How do I negotiate with my car insurance company about my total loss car?

My car is reliable and always has been, but it’s old and not worth very much. I got into an accident, and the car insurance says it’s a total loss, which apparently means my car is gone now. How can I negotiate with my car insurance company to get my car back? I can fix it; I know I can.

Answer
I’m so sorry to hear about your car.
Your car insurance company has to offer you the actual cash value of your car. This is how much your car was worth before the accident. To be deemed a total loss, the repair cost is between 60% and 90% of that actual cash value.
Some states do not allow you to keep a total loss car, but you can ask your insurer to double-check. Let your insurance company know you want to keep your car, and they should give you the steps needed to keep it. This will change the amount of money you would be getting back as they would subtract the deductible and the salvage title amount. A car having a salvage title means you can’t drive it yet.
Once you fix up your car and the local DMV inspects it, they will determine whether or not it’s safe to drive again. If they do, you’ll be issued a rebuilt title.
Rebuilt titles can be harder to insure, but you can use the Jerry app to compare the top 50 insurance companies, and if you have any questions on insuring your rebuilt car, you can text one of our licensed brokers in the app if you have any questions. The average Jerry driver saves $879 a year on car insurance!
Lauren Smith
Answered on Oct 26, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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