How do I keep my vehicle if my insurance company declares it a total loss?

My vehicle was deemed a total loss by my insurance. I think the damage is fixable and I'd like to keep it. How would I do that?

Answer
If you want to keep your vehicle after it’s deemed a total loss, you have a few different options! So don’t feel overwhelmed until you take a look at what’s available to you.
First, you need to negotiate with your car insurance company. Some companies will refuse to let you keep your vehicle and will only pay out the actual cash value of it. Others may agree to let you take ownership of your car, but won’t pay you the full value of your vehicle. You’ll likely receive a reduced settlement amount.
If they agree to allow you to keep the vehicle, you will need to register it as salvage. Reach out to your state’s DMV to determine what steps you need to take to do this.
Make sure that your current car insurance company will still provide coverage on a salvage title. Not every company offers insurance on salvage vehicles. You may have to request car insurance quotes from other companies to see who will insure the vehicle.
The cost to insure a salvage vehicle is often higher as well and many companies place a surcharge on salvage vehicles.
Before negotiating with your insurance company to keep your vehicle, be sure you can afford to maintain and insure a salvage vehicle. In some cases, you may be better off using the actual cash value of your vehicle to purchase a new one.
If you decide to take the actual cash value and purchase a new car, make sure you shop around for the best price on insurance with Jerry. Sign up in minutes to compare quotes from over 50 providers.
Emily Maracle
Answered on Oct 19, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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