When you total a car, it means that it would cost more to repair than the vehicle is worth. When you are in a bad car wreck and your car is totaled, there are some steps you need to take.
Were you recently in an auto accident and have a totaled car? Keep reading to know what steps you should take next as a smart car owner.
Exchange Insurance Information:
The first thing that you should do when you are in an auto wreck or have totaled your car is to exchange insurance information with the other parties involved in your accident.
This is a vital step to take to determine who was at fault for the car accident. When you exchange insurance information, you will be able to contact the other people involved in the accident and will receive your proper dues.
Regardless of who is at fault, you need to exchange insurance information. They may help cover the costs of an accident, depending on your type of insurance coverage. If you don’t use insurance, it can end up costing you a lot more money.
Determine The Value Of Your Car:
When your car has been totaled, you may think that it doesn’t have any value. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes insurance companies declare a car as a total loss because the cost to make repairs exceeds the limit they have set.
Insurance companies have their own ways of determining the value of a car, but you may disagree. If you think that your car is worth more, you may be able to find reasons to get it repaired, rather than counting it as a total loss.
If your car really is totaled, you should know the value of your car. Then, when your insurance company offers you your payment, you can see if they are paying you a reasonable totaled car value.
Contact Your Insurance Agent:
Next, you should contact your insurance agent. Often, they will tell you about any specific steps that you need to take. Before you tow your vehicle, you can also ask if they will cover your tow or if you will need to pay for it on your own.
Your insurance agent will also be able to provide you with additional resources to help after your accident. They can help you find a rental car while your other car is in a body shop.
They may also ask you questions about your accident to get any additional information that they need.
Tow Your Vehicle:
Once you have determined the value of your car and exchanged insurance information, it is time to tow your vehicle to a reliable car mechanic. Sometimes, your insurance company will have a list of the best car mechanics that they do business with and they may even cover the cost of towing.
By taking your vehicle to an auto body shop, they will assess the condition of your car and will give your insurance company an estimate of the repair costs. After this, your insurance will determine whether or not your car is a total loss.
Get Your Documents in Order:
After any type of auto accident, it is vital that you get your documents in order. Your insurance will need access to many of the legal documents that show you own your car, including the title of your car and the sales receipt.
This will allow them to reimburse you for your car if it is totaled. If you don’t have vehicle ownership of your car, you will need to have your lender give the title to your insurance company.
See if You Can Keep The Salvaged Car:
Something that many people do not realize is that you are sometimes able to keep your car after it has been totaled. You can pay for the repairs yourself and get a salvage title. Having a salvage title shows that your car was involved in a total-loss accident.
However, you may be able to repair it on your own and make it safe to drive again. A salvage title is typically rebuilt and is still registered and safe to drive. If you can keep or sell the salvaged car, you can potentially make more money after your accident.
Consider Your Appraisal:
Finally, you need to consider the appraisal that your insurance company has offered you. As was mentioned before, some insurance companies may undervalue your car or may think it is not worth the cost of repairs. However, you do not necessarily have to accept the initial appraisal that your insurance company offers you.
If you think your car is worth more money or is still able to be repaired, you can ask for an independent appraisal. In some cases, this will save your car from becoming a total loss. In other cases, it will allow you to get more money in your payout from your insurance company.
It is perfectly okay to fight your appraisal and negotiate with your insurance company. If you do not agree with your appraisal, try to find another source that will offer you more for your totaled or salvaged car.
Learn More About What to Do After an Auto Accident:
Totaling your car can be frightening, especially if you are at fault or still owe money on your auto loan. However, by following these tips after an auto accident, you can take some of the stress out of your situation.
Do you want to learn more about auto accidents and similar topics? Check out the other automotive articles on our site to learn more!