Saying goodbye to something you love or need is never easy. A car is an essential piece of equipment to most of us, without which our everyday activities are severely impacted. Without it, you can’t pick up the kids from school and getting to work becomes a significant problem.
Total loss accidents encompass everything from hitting a deer to disastrous collisions. In some cases, the physical car damage may not appear to be that bad. Yet, due to expensive parts needing replacement, the repairs may exceed the vehicle’s value, resulting in it being written off.
Whatever the reason behind your insurer’s decision, dealing with a total loss accident is more intricate than getting your car repaired. These claims typically involve more steps than usual, and knowing what to do is essential. It’ll speed up the process, ensuring that you get compensated quicker.
Common causes leading to total loss collisions include:
However, having a thorough understanding of the situation and knowing what to do with a totalled car can help. These options are discussed below.
Take the Money from Your Car Insurance
Your first option is to take the insurer’s money and use it to buy a new vehicle or settle the outstanding balance on the damaged one. Following an accident, the at-fault driver or your insurance will inform you of the automobile’s actual cash value. They’ll then make a decision to total your car primarily based on repair costs.
The various provinces and insurance companies all have their own formula for determining a totalled vehicle. However, should the vehicle damage exceed 51 percent of the car’s overall value, it’s at the insurer’s discretion to either fix or write it off.
After determining the value, the insurer will compensate you with that amount; less the deductible should you claim from your own policy. In essence, the insurance company bought the damaged car from you, and they retain the vehicle’s title.
Should you need help dealing with the insurance companies, Diamond & Diamond can assist you. Our team of lawyers has the experience and knowledge to negotiate on your behalf.
Keep Your Totalled Car and Have it Fixed
You want to consider keeping the car if you can still safely drive or have it towed to a repair shop.
Taking this route leaves you with one of two choices. You can decide not to file a claim and pay for the damages out-of-pocket. Alternatively, you can file a claim and opt to keep your car, should the insurance allow you to do so.
However, you won’t receive the full compensation amount. Instead, the settlement offer will be decreased by the vehicle’s salvage price and a deductible, should the accident be your fault. The insurer will issue you with a cheque for the excess amount and a salvage title.
Assuming you settle for this option, you’ll need to obtain a rebuilt title and roadworthy certificate for the car. If you can do the work yourself or have a friend that can do it for you, fixing a totalled vehicle may be worth it.
It’s important to note that it’s usually up to the insurer to determine the compensation amount that you’ll get from them.
Salvage Parts of Your Totalled Car and Sell Them
If your budget doesn’t allow for you to fix your damaged vehicle out-of-pocket, you’ve got the option to salvage and sell its parts.
New parts are typically a lot more expensive than high-quality used parts. For this reason, most car owners are willing to pay good money for working components that are hard-to-find or no longer in production to fix their vehicles.
Entities that frequently buy salvaged parts include:
- Repair shops
- Local mechanics
- Online groups or forums
- Scrap yards
Alternatively, you can also use the parts to fix another car you may have.
Donate Your Totalled Car
Another option you may want to consider is giving your totalled car to charity. Donation services will collect the vehicle from where it’s kept, tow it at their cost and sell the salvaged parts to gain funds for the foundation. Taking this route will entitle you to a tax deduction for the depreciated value of the vehicle.
The immediate aftermath of a car accident is exceptionally chaotic. In case of emergency, reach out to an Ontario personal lawyer from Diamond & Diamond to guide you through the insurance claim process.
Send Your Totalled Car To The Junkyard
From time-to-time, insurance payouts aren’t significant enough to be useful or meaningful. If you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with the insurer or don’t have the time and patience to do so, you can send the totalled car to the junkyard.
Many scrap dealers will tow your vehicle for free and are usually willing to pay a reasonable sum for it. However, it’s advisable to get an estimated value of your totalled car before deciding to negotiate or deal with a junkyard.
Contact an Ontario Personal Lawyer from Diamond & Diamond
Suppose you need help negotiating with insurers or have recently been injured in a car accident. In that case, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond can help you file a timely claim. Our law firm serves clients throughout the Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia area.
We’ve earned a reputation for being a proactive and assertive firm, applying our experience and knowledge to protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Diamond & Diamond lawyer, call 1-800-567-HURT (4878) or use our online case evaluation tool.