Have You Had A Vehicle Totaled...

If you have a vehicle total loss it’s wise to understand the process your insurance company may use to determine the value of your vehicle and to learn what options may be available to you so you can protect your rights.

A vehicle total loss exists when the value to fix the car is in the vicinity of to the total value of the car.

Once the insurance company determines the value of the car, they compare it with the repair estimate and they add the rental cost (if they would have to fix it, and you have rental coverage, the insurance company will take that into account), and determine if there is a vehicle total loss.

The insurance adjuster will also inspect your car for prior damage, rust, cleanness, etc. They will also look at equipment, options, and special features. They will determine if your car is in excellent, normal, average, or below average conditions (or similar terminology). The insurance adjuster still has the discretionary power to add or subtract certain things, for example, if they believe the car is in exceptional condition, they might add to their offer. If the car has prior damage, then they will reduce what they believe it is adequate.

If you feel the value the insurance company is offering for your vehicle, usually called their “final offer”, is to low you have the right to dispute it. Ask your insurer for your Vehicle Evaluation Report, they are obligated to provide it to you. You can dispute this report if you believe they are not taking into account things they should be taking into account (your low mileage, for example). It is important to you do not forget to take into account the original estimate of repair.