What Determines a Total Loss Car After a Collision?

Total Loss CarTotal Car Loss in Lynnwood

We can’t tell you the number of times people have arrived in their damaged car and asked us if their vehicle is repairable or if it’s a total loss. What exactly defines a total loss car? There seems to be some confusion here based on the inquiries we get related to this matter.

“Total Loss” Explained

Insurance adjusters use a multi-faceted approach when determining if a vehicle is a total loss following a collision. For the most part, they consider a car a total loss if the cost of collision repairs exceeds the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). However, this may not always be the case. A vehicle with an ACV of $7,000 and requiring $5,500 in repairs may be considered a total loss. Your insurance agency makes the determination based on their own set of in-company criteria.

Many people ask questions about whether a car with a bent frame is considered totaled. It’s true that cars manufactured before the mid-1980s were almost always considered totaled when their frames were bent from a collision. However, car frames today are built with crumple zones in place. Crumple zones are certain areas of the car that are designed to crumple upon collision so they bear the brunt of the impact. This prevents the force from being transmitted to the driver and passengers. Because auto repair technology has improved dramatically in the last decade, a frame and its crumple zone can be repaired in most instances. Technicians employ computer laser measurement systems to measure the location and degree of damage.

We’ll Determine if You have a Total Loss Car

Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body to find out if it’s totaled. We often act as the middle-man between motorists and their insurance agency when determining whether a vehicle is salvageable. If it is, our crew can provide full repairs and other services, including auto painting to restore the aesthetics. Contrary to what some say, you can’t determine if a car is a total loss from a visual inspection alone.

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