Being involved in a car accident is a really stressful situation, regardless of the magnitude of the incident. Besides suffering from injuries, we are left to deal with our insurance company, which might not be a friendly conversation at times. This is particularly true in cases on which our car was damaged so bad that it must be considered as a total loss. Dealing with a totaled car can be a complex situation on its own, as we need to get approval from our insurance company, and this process can take a while. Thus, we have a quick list of steps to take if your car just got totaled.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Just as with any other car accident we are involved in, the very first thing we need to do after calling the emergency services is contact our insurance company. The sooner we inform them of the incident and start our filing process, the better. Total loss claims can take up to a month to be finalized, so the last thing we want to do is waste time in the process, as you will want to get this issue solved as soon as possible. Once we have contacted our insurance company and filed the total loss claim, we’ have to deal with the car itself.
Make Sure Your Insurance Company’s Shop Gets the Vehicle
The next step of this process is to have our vehicle towed to a repair shop, even when no repairs will be made. In these cases, the best thing to do is to have our car towed to our insurance company’s preferred body shop, so that they can see the car, evaluate the damages, and report it as totaled. Since we know no repairs can be made, we really shouldn’t worry too much about the shop our company chooses. This will help speed up the process quite a bit.
Locate Your Title and Loan Paperwork
Once both the repair shop and our insurance company have agreed on our vehicle being a total loss, we need to start working on the paperwork. First of all, we need to make sure we have the title of the car so that we can use it as proof of ownership. Now, if we were still on a term loan, we need to locate those papers too. This will be particularly useful for your insurance company, as they will need to know the term and amount of the loan, as well as the amount that was still to be paid.
Determine the Value of Your Vehicle On Your Own
Your insurance company will determine the value of your vehicle, and in order to do so, they will consider several aspects, including model, make, and overall condition. However, it is always recommended that you take the time to do some research yourself and come up with a reasonable estimate. This will come in handy if your insurance company happened to offer you less than your car’s actual worth.