Compare Car Insurance Quotes

In 3 Minutes, Save 32% on Average. Compare Quotes from 50+ Providers for Free!

totalled car

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to ask your insurance company to total your vehicle. After having a vehicle for a while, you might be bored and ready for a new one. However, you do not get to have a say as to whether or not your insurance company totals your vehicle. Your insurance company gets to decide on its own if it is in its best interest to total a vehicle. This may not be what you were hoping to hear, but insurance companies have their own process for deciding if a vehicle should be totaled or not. A decision is made within the insurance organization without outside influence.

Do You Still Have To Pay a Deductible When An Insurance Company Totals Your Vehicle?


Whenever you get into an accident and have to make a claim on your insurance, you have to pay an insurance deductible. It makes no difference whether or not your insurance company has to total your vehicle. You’re still going to have to pay the exact same deductible as negotiated in your auto insurance policy. Once the deductible is paid, your insurance company will decide if they want to total your vehicle or attempt repairs on it.

How Does an Insurance Company Determine A Replacement Value?

There are many different factors that go into deciding the vehicle’s current replacement value. However, these factors tend to be determined by an adjuster sent by the insurance company to assess the vehicle damage. When the vehicle damage is assessed, generally, if it is going to cost the insurance company a certain percentage of the entire vehicle’s worth to repair, then they will total the car. To appraise the vehicle, insurance companies hire third-party appraisers to estimate the value of the vehicle. Often times they also have estimators that work for them as well. Unfortunately, things like mechanical wear and previous problems are taken into account. Due to this reason,  when the value is decided upon, you might not get as much as you might think.

How Much Damage Does It Take For An Insurance Company To Total A Car


Generally, the first step for an insurance company is appraising your vehicle. Post appraisal, they should be able to decide whether to do the repairs or just give you the money. The more substantial the damage is to your vehicle and the longer your vehicle will take to fix, the more likely it is that your insurance company will total the vehicle. The main issue with repairing vehicles is the cost of labor. The parts for your car may only cost a few hundred dollars, but labor can be much more. Depending on the damage, it could take weeks for the repair shop to actually complete the vehicle repair. In this case, repairs can cost thousands of dollars. It often is simply not worth it for an insurance company to repair an older, used vehicle. It really depends on the circumstances.

Can You Keep a Vehicle Your Insurance Company Totaled?

Even though your insurance company might have written off your vehicle completely, you might not have. For many people, their vehicle has some sentimental value to them. Maybe it is the first vehicle you ever bought or you went on some special trips with it. No matter the case, you should be able to keep it. If you want to keep your totaled vehicle, your insurer will pay you the cash value of it minus the deductible you owe. After that point, you will be on your own. You can choose to make repairs to that vehicle or buy a new vehicle and use the totaled one as a parts car.

Will I Have Trouble Getting Insurance For A Totaled Vehicle?

When a vehicle is totaled, there is the potential that an insurance company will deny giving you insurance for it. Insurance companies often deny coverage even after repairs are done for totaled vehicles. After a vehicle is branded as totaled, it is more dangerous for an insurance company to insure. This is due to the fact that the car was technically salvaged from what was already categorized under unsalvageable conditions. Obviously, this makes the vehicle more dangerous to insure for an insurance provider as it is more likely to break down.

Is There Anyway You Can Fight An Insurance Company’s Decision?

There are times when you might think that an insurance company didn’t settle your claim in a fair manner. If you think that the estimated repair costs are too steep and want to keep your vehicle, you might have a dispute on your hands. If you want to file a dispute with your insurance company, you are best to write them a letter. Make sure that you provide them with proof that their decision is wrong. In a worst-case scenario situation, you can hire a lawyer to proceed with legal action. If it goes far enough and you cannot reach a settlement agreement with your insurance company a judge might decide your claim’s fate.

What Do I Do If I’m Not Happy with How an Insurance Company Handled My Claim?

not happy

There is not a whole lot that you can do if you are not happy with your insurance company after filing a claim.  You can always ask to speak to a supervisor instead of an adjuster. A supervisor has a little bit more power and might have enough to put your issue to rest. If that doesn’t work, you might have to pursue legal action against your insurance company. Unfortunately, this can mean waiting a while for your claim to go through. In the meantime though, you do not have to stay with your insurance provider. Once your claim is underway, you can change insurance companies whenever you like.

To Conclude

If you were hoping to get a new vehicle from your insurance company, you might be disappointed to find out that your insurance company is not totaling your vehicle. However, all is not lost if you are looking to get a new vehicle. Your insurance company will provide you with your old vehicle in repaired condition. You could always sell that vehicle and buy a different one. Although this route is not exactly a direct way to get a new vehicle, it certainly works. You should still be able to get a good amount of money from your old vehicle thanks to the newly done repairs.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.