How to claim a total loss from the insurance company?

The likelihood of claiming a total loss from insurance and getting a fair deal is high if you know how to do it. Therefore, in this article you will learn the essentials to recover your vehicle after an accident or, failing that, a fair compensation. Read this information carefully.

Basic knowledge for total loss claims

Before making a total loss insurance claim, there are three basic concepts you should be aware of:

  • Total loss. A statement from the insurer that the car is a total loss and will cost more to repair than its value.
  • Fair value. Appraisal value that fixes the price of the car below its commercial price.
  • Market value. Commercial price of the car determined by actual market conditions.

When the insurer declares a total loss because the repairs exceed the market value of the car, the compensation is set below the market price.

Variables that condition your claim

In order to make any claim, following an accident that caused damage to your car, you should consider the following:

  • At-fault or no-fault (Fully comprehensive insurance)

If you have comprehensive insurance, it doesn’t matter if the loss is your fault; it is up to your insurer to assess the damage suffered and determine whether to cover the cost of repairing your car or to compensate you.

  • At-fault or no-fault (third party insurance)

If you have third party insurance, the situation changes; if you are at fault for the accident, your insurer pays for the damage caused to the other car but not for yours. If another driver is at fault in the accident, you will have to discuss the repair of the damage or compensation with his insurance company, if he has one.

car accident

What are your options in the event of a no-fault total loss?

The two possibilities you have to claim from your insurance company are broken down as follows:

You demand repair of the car

To begin with, you need the estimate for the repairs. And don’t just rely on the damage assessment made by the company’s appraiser; look for an independent appraiser to verify the severity of the damage suffered by your vehicle. Other convenient actions are:

  • Research the price of the car on the market to compare it with the insurer’s appraisal.
  • Pay for the repair, ask for the invoice and enter the claim for the full amount.
  • Attach invoices for the car you rented while yours was being repaired.

Situations you may face? Wait a few months for the company to refund your money; the company may claim that not all repairs were necessary or that the damage was prior to the loss.

You claim compensation

If you wish to use the compensation to purchase another car, you will not be able to do so with a payment based on the market value of the damaged car. So, in addition to arguing with the insurer, you can:

  • Waive the right to keep the remains of the car, to avoid the discount you will receive for this concept.
  • Submit an appraisal or certification made by a professional outside the insurer.

Anything else? Seek the advice of claims lawyers to review your insurance policy, analyze the clauses and conditions and represent you before the insurance company.

Can I claim a total loss from the insurance company?

Yes you can, and you have every right to do so if you feel that the deal proposed by the insurer does not meet your expectations. But you don’t have to do it alone; in this type of situation, the legal support of specialized professionals with experience in this type of claims is essential.
Whether you obtain an amicable settlement or take your claim to trial, experts will help you defend your rights, without creating false expectations or unfounded claims.

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