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Can You Get Insurance on a Totaled Car?
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Can You Get Insurance on a Totaled Car?

Can You Get Insurance on a Totaled Car?

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Can You Get Insurance on a Totaled Car?

Do you have a vehicle that was recently totaled or you're thinking about purchasing a salvage or totaled vehicle from someone else? If so, you need to have all of the facts in front of you, and you may wonder, "Can you get insurance on a totaled car?" 

Insurance is one of the most important ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident, but it is also required by the law depending on the vehicle that you drive, and how you intend to operate that vehicle. If you fail to have appropriate insurance, this could lead to many different problems for you in the event that you're involved in an accident, and you're pulled over by a police officer. You need to understand what it means to say that you have a totaled car, and how this can potentially influence your insurance situation.

What Is a Totaled Car?

The phrase totaled car is used to describe those vehicles that have been damaged to the point that the cost of repairing that vehicle is more than what the car is worth, or that the vehicle cannot be repaired so as to be operable and safe for anyone else. You may discover that your vehicle has been totaled by the insurance company following an accident, or if someone intentionally damages your vehicle through vandalism or theft. This raises important questions for you, such as whether or not you can get insurance on the totaled vehicle or need to carry insurance. Insurance adjusters are the primary individuals who decide whether or not a vehicle is classified as totaled.

Basics About Getting Insurance Coverage on a Totaled Vehicle

Even if a vehicle is classified as totaled by an adjuster with your car insurance company, you can still get insurance coverage on it. In fact, totaled cars can be covered by  liability insurance, collision, property damage, or comprehensive insurance which varies based on the situation. If a totaled vehicle has a lease balance or a loan balance, your insurance company will first reimburse the lender before coming to you, so this is worth considering if you hope to continue driving the vehicle after the point that it has been classified as totaled.

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  • What Happens When My Car Is Totaled?

    When your vehicle is totaled, you file a claim under the right type of coverage on your insurance policy to get reimbursement for the value of the car minus any deductibles on your policy. Your insurance company pays out the actual cash value of a totaled car, which is how much the vehicle was worth immediately before it was damaged. Many different factors are taken into consideration to determine the actual cash value of a vehicle prior to the accident, including its model, age, make and condition. It can often be difficult for people to come to terms of agreement with their insurance company on the actual cash value of a vehicle. And in those cases in which you believe your insurance carrier is not giving you a fair payout or is even violating the law and your rights when it comes to damage recovery and full payouts, you may also have an additional legal claim against the insurance carrier known as bad faith.

  • Can I Keep My Car if It's Totaled?

    For many different reasons, you may be interested in keeping your vehicle even if the insurance company has classified it as total and will not have any plans to fix it. You can pay for repairs yourself and keep your car if it's totaled in the vast majority of states. Your insurance company will deduct the salvage value of the vehicle, what they would have received from selling the vehicle to a junkyard from your payment amount. 

    So it is good to get some quotes or understand the basic estimates going into this before you make a decision with your insurance company. It can be very difficult to get a totaled car back on the road if you plan to keep driving it, however. Your car will likely be issued what is known as a branded title or a salvage title if you decide to keep it and this will remain in effect until the repairs are inspected and completed. Your total loss will also be classified as part of the vehicle's history report, making it harder to get insurance coverage on it or to sell the vehicle in the future if that was something of interest to you. Consider all of these possible pros and cons when deciding whether or not it is worth it to keep a totaled vehicle and continue to drive it.

  • What Should I Do if I Want to Keep My Totaled Vehicle?

    If you were curious about whether you can get insurance on a totaled vehicle, and now have clarity over the fact that you can get insurance, but that this could come with other hidden costs, run some numbers with your mechanics and repair experts in the area to see what they would charge to repair your car. If you wanted to keep your car to operate it yourself and pay for those repairs out of pocket, you would certainly still need insurance coverage on the car once those repairs are completed and you take it back out on the road. 

    However, you will need to consult with your insurance company about potential increases in rates, both for the fact that the vehicle has now been through a major accident, and that you may have this accident on your driving record as well. This is if you didn't file a claim with your insurance company because the car was totaled, however, you may not have a corresponding rate increase on the policy directly. You'll always want to know this information in advance, however, so that you can make an informed decision about what is best to do with the vehicle.

    It's a good idea to get your vehicle looked at by more than one mechanic when you decide to repair it after a serious accident in which it has been declared totaled. You want to verify that you have a full understanding of all of the issues involved in repairing this vehicle and some of the challenges that you may experience even after it has been fully repaired. Going into any repairs, you should have a clear understanding of which ones are necessary to make this vehicle road safe. Make sure you review the specifics of your insurance policy to understand if any other requirements are needed in order for this vehicle to be operated safely. 

  • When Should I Get Insurance on a Totaled Vehicle?

    While you are still getting things fixed with your car or even contemplating filing a civil liability claim, it's a good idea to maintain insurance coverage on the car. If the coverage lapses while the vehicle is being repaired, however, you'll need to make sure that this lapse is addressed before you take your car back out on the open road and after it has been fixed. Remember that your car may continue to have a salvage title on it until the full repairs are made.

    Although it is very possible that a mechanic can fully prepare your car and allow you to get back on the road safely, you should always be aware of the potential impact that an accident has on a car. Many of the technology and safety gear inside a vehicle is designed to prevent you from suffering serious injuries in an accident, but once this has been bumped out of place or gone through an initial accident, extensive repairs may not bring it back to the full level for safety. 

    This is one leading reason why many people are concerned about purchasing a used vehicle that has been through multiple accidents, as they perceive this to be less safe than a newer vehicle or even a used vehicle that does not have an accident record. If you choose to get insurance on a totaled car, continue to use basic safety protocol on the road and try to avoid accidents. However, as you likely already know if your vehicle is totaled, it is not always possible to predict the actions of other people or to entirely avoid accidents. 

  • Do I Need an Injury Lawyer?

    If you have a totaled car, there is a high probability that you have a serious personal injury claim as well. In totaled car accidents, drivers and passengers inside the vehicle may have substantial damages for personal injury claims and these should always be shared with your personal injury law firm. 

    The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are here to help you when you have a serious injury claim, and if you have any questions about the process of recovering damages. If you have grounds to file a claim against an at-fault party, you need to share this information with your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Failing to provide your personal injury lawyer with the information needed to pursue a lawsuit in a timely manner could mean that you are blocked from recovering compensation under the state's statute of limitations.

    To learn more, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. 

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Last updated on May 03, 2023

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