What to Do If Your Car is Declared a Total Loss After an Accident

totaled car on side of road, total loss

What to Do If Your Car is Declared a Total Loss After an Accident

Your car has been declared a total loss; now what?

If you’ve been in a major accident, then there’s a chance that your car has been damaged beyond repair.  In this case, your auto insurer may declare your car a total loss.  But what exactly does this mean for you and what steps do you need to take now?  Here’s how you handle a total loss vehicle claim.

Pay Your Deductible

If the other driver is at fault for the accident, then their insurance should handle your total loss settlement.  However, if their carrier doesn’t step up or if you are at fault, then you will need to pay your insurance deductible to access your insurance coverage.  Please note that your insurer will only offer coverage for the claim if you have collision insurance.  Drivers who only have liability insurance will not have financial help for a total loss claim.

Transfer Ownership to Your Insurer

Once your vehicle is declared a total loss, you will sign ownership of your car over to your insurance company so they can settle the claim.  In exchange, you will receive the settlement that you are entitled to.  You will want to keep your insurance coverage on your vehicle until it is officially signed over to your insurer to ensure that you have a layer of security.

Receive Your Settlement

Your car’s actual cash value (ACV) is the amount, minus any deductibles and fees, that your insurer will pay to cover the total loss settlement.  If you own your vehicle, then you will receive this payment.  However, if you lease or finance your car, then the leasing or financing company will receive the settlement.  Keep in mind that the settlement might be more or less than what you owe on your car.  If it is more, you will receive the leftover money.  If it’s not enough, then you will be responsible for paying the remaining amount.

This is what happens when your car is declared a total loss.  Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Staybull Insurance.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

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