How to Value Your Car When It’s a Total Loss
Written by Greg on June 1, 2017
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you may have learned that the insurance company is considering declaring the damage to your vehicle to be so significant the car is a total loss. If that occurs, the insurance company will provide you a claim settlement offer based on your car being determined to be a total loss.
You do not have to take an insurance company’s valuation of an automobile deemed to be a total loss as gospel. Rather, due diligence demands that you do your research in determining the value of your vehicle when it is determined to be a total loss. There are some resources you can access to help you in valuing your car when it is determined to be a total loss.
Definition of Total Loss
An automobile is determined to be a total loss following an accident if it cannot be repaired safely, legally, or cost-effectively, according to Kelly Blue Book. In many cases, an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss following an accident based on a cost assessment of repairs, contrasted with the value of the car.
In Texas, the insurance company should add the tax, title, and license fees to the fair market value of your car on the day of the crash.
Kelly Blue Book
The time-honored Kelly Blue Book is a resource that can be of assistance to you when determining the value of your car when it is determined to be a total loss.
Not only does Kelly Blue Book have basic information about automobile values, but the company also offers specific resources that assist a car owner in determining valuation following an accident and a declaration of total loss by an insurance company.
If your car can be repaired, is a newer model, and sustained substantial damage, you may wish to consider a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle after repair.
Obtaining a letter from your car dealer about the reduced value after the repair is a good start to making such a claim.
Texas Department of Insurance
The Texas Department of Insurance maintains an array of resources designed to assist Texans with insurance-related issues.
TDI material includes information associated with automobile accident claims, including the valuation of losses.
The Texas Insurance Department can be helpful if you have reached an impasse in resolving a car accident claim, including over the issue of valuing a totaled automobile.
Car Accident Lawyers for Personal Injury
If you have not only experienced damage to your vehicle but also were injured, you may want to retain a personal injury attorney to provide representation in the case. Most Houston car accident attorneys do not handle the property damage portion of a claim.
The more serious your injury, the more likely you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you maximize your monetary recovery.
While most personal injury attorneys do not handle the property damage claim, many will answer your questions about how to process the claim.
Kelly Blue Book: https://www.kbb.com/what-is/totaled-car/
Texas Insurance Department: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/