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Total Loss Vehicle

What is Total Loss

Damage so extensive that the cost of repair exceeds the value of the property or in another word:

If the cost of repairing a vehicle plus projected supplements plus projected diminished resale value plus rental reimbursement expense exceeds the cost of buying the damaged car at its pre-accident value, minus the proceeds of selling the damaged motor vehicle for salvage then it is considrered a total loss.

And when an insurance company pays the vehicle owner to replace the wrecked or damaged vehicle with one of like kind and quality or when an insurance company pays the owner upon the theft of the motor vehicle.

How is total loss determined?

Automobile Total Loss Definition

Total loss

• If your vehicle is damaged, the insurance company may declare it a total loss. Usually, this is because the cost of repair is impractical. The insurance company must give you a written notice that explains total loss, including how vehicle values are determined and what to do if you disagree with an insurer's offer.

• If you submit a claim and think your car is worth more than you are offered.

• Insurance companies generally use evaluation services to come up with a value for your vehicle. You are owed what you would have been able to sell your vehicle for prior to the accident.

• Insurance companies must give you the valuation or appraisal reports they use to determine your vehicle's value.

If you believe your vehicle is worth more, you must prove a higher value. To do so:

1. Review the reports the insurance company used to determine the value of your vehicle and make sure all the options on your vehicle are listed.

• Correct any differences, such as year, make, miles, equipment, and condition.
• Make sure the comparable vehicles listed are in your area.
• See what your vehicle is worth after the company makes any corrections.

2. Check your local newspaper or the Internet for private-party and dealership sales. Web sites include: and

• Make sure the vehicles are comparable (make, model, mileage, options).
• Call to find out the cash price of the comparable vehicle. The company will not pay the advertised price.
• Document who you called, the date, and the response. Attach this to the ad.
• Send copies to the company and ask it to review what you found.

If you don't believe the other company is offering you enough, you can submit the claim to your own company as long as you have collision coverage on that vehicle.

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