Who Determines If a Car is Totaled and How Is It Determined?

If your car is involved in a car accident, and there is significant damage, totaled is a word that you may hear the insurance company or an autobody repair shop say. Learning what the word means, how it may affect your auto body repair and who determines if a car is damaged helps you to better understand more about this term and it can come into play following a car accident. 

What Does It Mean For a Car to Be Totaled? 

The simplest explanation for a totaled car is that a car needs more in repairs than it is worth. For example, if a car is only worth $5,000 and it needs $7,500 in repairs, it is totaled. However, insurance companies all have their own definition for a car to be totaled. Most companies use a percentage of the value of the car, typically 70 to 85 percent. If the repairs are below the value of the car, but above the percentage value that the insurance company uses, the insurance company still totals the car. For example, if a car is worth $10,000, but repairs are $8,500, the insurance company may still total the car because you are at the insurance company’s stated value limit. 

Who Determines If a Car Is Totaled? 

Ultimately, it is up to the insurance company to make a final call as to whether or not a vehicle is totaled. If a vehicle is deemed totaled and you do not agree, you do have the option to get second opinions or dispute the insurance companies’ findings. 

How Does an Insurance Company Determine If a Car Is Totaled? 

There are a few different ways that an insurance company may determine if a car is totaled. First, some insurance companies may send an adjuster out to inspect your vehicle. The inspector may be looking at the types of damage and the amount of damage, and based on that assessment, they may total a car. Secondly, an insurance company may defer to an auto repair shop. They may send you to your preferred repair shop to obtain an estimate. The auto body repair shop will inspect your vehicle and put together an estimate. The insurance company can then use the amount on the estimate to justify totaling the car or paying out the repairs. 

After your car has been involved in an accident, you need to bring it to a trusted and respected autobody repair shop. Here at Certified Collision Center Auto Body, we can help you with all of your automotive body repairs, ranging from minor scratches to large deep dents. Call us today to schedule your appointment today. 

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