Who Gets the Insurance Check When a Car Is Totaled?

June 12, 2024

If your car is totaled by insurance, knowing what to expect can help manage the stress and confusion. Here's a concise guide to understanding the process and determining who gets the insurance check.


What Does It Mean for Your Car to Be Totaled?

An insurance company deems a car "totaled" or a "total loss" when the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds its actual cash value (ACV). This assessment incorporates factors like:

  • Severe damage that leads to repair costs surpassing the car's worth.
  • Older vehicles with even minor damage may be considered totaled due to their lower ACV.
  • Some insurers may declare a total loss if repair costs are a significant percentage of the car’s value, even if not exceeding it fully.

The Process After Filing a Claim

Once you file a comprehensive or collision claim, the following steps ensue:

Damage Appraisal

An adjuster assesses the damage to your vehicle.


Settlement Offer

Based on the appraisal, your insurance company provides a settlement offer.

Title Transfer

If you accept the offer, you transfer the car title to the insurance company and receive the settlement payout.

Determining the Payout

The insurance payout for a totaled car typically equals its actual cash value (ACV), which factors in:

  • Year, make, and model
  • Mileage
  • Condition prior to the damage

To receive a total loss settlement, ensure you have the appropriate coverage:

  • Collision Coverage: Necessary if you caused the accident.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Required for incidents involving vandalism, fire, or wildlife.

"Beneficiary of Takaful insurance payout in Wajir, northern Kenya" by International Livestock Research Institute is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/."

Receiving the Insurance Check

The recipient of the insurance check depends on car ownership status:

Owned Outright

The check goes directly to you.

Financed or Leased

The check is sent to the lien holder or leasing company. You'll need to notify them and follow their processes for satisfying any remaining financial obligations.

Dealing With Outstanding Loans or Leases

If you owe money on the vehicle, it can present additional challenges:

  • Remaining Payments: You must continue to make payments on a leased vehicle even if it’s totaled.
  • Loan/Lease Gap Coverage: This optional coverage pays the difference between your car’s ACV and the remaining loan amount.
  • New Car Replacement Coverage: If you have a newer vehicle, this coverage pays the cost to replace it with a similar make, model, and year, given certain conditions.

Remember, you cannot combine Loan/Lease Gap coverage with New Car Replacement coverage.

"Beneficiary of Takaful insurance payout in Wajir, northern Kenya" by International Livestock Research Institute is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/."

Facing the reality of a totaled car can be overwhelming, but understanding the specifics of the process and what to expect can make it more manageable. If you have any remaining questions about car insurance or need expert advice, companies like Plymouth Rock Assurance can provide the guidance and coverage you need.

For more information or to get a personalized quote, contact Plymouth Rock Assurance today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission

Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram