There most likely will be a point in everyone's driving career when a collision occurs. Sometimes during these inevitable collisions, the damage to one's vehicle might be so significant as to cause a total loss. The procedures do vary according to the car insurance policy, but there are certain things that everybody should do if the insurance company declares a car a total loss. What to do depends on the unique position of the origin of the total loss.
The first thing to do if a car is declared a total loss is to get a copy of the car insurance policy. It is important to understand the insurance company's position in what expectations there are for their client and themselves. This is significant because the car insurance policy is the actual written contract between the client and the provider. Just by reading, clearer understanding of expectations and limitations can be obtained.
After reading the car insurance policy, determine if the total loss is a fair judgment. The insurance provider declares a total loss if the cost to repair the vehicle is greater than the vehicle's actual cash value. The provider will take into account different variables when assessing value. The insurance company uses fair market value techniques, legal regulations and customer influence in establishing the settlement offer with a client. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to err on the side of lesser payout, so it is wise for a client to check figures to insure that everybody's interests are being protected.
If a client determines that the value assigned to the vehicle or the cost to repair doesn't qualify as a total loss, then there should be a way to document this as proof. A client might feel like a vehicle is worth more than the insurance company is offering, but there has to be documentation shown to a provider that the amount offered was insufficient. Insurance companies determine value based on certain current conditions and the burden of proof otherwise is on the car owner. At this point, the company will either agree with the client or have an appraisal done to prove their offer is fair.
If the amount is settled according to car insurance policy, then the total loss process is complete. The car owner then can take the settlement offer and purchase another vehicle, or the owner can choose to retain the damaged vehicle to repair on their own coin. Whatever the choice, if the insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss, it is important to explore all the options available to ensure that the interests of the car owner are protected.