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Totaled Can be a Real Loss

Totaled Can be a Real Loss

In insurance terms a car damaged in an accident is considered to be "totaled" if the value of the car is less than the cost of repairs. When that happens, the insurance company simply reimburses you for the value of the car, minus any deductible. (If your car is more than four or five years old and you carry a high deductible, the odds that the car will be considered a total loss go down because you will have to make up a substantial portion of the value of the car through your deductible.) The value provided will be for a car in "average" condition; if your car was in better than average condition – fewer miles than normal, aftermarket parts or accessories, or exceptional cosmetic condition – you will need to provide documentation and proof that the car should carry a higher value. Low mileage is easy to prove; exceptional condition is much harder to prove, but photographs, repair and maintenance logs, and receipts and invoices can certainly help. The effort may be worth it; the money you receive as reimbursement may not be enough to replace your totaled car with a vehicle of equal value.

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