What to do if your car is totaled

What to do if your car is totaled

Accidents happen. A driver is late to pick up their daughter from daycare, runs a stop sign, and crashes into your car. A storm sweeps through town, uprooting the tree in your front yard, which lands on top of your car. Then boom, your vehicle is totaled.

If you have auto insurance, you’d probably expect your insurer to cover the damage. Luckily, they will if the repairs cost less than what the car is worth. But if they will cost more to repair than what it’s worth, the insurer will declare the vehicle a total loss. The company will then reimburse you for the actual cash value of the car — not the total cost of the repairs.

Here’s how it works.

What is a totaled car?

Insurance companies “total” a car when the cost to repair the damage exceeds the vehicle’s market value. They may also declare it a total loss if…

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