A total loss means that the automobile is beyond repair or the repair costs are too high. Policyholders can be for or against this decision. Some people may want their car to be totalled for personal, financial or physiological reasons. Others may want exactly the opposite and keep their beloved car.
Who Makes the Decision to Total A Car?
Regardless of how you feel this decision is usually based on calculations, company policies and industry standards. This decision is usually taken by claims adjuster. They inspect the vehicle and make a quick judgement based on their experience or they go through the process of working out how much it would cost to repair it.
When An Auto Is Usually Totalled?
This could depend on many factors. The decision may be easier with the older vehicles as they are closer to their economic life. Many companies would total a car when the repair costs are at about 70-80% of its open market value which is the value a car would fetch if it was sold today in before accident condition.
Companies usually save around 10-15% when they wrap up a claim quickly. They don’t spare any more employee times, pay extra money to claim handlers and they do not have to deal with repair shops. Also, they could get money from salvage companies for it. Overall, they can afford to write it off quickly and do away another claim.
What Would Insurers Get Out of Totalling an Auto at 70% Repair Costs?
Some companies can even go lower than that and write off a vehicle that costs only 50% of Value to repair. Especially when the car is old this would probably please the policyholder. They could get their money fast and go out and buy another one. Perhaps they put a little out of their pocket or get a loan and buy a better one as well. In other words, they would have the option. The company can send the check next day. It is not a bad deal after all; one happy customer and one claim off their hair.
This would almost guarantee that the policyholder stays with the company. In that case, it would be better for the insurer that customer does not have accident repaired car. Besides, if the repairs are not satisfactory the company would be having the customer back on them. You never know how the repairs will turn out and if the customer would be happy with it.
What If You Don’t Want Your Car to Be Totalled?
You can talk to the claims adjuster but they would not probably reverse their decision unless their decision was on the border line. Another option is to buy the salvaged auto from the insurance company and get it repaired yourself. There are a few things to keep in mind if you are going to go this route.
First of all, you will need to get the vehicle tested for road worthiness and re-register after the repairs complete. In that case the title will be re-washed and most auto insurers you go for insuring it again will know about the crash. A few of them may decline to quote or apply a surcharge for its history.