If a Vehicle has Frame Damage, is It a Total Loss?

The determination that an automobile has endured frame damage is an unpleasant surprise to say the least.  If this determination is made by your insurance company or automotive technician, you might assume your vehicle is totaled.  However, frame damage does not guarantee the vehicle is considered a total loss. 

Exploring the Definition of “Totaled”

Insurance companies consider a vehicle to be totaled if the cost of the necessary repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle.  However, the value of the vehicle is gauged by the insurance company in this context.  If the cost of repairs is indeed higher than the vehicle value based on the insurer’s estimate, it is considered to be a total loss.  However, if the cost of necessary repairs is less than the value of the vehicle, it is not officially considered to be totaled as a frame shop can perform the repair and get the automobile back on the road. 

When in doubt, lean on a frame service that has proven it is worthy of its keep.   Our trusted automotive professionals are here to assess the true extent of the damage and perform comprehensive repairs.  In fact, modern-day automotive repair technology greatly facilitates our ability to return a vehicle’s frame to a condition that is like-new.  It is quite possible the repair of your vehicle’s damaged frame will empower you to enjoy several more years of use of your car, truck or SUV.

The Challenge of Repairing a Compromised Frame

An automobile’s frame, including the unibody frame, has the potential to be repaired.  Ideally, the repair will be successful to the point that the vehicle is returned to a condition that permits safe driving.  However, it must be noted that even if the frame is repaired, it will be weaker than it was prior to the collision. 

In some cases, it simply does not make sense to attempt to repair a compromised frame.  If the vehicle’s stability and corresponding safety will be in question even after a repair is performed, there is no reason to move forward with the repair.  After all, the last thing you want is to end up with your vehicle becoming a liability in the aftermath of a frame repair.  Even if the insurance company is adamant the vehicle has the potential to be repaired, a repair that does not stand the test of time or one that leaves structural insecurities will ultimately make your vehicle a threat to everyone else on the road.

In short, the severity of the damage to the frame ultimately determines if the vehicle is to be declared a structural total loss.  If the damage is so bad that it is uncertain whether a repair can be performed, the vehicle is considered a total loss.

Advances in Automotive Frame Repair Technology Provide Reason for Hope

Today’s auto body repair shops have access to the latest technology that can remedy several different types of automotive frame damage.  In fact, some such repair projects require minimal effort and cost much less than most drivers assume.  As an example, unibody frame machines are now capable of stretching out and straightening car, truck and SUV frames.  This machine connects to the rigid end of the automobile’s frame, relying on hydraulic pressure to stretch the vehicle back into proper shape.

Contact Certified Collision Center Today

If you are involved in any type of collision, do not continue driving, hoping your vehicle can hold steady even when something is clearly wrong.  Furthermore, it is a mistake to attempt a DIY repair.  Instead, let the experienced professionals perform autobody repair the right way on the first try.  You can reach our autobody repair shop for assistance repairing your vehicle after a collision by filling out our convenient online contact form.

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