What To Do If Your Automobile Is Totaled | Weblog

If in case you have ever skilled in a complete lack of your automobile, it may be overwhelming. Even skilled drivers can really feel panicked when their car is asserted a complete loss after an accident. Past the considerations of accidents and security, you may need questions on your subsequent steps and the insurance coverage course of.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance coverage, we perceive that the aftermath of a automobile accident is a complicated and unsure time. Discovering out that your automobile is taken into account a complete loss and received’t be repaired solely provides to the stress.

Understanding what “complete loss” means and the way insurance coverage firms decide it’s simply one of many many inquiries we obtain from shoppers submitting accident claims. We’re right here to offer readability throughout this difficult interval, explaining complete loss, how your insurance coverage coverage covers it, and the steps you must take afterward.

On this submit, we’ll break down when a automobile is taken into account a complete loss, which coverages come into play, and the required actions you must take after experiencing a complete loss.

When does a automobile qualify as a complete loss?

In case your automobile sustains important harm in an accident, your insurance coverage firm would possibly label it a complete loss. This occurs when repairs grow to be impractical or when the car stays unsafe even after fixing it.

Usually, if restore prices surpass your automobile’s precise money worth, it’s declared a complete loss. As an alternative of restore bills, you’ll obtain compensation based mostly on the automobile’s worth.

Insurers usually take possession of totaled autos. Make sure you switch the title, cancel the license plates, and take away the automobile out of your insurance coverage coverage to keep away from pointless costs.

How do insurance coverage firms determine if a automobile is a complete loss?

Your insurance coverage firms assess if a automobile is a complete loss solely after conducting their very own inspection of the car’s damages.

Most Massachusetts insurance coverage firms make use of the entire loss method (TLF) to determine on complete loss standing. If the price of repairs plus the salvage worth equals or exceeds the automobile’s precise money worth, it’s declared a complete loss.

Remember that variations exist resulting from your insurer and distinctive circumstances, so it’s smart to seek the advice of your insurance coverage supplier about this course of.

How is the precise money worth calculate?

The precise money worth (ACV) displays your automobile’s current market price. Insurers calculate it by subtracting depreciation from the preliminary buy value.

It’s vital to differentiate ACV from substitute value. Substitute value gives the complete worth of a brand new car with out contemplating depreciation. Nevertheless, this protection is normally restricted or comes with larger premiums in comparison with ACV.

Which insurance coverage coverages take care of totaled autos?

If one other driver is chargeable for an accident that totals your automobile, their insurance coverage coverage will cowl your car’s precise money worth.

If you’re at fault for the accident, or if the opposite driver leaves the scene or lacks insurance coverage, you must file a declare underneath the suitable protection in your coverage to get compensation to your automobile’s ACV.

The precise protection you must use is dependent upon the accident state of affairs:

  1. Collision Protection:
  • Handles damages brought on by colliding with autos or objects.
  • In case you’re at fault for the accident, your ACV reimbursement comes by means of collision protection.
  • Really useful for all drivers however not obligatory in Massachusetts if you happen to personal your car outright.
  1. Complete Protection:
  • Addresses damages from non-collision incidents like theft, vandalism, climate, and animal collisions.
  • If a non-collision occasion leads to your automobile being totaled, the excellent protection is used.
  • Much like collision protection, it’s not required if you happen to personal your car and don’t have a mortgage.
  1. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection:
  • Required in Massachusetts.
  • In case you’re in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, this protection reimburses your automobile’s ACV.

It’s vital to grasp which protection to make use of based mostly in your accident state of affairs. In case you’re not sure, seek the advice of your insurance coverage supplier to make sure you’re correctly lined.

What occurs if I nonetheless have a mortgage on my car?

What if the cash you obtain to your totaled car doesn’t cowl your excellent loans? That is the place GAP insurance coverage is available in. GAP insurance coverage, or “assured asset safety,” fills the hole between the precise money worth you’re reimbursed to your car and the quantity you owe in your mortgage or lease. Keep in mind, GAP insurance coverage is just not included by default – you must add it to your coverage by means of an endorsement if you happen to’re eligible.

How A lot Does GAP Protection value?

Including GAP insurance coverage to your Massachusetts auto insurance coverage will sometimes value a further $25 to $75 per yr. In case you get this protection by means of the dealership or finance firm, the price will range based mostly on components just like the automobile’s MSRP, mortgage period, financed quantity, and APR, usually starting from $500 to $750.

It’s vital to notice that many sellers and finance firms would possibly try to incorporate GAP insurance coverage in your month-to-month mortgage or lease fee by default. Subsequently, it’s essential to inquire about this and make clear earlier than finalizing your paperwork.

What steps ought to I take if my car is asserted a complete loss?

Right here’s what to do in case your car is totaled:

  1. File a declare: Contact your insurance coverage agent or supplier instantly to begin the method. Complete loss claims are filed like another declare in your auto coverage.
  2. Tow your car: Prepare to have your automobile towed to an auto physique store because you possible can’t drive it anymore.
  3. Collect paperwork: Be proactive and accumulate paperwork your insurer will want, such because the automobile’s title and gross sales receipt. If leased or financed, your lender/lessor will present the title.
  4. Analysis automobile’s worth: Search for your automobile’s present worth to get an concept of the reimbursement you would possibly obtain.
  5. Test mortgage standing: If in case you have a mortgage or lease, inform your lender/lessor in regards to the damages and the upcoming settlement.
  6. Store for a brand new automobile: It’s possible you’ll not get the identical automobile, however you need to use the reimbursement for a down fee on a brand new car.


Earlier than you do something, doc the situation of your automobile with images and notes. This proof can help your insurance coverage declare and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind, thorough documentation could make a major distinction in a complete loss state of affairs. Keep ready, keep protected!

Your Native Impartial Insurance coverage Dealer

Totaling your automobile will be unsettling, however being ready is vital. Perceive what triggers a complete loss and the way your insurance coverage covers it. This data lets you recognize precisely what to do in case your automobile is ever totaled.

For over 4 a long time, Vargas & Vargas Insurance coverage has been aiding people, households, and companies. We’re right here to deal with your questions and discover one of the best protection on the best charges. Attain out to us at 617-298-0655.

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