What To Do If Your Automobile Is Totaled | Weblog

When you’ve got ever skilled in a complete lack of your automobile, it may be overwhelming. Even skilled drivers can really feel panicked when their automobile is said 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 corporations decide it’s simply one of many many inquiries we obtain from purchasers 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 it is best to take afterward.

On this put up, we’ll break down when a automobile is taken into account a complete loss, which coverages come into play, and the mandatory actions it is best to 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 automobile stays unsafe even after fixing it.

Typically, 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 automobiles. 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 prices.

How do insurance coverage corporations resolve if a automobile is a complete loss?

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

Most Massachusetts insurance coverage corporations make use of the whole loss components (TLF) to resolve 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.

Understand that variations exist attributable to your insurer and distinctive circumstances, so it’s clever 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 worth.

It’s essential to tell apart ACV from substitute value. Alternative value offers the complete worth of a brand new automobile with out contemplating depreciation. Nonetheless, this protection is often restricted or comes with greater premiums in comparison with ACV.

Which insurance coverage coverages take care of totaled automobiles?

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

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

The precise protection it is best to use is determined by the accident state of affairs:

  1. Collision Protection:
  • Handles damages brought on by colliding with automobiles or objects.
  • Should you’re at fault for the accident, your ACV reimbursement comes via collision protection.
  • Beneficial for all drivers however not obligatory in Massachusetts should you personal your automobile outright.
  1. Complete Protection:
  • Addresses damages from non-collision incidents like theft, vandalism, climate, and animal collisions.
  • If a non-collision occasion ends in your automobile being totaled, the great protection is used.
  • Just like collision protection, it’s not required should you personal your automobile and don’t have a mortgage.
  1. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection:
  • Required in Massachusetts.
  • Should you’re in an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, this protection reimburses your automobile’s ACV.

It’s essential to know which protection to make use of based mostly in your accident state of affairs. Should you’re uncertain, 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 automobile?

What if the cash you obtain in your totaled automobile 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 in your automobile and the quantity you owe in your mortgage or lease. Keep in mind, GAP insurance coverage just isn’t included by default – it is advisable to add it to your coverage via an endorsement should you’re eligible.

How A lot Does GAP Protection value?

Including GAP insurance coverage to your Massachusetts auto insurance coverage will usually value an extra $25 to $75 per 12 months. Should you get this protection via the dealership or finance firm, the associated fee will range based mostly on elements just like the automobile’s MSRP, mortgage length, financed quantity, and APR, usually starting from $500 to $750.

It’s essential to notice that many sellers and finance corporations would possibly try to incorporate GAP insurance coverage in your month-to-month mortgage or lease cost 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 automobile is said a complete loss?

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

  1. File a declare: Contact your insurance coverage agent or supplier instantly to begin the method. Whole loss claims are filed like some other declare in your auto coverage.
  2. Tow your automobile: Prepare to have your automobile towed to an auto physique store because you doubtless can’t drive it anymore.
  3. Collect paperwork: Be proactive and acquire 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: Lookup your automobile’s present worth to get an concept of the reimbursement you would possibly obtain.
  5. Verify mortgage standing: When you’ve got a mortgage or lease, inform your lender/lessor in regards to the damages and the upcoming settlement.
  6. Store for a brand new automobile: You could not get the identical automobile, however you should use the reimbursement for a down cost on a brand new automobile.


Earlier than you do something, doc the situation of your automobile with photographs 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 information lets you recognize precisely what to do in case your automobile is ever totaled.

For over 4 many years, Vargas & Vargas Insurance coverage has been helping people, households, and companies. We’re right here to deal with your questions and discover the most effective protection on the best charges. Attain out to us at 617-298-0655.

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