After you have been in an accident, the insurance company could decide to total your vehicle. While you may think you cannot get it repaired, you could be able to persuade the insurance company to “un-total” your vehicle. Otherwise, you cannot get the car fixed at your local auto body shop with that designation. Here are a few tips to get that vehicle un-totaled from the insurance company.
What Is Considered a Totaled Car?
When a vehicle has a high cost of repair that exceeds its value, it is considered a total loss. The insurance company often decides it is not feasible to repair the vehicle.
For example, if your car was worth $3,000 before the accident, and the estimate is over that amount, the insurance company could “total” your vehicle, meaning it is a complete loss.
If you want to repair your vehicle, you could run into issues. The insurance company is often required to register it as a loss. You might be issued a salvage title or certificate. With that, it cannot be registered, sold, or driven without repairs. Even then, finding an auto body shop that will fix these vehicles will be challenging since it could be a liability for them.
What Happens After a Vehicle Is Declared a Total Loss?
After the insurance company has deemed the car a total loss, you will be sent a check for the remaining value of your vehicle. While some people will purchase a used or new car, some owners are not ready to get rid of their vehicle. In some cases, you could dispute the claim. However, the burden of proof is on the owner, who must show evidence that the vehicle has a higher value or that the repairs are not too costly. What can the owner do to un-total a car? There are several ways to get the insurance company to change its mind.
First, the vehicle owner should talk to an auto body mechanic. In many cases, they will take a look at the car and provide an estimate for the damage. They will break down the hourly labor price and the time involved in fixing the damaged parts. Many auto body specialists will tell you whether you can repair the vehicle or if it is ready for the scrap yard.
Unfortunately, the auto body shop cannot repair some vehicles to working condition. Remember that you can get a second estimate for your vehicle, especially if you feel the decision to total the vehicle is incorrect. If you can prove the vehicle has more value over the cost of repair, then the insurance company may change its decision.
When you talk to a reputable auto body mechanic, they can give you an opinion on the vehicle. Some body damage looks unfixable, but the auto body shop can restore the vehicle back to its pre-accident condition with the right mechanic and tools. If you successfully overturn the “total” decision, you will get the repairs completed like a regular insurance claim. Take the estimate and send it to a trusted repair shop for the work.
Keeping a Damage Vehicle
You can keep the car if you do not challenge the insurance company’s decision to total the vehicle. The insurance company will pay for the vehicle’s remaining value, but they could subtract the deductible and salvage value.
Even if you want to un-total your vehicle, remember that safety should be your top concern. Any reputable auto body shop will repair a vehicle that is in safe working order. Sometimes, the damage is too severe, and the vehicle needs to be scrapped. However, some insurance companies are known to be overzealous, totaling a car for minor repairs. If the damage is just cosmetic, you can fix the vehicle for a small repair cost.
Yes, there are times when you can un-total your vehicle, fix the damage, and get back on the road. Once the insurance company agrees to un-total your vehicle, make sure to take it to a professional and reputable auto body shop to complete those repairs.
Untotal Your Vehicle
Getting the insurance company to change its decision about your vehicle can be challenging. If you want to un-total the vehicle, you need to determine the damage to the car, the severity of the issues, the location of the damage, and the condition of your vehicle. Some vehicles have extensive damage, and fixing the cars may not be feasible. However, there are other times when the insurance company does not want to pay for a minor repair. You can get them to reverse their decisions with documentation and a professional auto body technician’s estimate.
Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me
If you need help to un-total your vehicle, you must talk to a reputable auto body repair shop. At Elmer’s Auto Body, our technicians have the experience to inspect your vehicle and determine the costs of the repairs. We will work with you to give you an accurate estimate so you can reach out to your insurance company. In some cases, we can send the estimate right to the insurance company, helping reduce some of the frustration of the process. When it comes time to get those repairs completed, make sure to contact our shop. We are a family-owned auto body shop that has been serving the community for the past 70 years. Schedule a consultation by calling (856) 218-0202.