How likely is a car to be considered totaled if the frame is bent?

The frame of my car is bent, but I want to keep driving it as-is. It still runs fine, but I’m worried insurance might consider it totaled. How likely is that?

Answer
Whether the car is declared to be totaled depends on the repair costs and if the bent frame poses a liability. Try getting a few quotes from mechanics or body shops. Be aware that a bent frame could cost you up to $10,000.
Once you have some repair estimates, find out how much your car is worth using Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. If the estimated repair cost is more than what your car is worth, it’s safe to assume your insurance will say the car is totaled.
If the repair cost is less than the car is worth, ask the mechanic or body shop if they think it’s still safe to drive. If not, keeping your car as-is will probably be considered a liability. The integrity of the car’s frame is important to protect you in case of an accident.
Another way to take care of your car and protect yourself is to purchase a roadside assistance plan. Jerry has partnered with Urgently to provide a comprehensive roadside assistance membership for only $6.99 per month.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 15, 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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