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Debating Total Loss Claims

Debating total loss claims is something that is sometimes necessary in the process of dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. There are plenty of cases where the insured policyholder and the car insurance company are in agreement on the event and on the payout at the close of the claim. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few instances in which there is room for some debate. Learn how to get a better deal with informative discussion, similar to selecting the best SUV.

Deciding to Total a Car

One of these instances can take place around the decision to total a car; or alternately, to repair it rather than declare it a total loss. There are certain procedures involved when a car insurance company evaluates an automobile that has been damaged in an accident, and different companies might follow slightly different procedures or guidelines, but essentially they all work in the same manner. The choice to total the car or fix it hinges on the estimated cost of repair. If that cost exceeds a certain percentage of the insurer’s estimate of the market value of the car the day before the accident, they choose to total it and cut a check to the insured.

If the estimated cost of repair is less than that threshold, they will choose to go ahead and fix the vehicle. There are different issues that drivers come upon in dealing with these decisions. On one hand, there are times when they disagree with the insurer’s assessment of the estimated cost of repair. In most cases when this happens the driver thinks it is really going to cost more to restore the car than the insurer realizes. And part of the agreement between the insurer and insured in these cases is for that car to be restored to its preaccident condition.

In these cases, drivers usually want the car totaled because they don’t think it can really be restored to its original condition and they are afraid that they’ll never get the same vehicle back, so they’d rather just get some money to help them try to replace the car. Insurers are resistant in many cases because they feel that they can fix the car cheaper than writing that check and thus keep their own expenses down.

Insurer’s Assessment of Car Values

Another source of disagreement comes in the assessment of the value of the car. This, too, will sway some decisions on whether or not to fix the automobile. An insurer might not think a car is worth as much as you do, and thus will base calculations on totally different numbers and come to opposite conclusions that they would if they were using your numbers. And sometimes drivers even think that the insurance company is actually overestimating the market value of their car.

Regardless of the exact source of disagreement, in the end the conflict in these cases revolves around whether the right choice after an accident is to repair a car or replace it. This disagreement causes drivers all over the country a great deal of stress and headache. You might not know it, but there is a way to deal with these things and get a third party to come in and mediate. Arbitration is available to help car insurance companies and their insured policyholders to work out any differences they have regarding these questions.

Debating total loss claims is something that can come up from time to time. As a car owner you can get something done in regard to the choice to fix a car or a decision to total it, depending on the specifics of the situation.


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