What To Do If Your Automotive 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 asserted a complete loss after an accident. Past the issues of accidents and security, you might 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 gained’t be repaired solely provides to the stress.

Understanding what “whole loss” means and the way insurance coverage corporations decide it’s simply one of many many inquiries we obtain from shoppers submitting accident claims. We’re right here to offer readability throughout this difficult interval, explaining whole loss, how your insurance coverage coverage covers it, and the steps you must take afterward.

On this submit, we’ll break down when a automobile is taken into account a complete loss, which coverages come into play, and the mandatory actions you must take after experiencing a complete loss.

When does a automobile qualify as a complete loss?

In case your automobile sustains vital injury 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 a substitute of restore bills, you’ll obtain compensation primarily based on the automobile’s worth.

Insurers typically 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 expenses.

How do insurance coverage corporations determine 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 full loss formulation (TLF) to determine on whole 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.

Needless to say variations exist resulting from your insurer and distinctive circumstances, so it’s sensible 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 value. Insurers calculate it by subtracting depreciation from the preliminary buy value.

It’s essential to differentiate ACV from substitute value. Substitute value gives the total worth of a brand new automobile with out contemplating depreciation. Nonetheless, this protection is normally 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 underneath the suitable protection in your coverage to get compensation on your automobile’s ACV.

The particular protection you must use is determined by the accident situation:

  1. Collision Protection:
  • Handles damages attributable to colliding with automobiles or objects.
  • Should you’re at fault for the accident, your ACV reimbursement comes by collision protection.
  • Really useful for all drivers however not necessary in Massachusetts when 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 leads to your automobile being totaled, the great protection is used.
  • Much like collision protection, it’s not required when 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 grasp which protection to make use of primarily based in your accident situation. 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 on 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 on your automobile and the quantity you owe in your mortgage or lease. Bear in mind, GAP insurance coverage just isn’t included by default – it is advisable to add it to your coverage by an endorsement when you’re eligible.

How A lot Does GAP Protection value?

Including GAP insurance coverage to your Massachusetts auto insurance coverage will usually value a further $25 to $75 per 12 months. Should you get this protection by the dealership or finance firm, the price will differ primarily based on elements just like the automobile’s MSRP, mortgage length, financed quantity, and APR, typically 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. Due to this fact, 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 asserted 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 start out the method. Whole loss claims are filed like every other declare in your auto coverage.
  2. Tow your automobile: Organize to have your automobile towed to an auto physique store because you probably can’t drive it anymore.
  3. Collect paperwork: Be proactive and accumulate 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: Search for your automobile’s present worth to get an thought of the reimbursement you would possibly obtain.
  5. Test 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 might not get the identical automobile, however you need to use the reimbursement for a down cost on a brand new automobile.


Earlier than you do something, doc the situation of your automobile with images and notes. This proof can assist your insurance coverage declare and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Bear in mind, thorough documentation could make a big distinction in a complete loss situation. Keep ready, keep protected!

Your Native Unbiased Insurance coverage Dealer

Totaling your automobile could be unsettling, however being ready is essential. Perceive what triggers a complete loss and the way your insurance coverage covers it. This data 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 handle your questions and discover the very best protection on the best charges. Attain out to us at 617-298-0655.


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