two black cars after an accident

Important tips on handling a total loss vehicle claim.  

If you make an insurance claim, your insurer may decide to write the vehicle off. They will call your vehicle a “total loss,” which is where the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds the market value. This means that it is no longer economical to repair the vehicle. Contrary to what you may believe, a total loss vehicle may not be badly damaged. If your insurer has decided to declare your vehicle a total loss, here are a couple of tips on how to handle it.

A total loss is calculated when the damages to your vehicle are equal to a certain percentage or greater than the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle. While no one wants to lose their vehicle, there are two things that you can do to help you handle a total loss claim.

  • Find your vehicle’s title. The vehicle’s title is required to process a total loss vehicle, and having your documents organized is crucial to moving forward with the settlement process quickly and efficiently.
  • Know your lienholder(s). A lienholder is the financial institution that has either leased a vehicle to your or given you the money to purchase the car. The lienholder’s information is essential as they have an insurable interest in the vehicle that is now totaled. The lienholder will need to be informed at this point, and they will provide a “Letter of Guarantee” that states what the current payoff is for the loan.

When a loan is paid off, a lien release is provided to the owner of the vehicle. When you receive this, it’s important to send a copy to your agency so your insurance company can remove the lienholder from your auto policy.

Keeping good records and documentation on everything related to your vehicle is a smart idea. Talk to the team of professionals at Sausman Insurance Agency for help finding the right rate and coverage to suit your needs. We serve Mifflintown, Millersburg, Lewistown, and beyond with quality auto insurance coverage.