What You Should Know About a Totaled Car

You probably have an idea about what the insurance company means when they say you have a totaled car. From that point, you’ll be presented with a series of options—few, if any of which are geared toward your favor. Therefore, it’s important to know exactly what the jargon means and where to go from here. Collision Centerz wants to make sure you have all bases covered if you ever experience your car being totaled.  

Define: Totaled

A car is considered totaled when the cost of repair is more expensive than the insurance company’s estimated value of the vehicle in question. Let’s say your car was worth $15,000 before the accident, and the insurance company says it’s going to cost $16,000 to fix. At this point, as far as the insurance company is concerned, the vehicle is a “total loss”.

How Is the Value of a Totaled Vehicle Determined?

Depending on your geographic area, your insurance company is most likely required to pay you the cash value of the car before it was totaled. That value can be determined in myriad ways. Unfortunately, be prepared to get low-balled by the insurance company. After all, they’re not in the business of handing out sweet deals. Generally speaking, the value of your car will be determined by the make, model, year, and overall condition of the vehicle, in addition to the lowest price a dealer might offer an equivalent replacement.

What Next?

A totaled car is also referred to as a salvage vehicle, which means the car cannot be driven or sold in its current condition. On the off chance that you decide to go ahead and have a totaled car repaired, the insurance company still has to declare the vehicle a total loss, and issue a salvage certificate. Having the car repaired will require this salvage certificate and an application for a new title, since it’s technically not the same car that was involved in the wreck.

Will Anybody Fix a Totaled Car?

No collision repair shop is under any obligation to repair a totaled car. In fact, many shops won’t touch a salvaged vehicle. Fortunately, there are some auto repair shops that focus on totaled cars. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying out of pocket and there’s no guarantee the car will ever be road worthy.

Can I Get Insurance on a Salvaged Vehicle?

Yes and no. A significant number of insurance companies won’t insure salvaged cars. And those that do will charge exorbitant premiums. Look into the few insurance companies that specialize in salvaged vehicles. Meanwhile, make sure to research the documentation needed for proving that the car is safe to operate. Generally speaking, at the very least, the prospective insurance company will want to see a detailed list of the damage that’s been repaired.

Don’t Worry, Just Be Informed

If you’re now the proud owner of a totaled car, don’t freak out. You have options. An honest collision repair specialist at Collision Centerz will tell you whether or not to repair a salvaged vehicle. We strive to provide honest feedback to our customers and help with any questions that may arise. Contact us today if you need any questions answered.    


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