A car is considered “totaled” if the cost to repair the vehicle is greater than the estimated value of the car. It’s a term used to figure out how much an insurance company will pay someone for damage done to their car whether they choose to keep it or not.
If you’ve totaled your car, the insurance company will take your car and reimburse you for the actual cash value of it at the moment of the crash. You can also decide to keep your car, at which point you will receive the actual cash value minus the estimated value of the now damaged car.
Estimating Actual Cash Value
Insurance companies consider a number of variables when determining how much your totaled car was worth before the accident, including:
- Make and model
- Miles driven
- Condition of the car
The Kelley Blue Book is a popular consumer guide that estimates cars’ value in the same way. You can check the insurance company’s estimate with this resource to make sure you’re getting a reasonable offer.
Sometimes, the insurance company may decide to total your car even if the cost to repair it is lower than the actual cash value. In some states, they have the authority to use their discretion when totaling vehicles, rather than having their decisions regulated.
Indiana law requires a car’s damage to be greater than 70 percent of the actual cash value before the insurance company can declare it totaled. For example, if your car’s actual cash value is $2,000, the damage must cost at least $1,400 for the insurance company to total it.
Totaling a Car with a Loan
Not all insurance policies will cover the amount you owe on a car loan if the vehicle is totaled. Look for or consider adding General Auto Protection (GAP) to your policy. Otherwise, any outstanding balance on your loan will be deducted from the actual cash value you receive for your car. Without GAP insurance, you will be held responsible for paying the rest of your loan to the financer even if your car is totaled.
What to Do After an Evansville Car Accident
If you totaled your car in an accident, you have several options for recovering expenses. First, you could file a claim with your own insurance company, assuming you have collision coverage. Next, since Indiana is a fault state, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for damage done to your car.
If neither of these options produce a fair settlement, or the insurance companies try to stall your claim or payment, your final option is filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Doing so may help you get a more satisfying settlement or pin down an uncooperative insurance company.
Help from an Evansville Car Accident Lawyer
If you decide to seek legal action for your car accident claim, consider hiring an Evansville car accident attorney to handle your case. The lawyers at Hensley Legal Group have extensive experience with car accident cases and can help evaluate your personal injury claim to give you the best chance of a fair settlement.
Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.