What to do When Your Insurance Company Says Your Car is Totaled

Under Florida Law, insurance companies consider a damaged vehicle a “total loss” (totaled) when the cost of repairing or rebuilding it is 80% or more of its ACS, the actual cash value. For example, someone crashes into your car, which has a fair market value of $10,000. If the repair costs to your car is $8,000 or greater, insurance companies will declare your car a “total loss.”

A car that has been totaled in an accident.

Typically, you can choose to either have the total loss claim handled by your insurance company or go through the other party’s insurance company. If you have collision coverage and choose to get your car fixed or totaled out through your insurance, you may be responsible for a deductible.

You will not be responsible for a deductible if you choose to use the other party’s insurance company to pay the total loss of your vehicle. It’s a good idea to have both party’s insurance company submit a total loss offer, and choose the best of the two. But if the accident is surely the other party’s fault and you do not want to use your insurance to pay for someone else’s negligence, choosing to go through only the other party’s insurance is just fine.

There can be disagreements when determining the fair market value of the car. However, due to the high volume of cars sold in Florida, the fair market value is typically easy to ascertain. Insurance companies are not allowed to value the car at what it may get at auction, since auctions typically value cars less) not are you entitled to the sticker price of a used car on the dealership lot, since that tends not to be what the car actually sells for. Generally, the fair market value of a car with a certain mileage in a certain condition is easy to find out.

If you have financed the car, you will need to pay is off before you get the remaining value if the car. So, using the same example from earlier, if you still owe $3,000 on your car which was totaled at $8,000, $3,000 will be paid to the finance company and the remaining $5,000 to you.

Attorney Doyle-Palumbo will work diligently to ensure you are compensated properly for your vehicle expenses in accordance with Florida Law.

For a free consultation, please call 727-233-2134 or contact Personal Injury Attorney Wendy Doyle-Palumbo here. Attorney Doyle-Palumbo represents the injured who need to hire a car accident attorney in Pasco County, Hernando County, Citrus and Pinellas County, FL.