What to Do If Your Car's Been Totaled in an Accident

What to Do If Your Car's Been Totaled in an Accident

It’s easy to be swept up in shock, confusion, and regret following a car accident. Even after the early stages, emotions run high, especially if your car has been declared a total loss. 

“Total loss” means that your vehicle suffered enough damage that the cost to repair it is higher than the amount your car is worth. And depending on the kind of car insurance you carry, you may be entirely responsible for repairing or replacing your vehicle.  

Settling an insurance claim and getting back on the road depends on a few factors, including:

  • Who caused the accident 
  • What kind of insurance coverage both drivers have 

Your circumstances will affect the results of your claim and how (or if) you receive a payout. 

If the Other Driver Is at Fault 

Vehicles registered in the state of Florida are required by law to carry property damage liability coverage. In this case, if the other driver has the required insurance and caused the accident, you will receive a payment for your total loss from the other driver’s insurance company. 

All you have to do is contact their insurance company for your next steps. If all goes well, and they’ve already admitted fault, you should receive a payout for the value of your vehicle. 

If You Are at Fault 

If you caused the accident or are found legally liable for it, then your insurance company may cover you. However, whether you’re covered depends on the kind of coverage you carry. 

Without Collision Coverage 

An insurance policy with collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident, regardless of the driver at fault. 

This is very important coverage, but it is not mandatory. Drivers are only required by state law to carry insurance to protect the other party. Many drivers go without collision coverage to save money. 

For this reason, whenever you purchase a vehicle or make other changes to your policy, review your coverage with a Florida insurance agency. 

With Collision Coverage 

With collision coverage, the damages you incur are covered regardless of the at-fault driver. If you caused the accident, you’re still covered. 

Stay in Contact with Your Adjuster 

Because the company they represent pays for the damage, your insurance adjuster is the one who provides information and progress on your claim. An Orlando insurance company can help track the companies that provide the best claim fulfillment times and get you back in a vehicle right away. 

Collect a Reasonable Payout 

Once your claim is complete, you should get reimbursement, minus the deductible (the amount you agreed to take responsibility for). 

Remember, you don’t receive the same amount you paid for the car, but its current fair market value. In other words, your insurance company pays you the amount you’d receive if you sold your car the day before the accident — accounting for wear, mileage, and damage. 

Adjust Your Policy with a Florida Insurance Agency 

If a gap in your coverage keeps you from a payout after a total loss, a local agent can help you find a new company or adjust your existing policy. With help navigating the complicated world of insurance, you can protect yourself in the event of a future accident. 

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