If a repair shop considers my car a total loss, what does that mean?

"The other driver's insurance company accepted liability for the accident and I was told to go to a car shop to get an estimate for repairs. They told me it was a "total loss." What does this mean for the insurance payment?"

Answer provided by
Sophie Newman
Answered on Jul 27, 2021
Sophie Newman is a writer from California. Her hobbies include brewing her own kombucha, riding horses, and taking long road trips.
“If a vehicle is classified as a total loss, this means that the value of repairing it is less than the vehicle is worth.
In a total loss settlement, the other driver’s car insurance company will pay you cash value for the vehicle (provided you own it outright), which they determine using databases like Kelley Blue Book.
If you have a lien on the vehicle, the company will pay the lienholder directly, and you’ll be responsible if there’s a difference between what they pay and what you owe, unless you have gap insurance.”

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies