How do insurance companies decide to total a car?

My son totaled the family SUV when he was driving in the rain last week. He is okay, thankfully. We are unaware of the appraisal process or held value of totaled cars and would like to know any more information you can share!

Answer
I’m so glad to hear that your son is okay. In a nutshell, insurance companies decide to total a car when the car either can’t be safely repaired or the cost of the repairs is more than the car is actually worth.
If you have collision coverage and the insurance company declares your SUV a total loss, your provider will pay you the actual cash value (ACV) of your car (minus the deductible), rather than covering the repair bills. The ACV is calculated based on your car’s:
  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • Mileage
  • Condition (before the accident)
If you are looking for ways to save after getting higher monthly payments due to an auto accident, Jerry can provide you with competitive quotes in under a minute. Swapping is just as effortless. Jerry takes care of all the paperwork and phone calls and even helps you cancel your old policy—oh, and it’s free!
Carlos Kirby
Answered on Nov 08, 2021
Carlos has a BA in Media Production and Marketing from Loyola University of Chicago, as well as almost 5 years of content editing and writing experience. He has operated his own freelance creative studio over the past 5 years and aspires to be a Creative Director for an Creative Agency. He is currently located in Chicago, IL and enjoys creating digital art and taking bike rides along the lakefront during his free time!
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