Calculating a Total Loss
The most common question asked after an accident is if a car is totaled or not. This is understandable considering most people want to have their vehicles repaired as soon as possible so they can get back on the road and back to their lives. So we always want to know right away, if repair is a possibility or if a vehicle is just totaled. Many times, cars and trucks can be fixed with the services of an auto body repair shop. Licensed mechanics can really do some incredible work. But in other cases, vehicles are just too far gone, so collecting a total loss settlement from insurance is best.
The guidelines for a totaled vehicle vary from state to state, but most insurance companies follow the general guideline of 75 percent. This means that a car or truck is considered totaled if it has 75 percent or more damage than the actual cash value of the vehicle. So if a car that was worth $2,000 has more than $1,500 worth of damage done to it, it is a totaled vehicle. It would cost more than the actual value of the vehicle to repair it. In this case, it would be advised to take the insurance settlement for a totaled car.
Many people also ask about airbags, and if a deployed airbag means a vehicle is automatically totaled. The truth is, a vehicle is not always totaled if the airbag deploys. Take into consideration the cost of the damages to the vehicle, plus the cost of replacing the airbag with a new dealership-grade airbag. If this total cost is more than what the vehicle is actually worth, then yes, the car is totaled. But this is usually the case for older vehicles. A new car that has had the airbag deploy, but didn’t sustain serious damage to other parts of the vehicle, can simply have the airbag and dash repaired, and the cosmetic damages fixed. It simply all depends on the cost of repairs, the amount of damage, and the value of the vehicle.