare them to current listings to find the ACV for your car. They will also take into account your car’s trim level, options, mileage, and pre-accident condition when determining ACV. You should also keep in mind that your deductible will be subtracted from the amount the insurance company pays for your totaled vehicle.
Usually, you can expect your total vehicle payment within a few days after the ACV has been determined. There are two cases where you may not receive money for your totaled vehicle:
- if you rent
- if you have a loan
The insurance company will pay the amount you owe to your loan provider. if there is something left, you keep the rest. if you leased your car, the same applies. you can check with your adjuster to find out when you can expect payment. they should also know how long the insurance company will pay for the rental car, if one was provided.
understand your coverage
In order for your car to be covered by insurance when it is destroyed in an accident, it must have adequate insurance coverage. both policygenius and the balance recommend that you include gap insurance in your policy if you want the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what the insurance company pays for it if it is fully covered.
gap is an acronym for guaranteed auto protection, and it’s nice to have if you owe more than your car is worth. Unfortunately, you’ll never see the money from having this type of coverage, since it all goes directly to the lender in the event your car is totaled. this will prevent you from having to keep paying for a car you no longer own.
See also: How Age Affects Car Insurance Costs
insurance.com shares that some insurance companies offer guaranteed replacement coverage. While some providers will replace your car if it’s less than three years old, having this type of coverage means you don’t have to worry about the amount of a total car payment. your new car will be covered. however, even if you don’t have guaranteed replacement coverage, insurance companies are required to “take you back.” This means that they have to pay you the total acv of the vehicle minus the deductible.
what happens to a wrecked car?
When your car is totaled, one of two things can happen:
- It was auctioned off to a salvage yard.
- You keep it and repair the damage.
Most of the time, a totaled vehicle will be auctioned off to a junkyard and the insurance company will keep the money from this sale. If the law allows you to keep your totaled vehicle, the insurance company will obtain offers from different salvage companies and establish the fair market value of these offers. this amount will be deducted from the payment provided to you.
The title will need to be changed to a salvage title as it is a requirement in most states. this means you cannot get plates until you make the necessary repairs and apply for a new title. You should check with your insurance provider about the salvage title laws in your state before deciding to keep your totaled vehicle. cars with rebuilt titles are more difficult to insure, especially if you want comprehensive or collision coverage.
If you are involved in an accident at your fault, you can expect your insurance premium to increase. this is true whether your car is damaged or totaled. You should compare insurance rates from multiple companies if you find your rate is too high. No two companies set their rates the same way, so shopping around can save you a lot of money.