Following an extensive damage many owners may want the automobile to be totaled in their mind. They may worry about the quality of repairs and the safety of the vehicle after. Psychologically some owners may be dis-attached from the car. They may not feel comfortable with it having experienced a horrific accident in it. Or it could be completely the opposite and they would not want to lose their ride. People can be attached to an auto pretty quickly that it would be upsetting to lose it.
However, the decision to total a vehicle would be given by the insurance adjuster along the lines of company rules, procedures and principles. These have to be in line with the state regulations. Nonetheless most states may have general terms in relation to writing off an automobile. They may say that when the cost of repairing a vehicle exceeds its open market value the vehicle should be totalled.
Open market value of a car is determined by checking the price of a same maker, model, age and mileage one sold in the open market. This figure is generally determined by looking at the price guideline websites. There may be little room to put your input on that if you do not agree. Adjusters may pay a little more for extras that were installed in the car like heated seats and other features.
Such statements would leave the key decisions to underwriters. They would need to take into account consequential losses like car rental during repairs to own auto, storage charges and cost of dealing with the long winded claim. Also, they would deduct the salvage value from an automobile’s open market value to arrive at a lower figure.
At the end they may end up saving 10 – 15% by totalling it quickly. Quite a few companies would total a vehicle when the cost of repairs reaches 70 – 80% of cash value. Probably most policyholder would prefer cash than getting an older auto repaired. Furthermore, insurers assume that you will continue with them once the claim settled. Therefore, they would not want to take chances with a car that has been extensively repaired.
This decision can quickly be taken by loss adjuster as soon as they see the vehicle. An experienced adjuster can see that the auto is beyond repair. Otherwise, it would be taken to a garage and inspected by a mechanic and wait for the estimate.
After a car is totalled the owner may be able to buy the salvage back from the insurer. Some people may have body shops they can trust and get the job done cheaper. Or for other reasons they may like to keep the car and get it fixed themselves. The settlement may come minus the salvage value or policyholder pay for the salvage separately.
You can get any of your concerns addressed by insurance adjuster. They will tell you the process and why did they come to decision of totalling. If the damages are paid by a third party insurance company you need to talk to them to find out more as to what would happen next.