Insurance may pay out for a totaled car. This depends on who was at fault and the type of coverage available on your policy or that of the other driver.
Colorado is an at-fault state. This means the at-fault driver’s insurance company must cover accident-related costs. Of course, that’s also dependent on the coverage
How does fault impact coverage of a totaled vehicle?
- When you’re at fault for the accident: If you caused the crash, read up on your auto policy. If you have collision coverage, the insurer may pay for the market value or actual cash value of the vehicle. In some states the insurer also pays for sales tax when purchasing a new vehicle. This is true in Colorado.
See if you have GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) coverage. If you still owe money on a car loan, it will cover the difference between what you owe and the vehicle’s market value.
- When the other driver is at fault for the accident: When someone else caused a collision, his/her insurer must pay property damage costs. Of course, this is up to the policy limits. If the individual has only the minimum amount of liability insurance required in Colorado ($15,000), it may not be enough.
Of course, another option is to file a lawsuit against the driver, especially if the accident resulted in severe injuries and the insurer is not offering a fair settlement. There could be many other costs that need addressing in a claim as well.
When does the insurance company consider a vehicle a total loss?
The insurance company will send someone out to look at the vehicle or get an estimate for repair costs from an auto mechanic. But they will also look at pictures taken of the damaged vehicle. This type of evidence may come in handy if you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
The insurer will compare the cost to repair the vehicle with its actual cash value prior to the accident. If the repairs are higher, it is a total loss. It’s important to make sure the actual cash value of the vehicle is fair.
A variety of factors determine whether the value is fair like:
- resale value; and
- condition of the vehicle before the accident.
Check the Kelley Blue Book for an estimate of the value of your vehicle and compare it to the insurer’s evaluation.
How can I ensure fair handling of my claim when a serious accident has resulted in injuries?
A totaled vehicle doesn’t always mean the individual has suffered serious physical harm. But when it has, it’s important to understand the impact injuries can have on an individual; for instance, the medical costs incurred (including future ones). Securing legal representation in Denver is the best way to ensure a claim addresses financial losses.
An attorney can help you figure out the fair value of your totaled car and ensure you get a fair insurance payout for the totaled car. If the insurer isn’t offering a fair value for the totaled car, you may have to take the case to court. Get help from D.J. Banovitz by calling 303-300-5060 or contact us online.