How to Get More Money from Insurance for Totaled Car, 2022

How to Get More Money from Insurance for Totaled Car in 2022

how to get more money from insurance for totalled car

Share This Content!

If you have a totaled automobile, it is vital to make an insurance claim to ensure that you are getting all the coverage you deserve to avoid making enormous out-of-pocket payments. Here we will discuss what a write-off/total loss is, what happens in these situations, how your car value is assessed and common questions about write-offs and car insurance coverage. Are you interested in knowing how to get more money from for totaled car? This article is for you.

Dealing with the aftermath of a severe accident can be very demanding, especially when dealing with your insurance company, as well as the loss of your vehicle. However, understanding the right questions to ask and having a real grasp of how to get more money from insurance for totaled car can be very helpful. 

It’s time to learn how to communicate with your claim adjuster about a total loss and what you will likely face if your car has been totaled in an accident. you can also seek advice on how to get more money from insurance for a totaled car so that you will not be at a loss.

Understanding Insurance Claims for Car Write-Offs and Total Loss If Your Car Has Been Totaled.

What Is a Total Loss in Insurance?

Total loss means vehicles that are involved in car accidents and are damaged beyond repair. In this case, putting it back together would cost more than the vehicle’s actual cash value. A total loss is also used by insurance companies to mean that a car is a write-off. 

Insurers use repair costs, salvage, safety and financial considerations for damage estimates and repair timelines.

When Is a Damaged Car Deemed a Total Loss?

Your insurance agent may decide your damaged car is a total loss if:

  • It cannot be repaired safely.
  • Repairing it would be more expensive than what the car is worth, or
  • State laws expect the company to call it a total loss due to the level of damage. This damage is often referred to as a total loss threshold. Many states use a formula called a Total Loss Formula, which is the cost of repairs, and the scrap value of the car must equal or exceed the car’s pre-accident value.

What Do You Need to do to Write Off Your Totaled Car for Insurance?

Here, most car insurance companies follow almost similar processes to write off a totaled car. We will take a look at them:

File an Accident Claim:

 Following an accident, the initial step is that you file a claim with your car insurance company.

Repair Estimate: 

A claims adjuster assesses the vehicle and evaluating the cost to repair the damage is deduced.

Calculate Vehicle Value:

 The value of the car as salvage, deducted from the actual cash value of your ride at the time of the accident, is calculated.

Write-Off determination: 

Using a car write-off calculation, your insurer determines if the vehicle is a total loss. If your automobile is repairable, your insurer will pay to repair the vehicle


You will be given a cash settlement based on your vehicle’s actual cash value in your local market.


You use the settlement money to buy a car and replace the totaled car

What Elements Determine the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of Your Totaled Car?

Insurance companies consider some factors in determining the actual cash value of a vehicle:

  • Vehicle type: The make, model, and year.
  • Customizations: Extra or customized features, gadgets and tools added to your vehicle
  • Kilometres: The number of kilometres the vehicle has been driven since the beginning of its use.
  • Current State: The present condition and state of the interior, exterior, engine, and wheels.
  • Sale price: The present selling price for similar vehicles sold in your local market or city, as explained above.

Total Loss Car Value Calculator to Determine a Write-Off

Actual Cash Value (ACV) – Repair Costs + Rescue Value = Determination

Where Repair Costs + Salvage Value > ACV = WRITE-OFF

Where Repair Costs + Salvage Value < ACV = FIXING

For instance, let’s say the actual cash value of your car is $7,000. The cost to repair it is $9000. Using the car write off calculator :

$7000 – $9000 = – $2000

In this case, your vehicle would be a total loss because the value is less than the improval costs. Generally, your insurance company will pay the lower fee when they compare repairs and cash value.

If repair costs are near the current market value (about 80% or more), your insurer may still conclude that your vehicle is a total, even if it’s less than the market value.

Your insurer also includes other costs related to the claim, like rental cars, claims services, and so on.

How Does the Claim Adjuster Decide the Worth of My Car?

Your adjuster will make a note of your mileage (i.e. the number of miles your car has run), the condition of the body, interior, and tires, and any additional parts or equipment you’ve added. (Receipts are always helpful.) Based on your car’s pre-total condition, your adjuster will find similar models that are for sale in your area and will establish the total loss estimate on these comparable cars. This process is known as the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your automobile. You can check out Ontario’s regulations on the classification of vehicles.

How to Deal with an Insurance Adjuster for a Write-Off?

Many drivers do not know that they can and should bargain for a total loss settlement with their insurance provider. These tips will help you with how to get more money from insurance for totaled car:

Know how the total loss claims process works: You must know how your insurer came up with a settlement number, and whether it is satisfactory.

Don’t accept the first offer instantly: You do not have to take the first cash settlement amount offered.

Do your research: Do some findings to see your vehicle’s actual cash value in your local market. Look at the cost price for similar vehicles, consult local car dealerships, and check out automobile valuation tools.

Get advice: Your insurance advisor is a good source of guidance. They can assist you with your claim and help you negotiate with your insurance company. Reaching out to them for how to get more money from insurance for totaled car will be a smart move.

Please speak with your claims representative: After you’ve done your research, talk with your claims representative and provide them with a counteroffer to come to a settlement amount that is agreed upon hopefully.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) vs. Replacement Cost (RC)

There is a considerable difference between your car’s insurance value as determined by the insurance company and the cost to purchase a befitting replacement. The insurance company founds its offer on the actual cash value (i.e. ACV). This is the amount that the insurer determines someone would reasonably pay for the car had the accident not happened. The value usually considers such things as depreciation, wear and tear, mechanical problems, cosmetic blemishes, and supply and demand in your local area. 

Even if you bought a new car and drove it for only a year before the crash, its ACV will be significantly lower than what you paid for it. Merely driving a new car off the lot depreciates it by nearly 10%, and devaluation accelerates to 20% at the end of the first year.

A lasting solution to this problem is purchasing car insurance that pays the full replacement cost. This type of policy applies the same method to total a vehicle. However, after that, it pays you the current market value for a new car in the same class as your wrecked car. The monthly premiums for replacement cost insurance are usually way higher than those of traditional car insurance.

Selling a Totaled Car Independently

As soon as you have obtained your car’s salvage title and the check from your insurance company, you can begin looking for how to sell your car independently. Selling your car independently can assist you on how to get more money from insurance for totaled car.

You have some options to do this. You can sell it privately to an individual, sell it to any junk or salvage yard of your choice, part it out or sell it to an online service.

Selling it to another private individual could be the least profitable option. The chances are that an individual buying a totalled car is interested in parts or a repair project. They could know that fixing the vehicle will be exorbitant, or may only be interested in using some parts. As a result, individuals are likely to negotiate you down.

Selling it to a junkyard or a salvage yard yourself gives you the option of shopping around for different price points. However, this can be a tasking process, as you’ll have to demonstrate the vehicle’s shape. In some cases, you may even be required to pay the towing costs.

Parting it out requires some level of know-how, time and effort. Apart from needing mechanical knowledge to remove and separate parts, you’ll also have to make time to advertise and find a buyer. It could take a while before you finish, that’s if you manage to sell all the parts at all.

How Does a Total Loss Work When You Lease the Car?

If your vehicle has been totaled, contact the company from which you leased the automobile. In most cases, your insurance company will transfer a cheque straight to your leasing company to cover the vehicle’s current market value.

If your lease amount is higher than the settlement cheque, you are required to pay the remaining balance of the lease from your pocket. You will have to bargain the repayment terms with your lease company.

how to get more money from insurance for totaled car

How to Get More Money from Insurance for Totaled Car and Gap Insurance

Gap insurance could come in handy when your vehicle gets totaled. If you owe more on the lease or finance agreement than your car’s actual value, gap insurance will pay the difference. It will ensure you do not pay out of pocket, and it will cover the remaining balance of your lease or auto loan.

Keeping Your Totaled Car

If your car is declared a write-off, it is possible to keep it in some cases. What if you really love your totaled car, and you do not want them to whisk it away? Maybe you disagree with your insurance company’s assessment of the damages. While it mostly depends on your state’s regulations, most insurers have to follow the ‘made whole’ doctrine. This doctrine states that you can be restored to the same financial position you were in before the accident. However, if you want to keep a totaled car, you have to pay the insurer the money they would’ve gotten from salvaging it.

The best solution to keeping your totaled car is to grab it before its auction. Otherwise, you will likely lose access to it entirely based on local regulations. 

How to Assess the Fair Market Value of a Vehicle on Your Own

Asides from using the internet as a resource to gather sales data, contact your local dealers that sell make and model similar to your car. They will likely provide you with a higher sales price, which will only work out in your favour.

Try and have your sales figures in writing so that you’ll be able to use these to negotiate on how to get more money from insurance for totaled car. Ensure that you also source any information related to the additional options that your vehicle had, from special car stereos to reverse cams. Those added features could add more money to the check from your insurance company.

Once you’ve compiled all of your information and received detailed information from the insurer, it is now time to compare your research. When you do your research and come up with a “reasonable” and fair market price, try to squeeze a few more cash out of the insurer. 

Check to see where you might be able to squeeze your provider for the extra cash you deserve. When you call an insurance company to state your case and negotiate for the higher value, it is also advised to be courteous. At the same time, however, maintain your ground.

The insurance agent at your insurance company will be far more willing to help you out if you appear confident yet cordial.

Will the Insurance Company Get Me a New Car?

If your car is very new — for example, less than four months old — most major insurance companies will restore it with a new car.

But beyond that point, some companies still offer guaranteed replacement cover at an additional cost, so you don’t have to lose sleep over how to get more money from insurance for totaled car—it will cover a new vehicle. 

If you do not poses this coverage, your insurance company is expected to “make you whole,” as stated in your policy. This means that your company will pay you the car’s actual cash value, which is what it’s worth the minute before it was totalled minus the deductible for the collision coverage on your policy.

“Betterment” and the Price of Your Car

An adjuster can argue against “betterment.” If your car is relatively old, it may require new parts to repair it, making it more valuable than before the accident. Most insurance companies will either bill you for the excess value or reduce their payment in proportion to the increase.

If you are working on how to get more money from insurance for totaled car, it will be hard to argue betterment, you are essentially asking for the insurer to pay more than what your car is worth. To counter their betterment charge, you will need to prove that the parts will not increase your car’s value. Testimony from your mechanic or an expert witness could help in this case.

How Best to Protect a New Car against A Write-Off?

It is common knowledge that the value of a car starts depreciating as soon as they get off the lot. But, you can protect yourself from substantial value loss and a lower valuation if your car is a total. 

Since you are interested in how to get more money from insurance for totaled car, a limited waiver of depreciation endorsement will help ensure that your new vehicle (in most cases 2 years old or less) is insured against depreciation if you’ve totaled your car. Your insurer will refund you the complete value you paid for your vehicle. This cash can be used to buy a replacement.

Without this endorsement, the insurer will pay you a lesser value of your vehicle for a total loss claim.

FAQs: How to Get More Money from Insurance for Totaled Car

Can You Negotiate the Total Loss Value?

Suppose you disagree with the insurance company’s estimation of your car’s fair market value or replacement cost after a total loss. Since your aim is how to get more money from insurance for totaled car, you can dispute it and try to negotiate a higher payout. However, it isn’t easy to deal with the insurance company, as without substantial evidence, it is unlikely to budge.

What Will Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car?

Your insurer will decide whether the vehicle is a total loss, based on repair costs. Your insurer will supply payment for the actual cash value of the totaled car, minus your deductible on your comprehensive or collision coverage.

Can You Put Insurance on a Totaled Car?

Can I insure a car that was totaled? You can ensure a reconstructed vehicle, but obtaining full coverage auto insurance can be difficult, if not impossible. “Companies that state car insurance policies for a vehicle with a rebuilt title tend to offer liability only.”

How Do Insurance Companies Determine How Much a Totaled Car Is Worth?

Definition. A total loss car is generally recognized as a car that would cost more to repair than it is worth. If a car is currently worth $4000, and the cost of repairing the damage is $6000, it is considered totaled.

How Do I Get More Settlements from My Total Loss Vehicle?

5 Tips to bargain the best settlement for my totaled car
Know what you are trading with your car insurance company.
Prepare your counteroffer.
Decide the comparable (comps) in the area. 
Acquire a written settlement offer from the auto insurance company. 
Make your counteroffer for your totaled car.

What Will Insurance Pay for a Totaled Car?

Your insurer will decide whether the automobile is a totaled car based on repair costs. Your insurance company will issue fees for the actual cash value of the totaled car, minus the deductible on your comprehensive or collision coverages.

What If My Car Is Totaled and I Only Have Liability?

If it is an at-fault accident, your only hope of getting paid for the car’s cost or having it fixed is through your own insurance company. If you have only liability coverage and the accident is your fault, the only way the car will be improved is to pay for it out of your pocket.

How Does a Totaled Car Affect My Credit?

Totaled cars are paid off when you owe less than the car is worth. It is not a walk in the park to check the total effect of early payment of a car loan on your credit score. When you reduce your total utilization ratio, your score could escalate. When you shut an open account, your score could decrease.

How Do Insurance Companies Decide If a Car Is Totaled?

Insurance companies determine a car to be totaled when the vehicle’s cost for repairs and its salvage value equates to more than its actual cash value. They’ll likely use the vehicle’s actual cash value to determine the car’s worth when your vehicle is a total loss.

Can I Sue Someone for Totaling My Car?

You can sue, but the most you can get is the car’s value immediately before the accident. It could help with how to get more money from insurance for totaled car. Your opinion may be that the car has much more value to you. If you can’t agree on the price, the court system is there for you. If you were injured, you might be able to make up for the difference with your injury claim

Final Words: How to Get More Money from Insurance for Totaled Car

By equipping yourself with all the vital information and following the suggested tactics, you should be able to negotiate with your insurer for more money. Negotiation is possible no matter the kind of answer your insurance company gives after you have made enquiries. Also, maintain your ground, be confident and be particular about what you deserve. Ensure that while being confident, you are also cordial in your dealings with your insurer.

READ ALSO -> How Much Auto Insurance Coverage is Enough?

Pin for Later

Share This Content!

Scroll to Top