Auto Insurance: Comprehensive VS Collision Coverage

Auto Insurance: Comprehensive VS Collision Coverage

What is the difference between collision and comprehensive insurance? They might seem the same, but you can use them in different situations. You need to choose the right insurance policy for your vehicle. For that reason, it is essential to select the best one for your needs. Here is what you need to know about collision vs. comprehensive insurance coverage.


What Is Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance will pay for damages caused by things other than a vehicle accident. These accidents are often referred to as “acts of God or nature.” Accidents of this nature are considered out of your control, such as tree branches falling on your vehicle. Since you have no control over the branches falling on the car, that accident is covered under a comprehensive insurance policy.

Along with that, comprehensive coverage will pay for theft. These policies will cover the cost of replacing your car or fixing any of the damage. Comprehensive insurance covers other types of damage, such as fire, natural disasters, vandalism, animal damage, falling objects, and broken windshields.

Often, comprehensive insurance is subject to a deductible. You must pay that amount before any coverage kicks in to pay for the repairs. For most people, this is a $500 deductible. If you have windshield damage estimated at $900, you would have to pay $500 before any repair work can begin.

Why would you want to choose comprehensive coverage? One of the main benefits of comprehensive coverage is that it gives you peace of mind when you are away from the vehicle. By carrying comprehensive coverage, the policy will reimburse you if the car is stolen or damaged. However, in some cases, comprehensive insurance is not the best for minor damage. If you have a high deductible, your policy might not be beneficial for repairing your vehicle.


What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision coverage will pay for any damage that occurs as the result of a vehicle crash. These accidents can include a single-vehicle crash or a collision with another vehicle. There are some types of damages covered under collision insurance. Just like comprehensive insurance, this type of insurance also has a deductible. When you buy the policy, you will set the deductible amount. With a higher deductible, you will often have a more affordable premium.

A collision insurance policy will also have a few benefits. One main advantage is that you don’t have to pay high repair costs after a collision. If you cannot afford a high repair bill, this insurance will give you a little peace of mind. Collision insurance will pay for damages if you cannot find the other driver. When you have collision insurance, the repair process starts quickly. For those relying on the other driver to pay for the damage, you will have to wait to determine who was the at-fault driver.

When you file a claim with your insurance company, you will usually only deal with them. The other insurance company has less incentive to pay for your claim. In some cases, collision insurance can be used for a rental car, saving you a few dollars on that rental car insurance.


Can You Drop Comprehensive or Collision Insurance?

If the car’s value approaches the deductible costs or premiums, you may want to drop the collision or comprehensive insurance. For example, if the annual cost of your comprehensive insurance is $400 and the deductible is $600, you can save money by dropping a policy if the vehicle is worth less than $1,000. However, you still need to have insurance for your car. If you hit someone on the road or cause damage, you could be responsible for the damage and face other legal problems.


What Is the Difference Between Collision vs. Comprehensive?

Now that you know the basics of collision and comprehensive insurance policies, which one should you choose? The difference between a collision and a comprehensive policy is the driver’s control over the accident. What does that mean? Collision insurance will cover any event that is within the motorist’s control. For example, when another vehicle collides with the car, that is also covered with collision insurance. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage will fall under “acts of God or nature.” These accidents are totally out of your control, and they can include a heavy hailstorm, carjacking, or spooked deer.

Consider the impact of a severe storm. During the storm, you may face a few situations with your vehicle. For example, the high winds might cause a heavy branch to fall on your car. If you are driving, avoiding an object on the road could cause you to swerve, resulting in a crash. With the branch falling on your vehicle, you have no control over it. This type of damage will be reimbursed under your comprehensive policy. In the second scenario, you were driving the car and caused a crash, which is considered a collision. As a result, the collision insurance will pay for the damage.

Both of these accidents are common. For that reason, you need to know the difference between these types of damage. When you choose Elmer’s Auto Body, we will work with various insurance companies in New Jersey. Our technicians will complete an inspection to ensure the vehicle is restored to its pre-accident condition. You can count on our family-owned business to deliver exceptional customer service to you. We offer fast, convenient, and easy service for all collisions and repairs.

Need an “auto body shop near me?” Take a few minutes to schedule a consultation by calling (856) 218-0202.

What To Do After A Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

What To Do After A Car Accident That's Not Your Fault

When you’re involved in a car accident that you know was not your fault, it’s important to understand how to handle the situation. There are various steps to follow when you’re not responsible for an accident. You need to know how to protect yourself, how to receive fair compensation, and how to deal with any legal obligations that come because of an accident. Here are guidelines to follow.


What to Do After An Accident That Isn’t Your Fault

If you’re involved in an accident that you didn’t cause, there are guidelines as to what you should do. You want to:

  • Ensure Your SafetyAfter an accident, ensure your personal safety. The first thing you want to do is move your vehicle out of the road or highway and park it on the shoulder of the road or, if possible, a parking lot. Move the vehicle and put on the hazard lights to avoid being hit again. Check yourself and anyone else involved for personal injuries.
  • Contact the Police – In most states, if an accident occurs that causes injuries or death and an amount that exceeds $1,000 in damage, it’s mandatory to report the collision to the police. It’s also a good idea to call the police about a minor accident for documentation of the accident. The police will provide a report that relays information related to the accident, which includes the date and time of the accident, driver information, and anything else that applies to the collision. When you involve the police with an accident that wasn’t your fault, they can help you with evidence of the other driver’s liability. In fact, the police could be of help with citing the other driver for violations that show the accident was their fault, such as running a red light.
  • Do Not Admit FaultBe careful what you say to others at the accident scene and the other driver. You do not want to say the wrong thing to the other driver, the police, your insurance company, or anyone at the scene. Do not admit fault in the collision and don’t express regrets to the other driver. They could take it as an admission of guilt. Be patient and wait for a full report on who was at fault in the collision.
  • Share Insurance Information – You’ll want to exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. You’ll also want to contact your insurance provider to file a claim, even if you weren’t at fault. Your insurance provider will help you with the claim process, including going against the other driver’s insurance carrier. You may receive immediate relief in payment for your losses while awaiting the completion of the claims process. Your insurance provider will also pursue reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company.


What Information Do I Need to Know About The Accident?

You’ll need to know the location of the accident, as well as the full name, address, and phone number of the driver of the other vehicle. You also need to know their insurance company, insurance policy number, the color, make, and model of the vehicle that hit you, as well as their driver’s license number and the license plate number of their vehicle.

Besides these details, you also need to gather information at the accident scene as the more information you get, the better your case will be. It’s safe to say that when you get the information yourself, you can start the claims process much faster. Otherwise, you could wait several days for the report to be filed and available to you. Just because you weren’t at fault doesn’t mean your provider doesn’t need your information concerning the accident.

Try to get video, photographs, and any accounts from those who have witnessed the accident. Get witnesses’ contact information too, as you may need their accounts of the accident as well. Also, when you collect evidence from the scene and evaluate the damage, you can make a strong claim for liability against the other driver. If you require hospitalization after the accident, be sure and get a family member or friend to return to the scene of the accident to get as much information and evidence for you.


Whose Insurance Company Do I Call?

You’ll want to call your own insurance company first and inform them of the accident and explain that you want to file a claim. They’ll take your information and any evidence you’ve gotten together. This helps your insurance company fight against the other driver’s insurance company in the event they decide to file a claim against you.

Your insurance provider will want the details of the accident and will probably assign a collision repair shop once they give the authorization to approve your claim for repairs and any injuries. They’ll ask you to think about using reputable auto body shops in your area. It will be up to you to find one and get an estimate from an auto body shop near me.

Also, you’ll want to inform the insurance provider (insurance provider for the other driver) of the accident and tell them you’re filing a claim. You can’t automatically assume the other driver will report the accident.

Whatever your insurance covers, they still need the information you provide them with so they can deliberate with the other driver’s insurance company concerning the repair costs and any compensation for any injuries. When you file your claim with the other insurance company, be careful what you sign. You could sign for a lesser settlement or a declaration that relieves them of any liability.

Once your insurance company gives you the go-ahead in finding the right auto body shop to repair your damaged vehicle, you’ll want to consider who you should work with in the southern New Jersey area. Seriously consider Elmer’s Auto Body. We are a family-owned and operated shop and have been in business for 70 years. Our reputation is stellar and they provide excellent service to our customers. We will also make any collision work easy, convenient, and fast. Call us at (856) 218-0202.

Important Auto Insurance Terms Every Driver Needs To Know

When reviewing your current policy or looking for new coverage, you will encounter plenty of strange insurance terms. Some are simple, while others can be confusing. However, if you don’t understand these words, you might not select the right policy for your needs. Here are some of the most important auto insurance terms that every driver should know.



This word is on every insurance policy. A deductible is the amount of money you need to pay before the insurance company covers the claim. These amounts can vary depending on your specific policy. If you have a high deductible, your premiums will be low. A low deductible means a higher premium. Your low monthly bill can be convenient, but it could mean a high repair cost when you need to file a claim.



Now you know about the deductible, you need to understand the premium. This is the amount of money you will pay monthly, bi-yearly, or yearly. In many cases, the words premium and rate are used interchangeably. Some companies do offer discounts for those customers who prepay the premium or enroll in an auto-pay program.


Bodily Injury Liability

When you have bodily injury liability, you are protected from those accidents that injure or kill another individual. The insurance company covers all legal fees and judgments against you. In the case of lost wages and medical expenses, this coverage takes care of them. However, this liability coverage does not cover you or other passengers in the vehicle. If you want those expenses covered, then you need personal injury protection.


Comprehensive Coverage

Vehicles can be damaged in a variety of ways. With that, you want to have comprehensive coverage if an event or object damages your car. For example, damage from hitting an animal or falling tree branches are covered. In many cases, theft, storm damage, and natural disasters are included in this coverage policy. This coverage is known by several other names, such as Other Than Collision (OTC) coverage and physical damage coverage.


Collision Coverage

With collision coverage, your insurance policy pays out any monetary damage if your car hits an object or another vehicle. In most cases, these policies only cover the cash value of your car. For those older cars, you might want to skip this coverage. Along with that, some states do not require this coverage, but your lender might make it a requirement.


Property Damage Coverage

If your vehicle damages another individual’s property or car, you will want property damage coverage. This policy can protect your assets from lawsuits that are related to the accident. However, keep in mind that many insurance companies do not offer this type of coverage since it can be expensive. In almost all states, a driver must carry a certain amount of car insurance for their vehicle. You might see meager rates, but remember that those policies could mean high bills if you are involved in an accident.


No-Fault Insurance

One type of insurance is known as no-fault insurance. With this coverage, your medical bills are covered after an accident, and they will be paid whether you are responsible for the accident or not. Some states require no-fault insurance to stop those expensive lawsuits resulting from an accident. In these states, drivers cannot sue the other unless there is a serious injury or damage.


Medical Payments Coverage

Unfortunately, some accidents are severe, and they can result in life-changing injuries or death. Medical payments coverage pays for funeral costs or medical bills as a result of an accident. You and your vehicle’s passengers are protected. This type of coverage also protects you and your family members if they are hurt while riding a bike or walking down the street. You could be required to purchase a medical payment plan for those who live in a no-fault state.


Personal Injury Protection

If you are injured in an accident, you might want to consider personal injury protection. With this insurance, your medical expenses, lost wages, treatment costs, child care payments, and funeral bills are covered. Depending on your state, your passengers could be protected as well. Some policies will cover those pedestrian injuries. Like medical payments coverage, this type of insurance could be a requirement in a no-fault state.


Uninsured Motorist Coverage

While insurance is required by law in most states, some drivers fail to adhere to these requirements. In those cases, you might want to choose an uninsured motorist (UM) coverage policy. This plan will protect you from that uninsured driver. When you are involved in an accident with this type of driver, and you don’t have UM coverage, you have to pay those medical bills and repair costs out of your pocket. In many states, there is a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you must carry.


Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Another type of insurance is underinsured motorist coverage. This policy protects you if the other driver has liability coverage but not enough to cover your repair or medical bills. Some states do require this policy and uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and the vehicle.


Gap Insurance

If you have a leased or financed vehicle, it might be time to consider gap insurance. You might not understand the importance of gap insurance. When you drive your car off the lot, it starts to lose value. If that vehicle is totaled a short time later, you will still owe the full amount of your car, but you might only get the Blue Book value of your vehicle from the insurance company. This type of insurance can save you a substantial amount of money.


Need an Auto Body Shop Near Me?

Now that you know the basic language of insurance, you can fix your damaged vehicle. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we have the experience and trained technicians to restore your car’s appearance. We will work with the insurance company to get your ride back on the road. If you want to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (856) 218-0202.

Protect Your Nissan With Certified Collision Repair

It’s never pleasant to think about the possibility of a vehicle collision. These kinds of things can do a lot of damage, both to the vehicles themselves and to the people riding inside of them. Although we are not able to help with that second part, we can certainly help you to protect your Nissan with certified collision repair. Anything less is simply not good enough. Let’s talk a little bit about why this certification is so important when repairing a Nissan vehicle.


Why You Should Stick With A Certified Collision Specialist

There are a number of good reasons for sticking with a certified shop. First and foremost, let’s talk about the warranty issue. Nissan vehicle warranties will pretty much always stipulate that only certified mechanics can work on these products. Otherwise, the terms of the warranty will be considered null and void. This is a big problem because, if you find a defect or some other manufacturer problem with your vehicle, those non-certified repairs will cause your claim to be automatically denied.

There is also the issue of using the right parts. Most collision repairs will require you to purchase a new part or two, and some may require more than that. This is where many non-certified and low-standard body shops will see an opportunity to scam you. By charging you for a premium part and ordering a cheap aftermarket piece of junk, they can pocket the difference and make some extra cash from you. Needless to say, reputable and certified shops are not known for that sort of behavior. You should always make sure that your body shop uses OEM parts with lifetime warranties for each one.

Finally, we have the problems that come from specialized tools. Many vehicles will require specialized proprietary tools for proper repair jobs, and these tools can be very expensive. In fact, some of them can’t even be sold to non-certified shops and mechanics at all! However, certified mechanics and shops can get these tools at a lower cost, making it much more practical to buy them. Thus, going with a certified shop will ensure that only the correct and approved tools are used on your vehicle.


Nissan Vehicles Require More Specialized Work Than Most

There are actually some mechanics that will refuse to work on Nissan vehicles, as surprising as that might be. This is because they tend to use a lot more advanced engineering in their products and this can be a real problem for substandard mechanics. However, any shop that turns away your Nissan is probably not worth visiting in the first place.

One good example of this superior technology is Nissan’s “Safety Shield 360” system. By using a combination of sensors, cameras, radar, and sonar, the car can basically sense the presence of any other vehicle that gets too close. If such a thing happens, it will automatically slow or stop the vehicle with no input from the driver. If your car is equipped with this option, you must definitely avoid any shop that isn’t completely certified by Nissan. Just think about this: What will a low-tier mechanic do if he is forced to work on a radar or sonar system? Chances are, they won’t have a clue.


How To Recognize A Certified Nissan Collision Center

If you are trying to find the best Nissan mechanic, it pays to shop around and look at the details. For one thing, you should ask to see credentials and certs long before they ever touch your vehicle. Any shop that is hesitant or unwilling to show these credentials should be crossed off the list immediately. Remember that you are a paying customer and you have a right to know what kind of service you are buying.

That is the best way to begin, but you shouldn’t stop there. For instance, Nissan’s standards require that a Nissan-certified collision repair facility should be clean, well-organized, and professional-looking. If the place looks like your neighbor’s dirty garage, that isn’t a good sign at all.

You can also ask for some paperwork relating to their last inspection. Nissan, working through various third-party companies, will carry out periodic inspections of every shop in the Nissan-certified collision network. If they aren’t up to the standards, their licenses and certifications can be pulled. Thus, you should ask to see the results of their last inspection, as that will really tell the tale better than anything else.


Be Careful About Insurance Company Recommendations

In many cases, insurance companies will want their policyholders to visit one of their approved shops. However, this can be a bad idea in some cases. Your insurance company doesn’t determine the terms of your warranty and they are not necessarily interested in giving you the best quality. They recommend certain shops for financial and liability reasons, so those shops may not be fully approved by Nissan. The important thing here is to ask plenty of questions and vet the mechanic just like you would do with any other.


Post-Repair Scanning

Nissan requires post-repair scanning whenever one of their vehicles is repaired. This is something you should ask about, as it is another good way to recognize a high-quality body shop. If they are skimping out on the scan, who knows what else they might be forgetting?



If you want to get the best collision repairs for your Nissan, you might be asking yourself: “Where can I find the best auto body shop near me?” For those of you in South Jersey (or any adjacent area), Elmer’s Auto Body is the answer you seek. We are properly certified in all areas of Nissan service and we aren’t shy about proving that fact to all potential customers. You have every right to see our credentials, so we will never be offended at that prospect. To find out more (or to employ our expert services), feel free to call us at (856) 218-0202.


What To Do If You Get Hit by An Uninsured Driver

You might not want to think about it, but millions of drivers do not have insurance. If an uninsured driver hits you, it can lead to many financial and legal headaches. There are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the damages. Here are a few tips on how to handle an accident when an underinsured or uninsured driver hits your vehicle.


Insurance Is Mandatory

Almost all states require their drivers to have liability coverage. However, some drivers don’t buy insurance for their vehicles. In many circumstances, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the damage. However, it gets complicated when an uninsured driver hits your vehicle.


Your State’s Insurance Laws

Your specific state plays an important role in the insurance claim process. Some states are considered tort states, and others are known as no-fault states. Depending on where you live, you will have to take a specific course of action.

Twelve states in this country are considered no-fault states. In those states, you have to pay for damages regardless of which driver caused the accident. For those accidents in a tort state, the at-fault driver must pay for any damages. Whether they have insurance or not, they are responsible for the damage.

For those no-fault states, you can pay for damages and continue on your way. However, a tort state means that you have to deal with the uninsured driver who caused harm. This process can be a lengthy headache for you.


The Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage

The Insurance Research Council estimates that about 12.6 percent of motorists are uninsured. For that reason, it is important to have uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Many states require drivers to have this coverage for their vehicles. When you have an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist insurance coverage, it will protect you when a driver without any coverage hits you. This type of insurance covers property damage, car repairs, and medical bills.

You cannot carry more coverage than your insurance plan. For example, if you have $100,000 of liability coverage, then that is how much you can have for UM and UIM coverage. However, you will need to verify these details with your insurance company.

Make a Police Report

After you have determined the driver’s fault, you will need to report the accident to the police. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out on claims with uninsured drivers. They want valid evidence that you were not the at-fault driver. When you have a police report, it can help validate your claim. Don’t expect the police to rush to your location. It does take time for an officer to show up, but it will be worth the hassle.

You will need to exchange information at the scene, but that is often not enough for an insurance company. In fact, you never know if the information was valid from the other driver. A police report is your protection against any false claims. With this report, you will know that the other driver’s insurance and information are accurate.


File Your Claim

Once you have a police report, it is time to think about filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance. Your insurance will pay for property damage and medical bills. However, they will only pay up to a certain coverage amount.

You also want to file a claim as soon as possible. In most cases, you might only have 30 days to file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim. For those without UM protection, you can often file a claim under your collision coverage. However, your policy will not pay for expenses related to your medical costs.

You should know that many insurance companies are reluctant to settle on an uninsured motorist claim without evidence. For that reason, you want to have that police report and keep all your receipts related to the vehicle’s repair. It is crucial to keep a record of medical care from the accident. If you can prove the accident caused injuries and damage, it is more likely that the insurance company will pay for your claim.

Along with that, you want to gather evidence that the other party was uninsured. You should collect this information after the accident. The more evidence you can gather from the accident, the better chance your claim will be approved. However, your claim can be denied. In this case, you might want to hire an attorney to prove the other driver’s negligence.


Go To Small Claims Court

If an uninsured driver damages your vehicle, you must file an insurance claim with the police report. However, this step depends on your specific circumstances. An uninsured motorist claim might not pay enough to cover your medical costs or repair bills. At this point, filing a case in small claims court might be an option for you. In some cases, the uninsured driver might lack reliable income and assets. You will have to decide if you want to waste time and money with a court case.

Many experts advise that you press charges if you have a chance at winning the court case. However, if the other party does not have savings, income, or assets, you might not walk away with any money. If you have any doubts, you should talk with an attorney who has experience with auto accident lawsuits.

Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me

It can be a hassle when an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you. Whether they have insurance or not, you want to get your car back on the road. Once you have filed a claim, you can take your vehicle to a body shop for repairs. You want to find a professional auto body company that will restore your vehicle’s appearance.

At Elmer’s Auto Body, we can help with all your repair needs. Our team uses the latest repair techniques to fix your ride. We will make your car look as good as new. If you are ready for a consultation, please give us a call at (856) 218-0202.

Is My Car Totaled? How Insurers Determine Total Loss

Car accidents are incredibly stressful, especially if your car’s damage is significant. Many car owners worry if the insurance companies will total the vehicle. This information can help you determine whether an insurance company decides your car is a total loss or chooses to sign off on the repairs.


When Is a Car Considered Totaled?

If you are in a severe auto accident that causes extensive damage, your insurance company may decide to declare a total loss of the car. In other words, your car is “totaled.” When the car’s damage costs more to fix it than the car is worth, it is considered a total loss. However, that does not mean that the repairs will cost more than the vehicle’s actual value. With a totaled car, the insurance company has decided it is not worth the cost to repair it. Calculating the total loss value of a vehicle is not easy to determine, and those calculations may vary depending on the state and insurance company. You will want to know your vehicle’s value because it can help you negotiate a better payout for your accident claim. It can also help provide you with the correct information to determine if you are getting enough to pay off your car loan.

Insurance companies use many variables to determine the value of your car. Some of these factors include:

  • Vehicle type: High-end and classic cars are valued higher.
  • Age of vehicle: Newer cars have a higher value than older cars.
  • Condition of vehicle: Mileage, tire wear, interior, and other factors can have an impact on the value of your car.


If the insurance company determines that you may have contributed to the accident in any way, they could reduce the total loss value. This calculation varies by state. It is important to understand your state’s laws regarding contributory negligence. Insurance companies often use a percentage to determine whether the car is totaled. Most totaled cars have damage between 70 and 75 percent of the value. For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000 and the cost to repair it is $7,000, the insurance company will likely total it. Here are some other things to take into consideration for your vehicle.


Older Models

The damage to a new car needs to be severe for it to be totaled. However, insurance companies will declare older vehicles as a total loss, and that can happen even if the damage appears minor. Insurance companies total older cars because they have a lower resale value than newer cars. It is often difficult to find replacement parts for older cars, and it may be expensive to install those parts. If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company will pay you the car’s value before the accident. After an older car is deemed totaled, your vehicle will most likely be sent to an auto salvage yard. Some auto repair training schools might purchase wrecked vehicles for students to use for practice.

Old Model Luxury Car

Actual Cash Value

You might have heard about the term “actual cash value.” If you could sell your vehicle before the accident, the actual cash value is what you would receive for the car. Most traditional car insurance policies cover vehicles using a formula to determine the real cash value. As mentioned, if the repairs cost more than a specific percentage of your car, it might not be worth fixing your vehicle. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Many classic cars can avoid being deemed totaled. You also might not face a complete loss if you have additional coverage on your vehicle, such as gap insurance.


Determining Your Vehicle’s Value

There are some things that your insurance company will use to determine the actual value of your vehicle. Your car’s total loss is determined according to its year, make, model, physical wear and tear, mileage, and damage caused by your accident. If your vehicle is in excellent condition, it will have a higher actual value than an older and worn out car. However, you need to keep in mind that vehicles can quickly depreciate. Even those minor accidents can cause insurance companies to declare your car to be a total loss.


Checking the Value

Insurance companies use their proprietary software to calculate your vehicle’s actual cash value after an accident. Unfortunately, you cannot use their software to determine your vehicle’s value. However, there are a few ways you can get an idea about your car’s value. If you have been involved in an accident, you can determine how much your vehicle is worth. Write down the year, make and model of your car, and the mileage at the time of the accident. You can then look up your vehicle’s value through various websites, like the Kelley Blue Book, National Automobile Dealer’s Association, or Edmunds. It is recommended that you check all of these sources to get an average value as they may all provide different information. There is a word of caution. Many claims adjusters will tell you that insurance companies do not pay claims based on the Kelley Blue Book values.

You might also want to check out the classified ads to see car prices in your area. The quality, model, and features of similar vehicles can help you determine your car’s value, and you can use it as a base for your insurance negotiations. These resources will only provide a ballpark figure. You don’t want to get your heart set on these estimated values.

Vehicle Inspection

Make Sure Your Upgrades Are Counted

If you have made any recent repairs to your car, you will want to provide receipts to calculate your replacement costs. A new transmission or engine can make a difference in the amount of payout money from your insurance company. Add the value of any options included in your car, such as high-quality speaker systems or custom paint accents, to the average you determined in your research. This should give you a value close to what the insurance company will offer. If you have aftermarket options on your vehicle, be sure to inform the insurance company before they provide you with the value they intend to pay. For any of those upgrades, you must keep track of your receipts. These upgrades can make a difference in keeping your vehicle safe from being declared a total loss.

Avoiding Issues With Your Insurance

There are a few words of caution when dealing with an insurance company. It is not uncommon for many car owners to receive a total loss payout check less than the total of your car loan amount. These situations can occur in several different ways. For example, your car can depreciate faster than the rate you are paying down for your loan. Your car loan might also be extended with lower rates, or you have wrapped your prior auto loan into the vehicle’s current loans. If you have included any extras like taxes, title fees, and extended warranties into your loan, you might still owe money after an insurance payout. Finally, those little or no down payment auto loans can cause you to take a loss when your vehicle is declared totaled.


You Can Avoid Some Shortfalls

For those financed cars that have been totaled, your insurance company will likely make a claim check payable to you and your lender. You will have to agree with your lender on how to release that insurance money. In most cases, the lender will be reimbursed first, and any remaining money will be released to you.

If you want to avoid owing money on your totaled car, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this scenario. You should think about collision or comprehensive coverage. These coverage plans can help pay to replace a totaled vehicle. For many owners who are leasing or financing their cars, these two separate coverages are required on your car insurance policy. If your car is already paid off, then these policies are optional. However, if your vehicle is totaled without these coverage plans, then you may have to pay out of pocket to purchase a replacement vehicle.

Gap insurance will also make up for the difference between your car’s actual total value and the amount you owe on the vehicle. With new car replacement coverage, you can avoid these monetary shortfalls. All these measures can help you to combat any issues with depreciation. You might also want to pay down as much as possible on your loan, warranties, title fees, and taxes.

Signing Paperwork

Is My Car Totaled?

Those who have been involved in an accident are probably worried about their vehicles. In the worst-case scenario, your car will be deemed totaled by the insurance company. If your car has been in an accident, contact Elmer’s Auto Body today to arrange for a no-obligation consultation. With the latest technology, we can help get your vehicle back to its original condition. Need an auto body shop near me? Make sure to reach out to us. Please give us a call at (856) 218-0202.