If you have recently been in an accident that has wrecked your car you may be wondering what your options are. If your car is completely totaled but you are still willing to keep it, you need to consider if it can be safely repaired or if it’s a lost cause. If the vehicle is under the insurance and you are still paying it, the decision will generally rely on the insurance company. The lawyers at Douglas and London also have some additional information that will help you better understand how these decisions are made.
Insurance Company’s Set of Metrics
In many car collisions, the decision on if you can repair your vehicle up to the insurance adjuster may not be made by the owner. Auto insurance providers employ a complex set of metrics that determine if the vehicle can safely be repaired. Insurance companies will never risk their policy owners being in an unsafe car as it may lead to several issues. Hence, they will always ensure that the car can be ‘safely’ repaired. In addition to safety, insurance companies will also consider the estimated cost of repair before making a decision. The car will be deemed as a total loss by the insurance company if all these factors add up to more than what the car is worth. In such cases, the insurance company will give you a check based on the car’s book value. If your car is financed, the bank will receive this check. Your loan balance will determine if you still owe anything.
Are there any reasons to repair your car if it has been totaled?
If your car has been totaled but it is still financed it can be a frustrating experience if you are making payments on it. This may make you believe that it is best to get your car repaired. However, here are a few points you need to consider while making your decision:
Your ability to repair the vehicle yourself: If you are a good mechanic and after inspecting the car you think that you can repair it for far less than what it would cost to replace it then it may be worth repairing it.
Bank’s opinion on a financed car: You are required to obtain the lender’s permission to keep your car even if it is totaled. If the bank refuses it then you have a legal obligation to return the car.
Insuring a repaired car: You need to keep in mind that even if your car is up and running after repairs, you may face issues while extending your insurance coverage since insurance companies are generally hesitant to insure a car that has been totaled.
Safety of Driver and Passengers in the future: If your totaled car is repaired to make it drivable, you may still be inviting trouble by compromising on your own safety and that of the fellow passengers if it is not safe to operate such a car.
Auto insurance policies and financing your car can be complicated matters. Hence, if your car is totaled, it is best to hire a good car accident lawyer who understands the nuances of accident policies and can provide an expert legal opinion on what are your options.