Who decides if my vehicle is “totaled”? Your insurance company makes the decision about whether or not your vehicle is a total loss, NOT the repair shop. At T.A.C.S. we specialize in writing estimates and doing quality repair work for your damaged vehicle. We always provide your insurance company with complete and accurate information before any repair work is started, although there are some damages that are not uncovered until the repair process has begun. The insurance company makes the decision whether it is financially worthwhile to proceed with the repairs or not.
At what dollar amount is my car considered a total loss? In most cases, vehicles are considered a total loss when the repairs exceed 75% of the value of the vehicle. Insurance companies have their own formula to appraise the vehicle’s value so this percentage will change depending on which insurance company you have.
How do they determine the value of my car? Insurance companies use various criteria to determine the market value of your car. For example, they take into consideration the mileage, condition and features that your vehicle has as well as recent sales in the market area. Tax, title and license costs can also be a part of the evaluation. We would advise you to check out kbb.com or nada.com to help you get a “ballpark” idea of what your vehicle is worth if in good condition.
What happens if the car is “totaled”? Once the insurance company determines the vehicle is totaled, they buy the vehicle from you at a fair market price AFTER you have paid your deductible. For example, a fair market value price may be $5,000. The customer deductible is $500. Therefore, the customer will receive a check for $4,500 (5,000-500). The insurance company will often sell the vehicle at a discounted cost to a recycling company or at auction to recover some of the costs.