How To Get Insurance Company To Total Your Car

Assess the Damage Prior to Applying for Totaled Car Insurance Claim

Whenever a vehicle sustains major damage due to an accident, a person must decide if the cost of repairing the vehicle is more than the market value. To be eligible for a total loss insurance claim, the cost of repairing the vehicle must be more than it is worth. Insurance companies have certain criteria by which they make determinations on what counts as a total loss, and an individual must meet that criteria if they would like to get an insurance company to cover the cost of totalling their car.

The first step in determining if an insurance company will total a person’s car is to assess the damage. To do this, an individual must review the total cost of the damages. This includes parts, labor, and any other costs associated with the repairs. Once the total is calculated, the individual must then compare it to the market value of their vehicle. If the cost of repairs is more than the market value of the car, then the vehicle qualifies for a total loss.

In addition to assessing the costs for repairs, individuals may also wish to consider the age and condition of the vehicle. Insurance companies typically only total cars which would require a significant amount of work to make them drivable. Older or damaged cars may qualify for total loss, even if the cost for repairs is slightly lower than the worth of the car.

Another factor that is taken into consideration is safety. Insurance companies typically do not want to put cars on the road that do not meet safety requirements. If a total loss situation occurs, the insurance company may require extensive repairs, or they may opt to declare the vehicle a total loss. Instead of attempting to repair the car, they may simply pay the driver the actual cash value of the vehicle and scrap it.

Gathering Documentation and Submitting the Claim

Once a person has assessed the cost of repairs and compared it to the market value of the car, it is time to gather all the necessary documents. The first step is to collect estimates for the repairs. This includes an estimate for the necessary parts, labor, and any other associated costs. The individual should also provide any relevant documentation that can support their total loss claim, such as pictures and estimates from certified mechanics.

Once all the necessary documents have been collected, the individual should then submit their claim to the insurance company. This includes all the estimates and supporting documents which detail the damage to the vehicle and the associated costs for repairs. The individual should be prepared to answer any questions the insurance company may have.

When submitting the claim, the individual should also provide any additional supporting documents which may be relevant. This can include any information related to the vehicle’s age, condition, safety concerns, or any other relevant factors which may affect the insurance company’s decision. The more information the individual provides, the more likely it is that the insurance company will approve their claim.

Considering Alternate Solutions

In some cases, the cost of repairs is close to the market value of the vehicle. In these situations, the insurance company may consider alternate solutions. They may opt to repair the car, or they may offer to pay the insured the actual cash value of their vehicle and scrap the car. The insurance company may also provide additional resources or guidance to assist the individual in finding a replacement vehicle.

It is important for individuals to weigh all the options before making a decision. While it is usually more cost effective to repair the car, if the cost is close to the value of the vehicle, it may be more beneficial in the long run to invest in a new one. Individuals should consider the practicality of investing in a new car, as well as the overall cost, before making a final decision.

Negotiating the Settlement with the Insurance Company

In some cases, individuals may need to negotiate with the insurance company in order to receive a fair settlement for their totaled car. The insurance company may present their own estimates or offers which may seem low in comparison to the actual damage or market value of the car. To avoid settling for an unsatisfactory payment, the individual must be prepared to negotiate.

When negotiating, the individual should remain professional, keep their records and estimates organized, and reference the estimate they received from the mechanic. Additionally, they should be aware of the actual cash value of their car and the market value of similar vehicles. The individual should make sure that the settlement they receive is fair and reflects the actual market value of their vehicle.

Researching Local Laws and Regulations

In addition to the previously mentioned steps, individuals should also research their local laws and regulations. Different states have different laws regarding car insurance and total losses, and the individual will need to know what their rights and responsibilities are. They should also be aware of any consumer protection laws or regulations which may affect the claim.

By researching local laws and regulations, individuals can ensure that the settlement they receive is fair and follows the law. This can not only help the individual to settle the claim quicker, but it can also help to protect them from being taken advantage of by the insurance company.

Understanding Insurance Company Tactics

When applying for a total loss insurance claim, individuals should also understand the tactics that insurance companies may use in order to lower the settlement amount. Insurance companies may attempt to delay the process or deny claims in order to get out of paying the full amount. They may also withhold information or present inaccurate estimates in order to minimize their losses.

Individuals should also be aware of any time limits or deadlines associated with the claim. Insurance companies have certain time limits in which they must respond to claims, and they may try to extend the process in order to lower the amount they have to pay. By understanding the tactics insurance companies may use, individuals can ensure that they receive a fair settlement in a timely manner.

Preparing for Future Total Loss Situations

In order to ensure that a total loss situation does not occur again, individuals should take steps to protect themselves and their vehicles. This includes maintaining the vehicle in good condition, keeping up with preventative maintenance, and avoiding risky driving behaviors. Additionally, individuals should make sure that their car insurance policy has adequate coverage and that they are familiar with the coverage limitations of the policy.

It is also a good idea to save the relevant information and documentation related to the total loss claim. This includes any estimates or supporting documents which will be needed for any future claims. Having the information on hand will make the claim process much easier and less time consuming.

Comparing Insurance Companies and Policies

Individuals should also compare insurance companies and policies in order to get the most favorable coverage. Different companies have different levels of coverage and may be able to provide more comprehensive coverage at a more affordable rate.

When shopping for insurance, individuals should consider the company’s reputation, customer reviews, and the type of coverage they offer. They should also compare the premiums, deductibles, and any additional fees associated with the policy. By doing a thorough comparison, individuals can find an insurance policy that meets their needs and offers the best protection.


Getting an insurance company to total a car is not as difficult as it may seem. By following the steps outlined in this article, individuals can ensure that the process is smoother and more efficient. From assessing the damage prior to applying for a claim, gathering the necessary documents and submitting the claim, to negotiating the settlement, researching local laws and regulations, understanding insurance company tactics, and comparing policies from different insurance companies, individuals can make sure that they get a fair settlement and the most favorable coverage.

Marjorie Turcios is a seasoned leader and management expert with over 25 years of experience. She has held various leadership positions in private industry, government, and education. She is an advocate for creating win-win solutions and has worked to create successful, lasting change in corporations and organizations. Marjorie is an award-winning author of several books on leadership, mentoring and coaching, and effective communication skills. Her passion is to help others discover their potential and reach new heights in their professional life through her writings. Marjorie resides in Dallas, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to different places around the world, and speaking at conferences about her areas of expertise.

Leave a Comment