Insurance for vehicle 'totaled' in a crash

Have you filed a collision claim with your own company? If so, the total loss settlement is subject to terms outlined in your policy. The insurer has three options - repair, replace, or make a cash offer. Repair is off the table in a total loss. The insurer may replace the vehicle with a comparable make and model. More often, the insurer will make a cash settlement. The adjuster goes to a guide or computer data source to establish retail value. If your car is not listed, the adjuster may use written dealer quotes. The final offer may be reduced for unrepaired damages. The figure can also be lowered for wear and tear, missing parts, and rust up to $500. Deductions must be itemized with a specific dollar amount. Your collision deductible is subtracted from the final offer as well.

You can keep your totaled vehicle if it is nine model years or older. Illinois Vehicle Code requires insurers to take ownership of cars eight model years and newer. Be aware the vehicle's salvage value will be subtracted from the settlement offer, and the car's title must be changed to show it is a salvage vehicle.

Your company will pay tax, transfer, and title fees up to the value of the totaled vehicle if you buy another car within 30 days of the cash settlement.

Your policy's appraisal clause outlines how disputes in value are resolved.

Or, perhaps you are working with the other driver's insurer. This makes your claim subject to terms outlined in the other individual's policy. Expect delays if that person fails to report the accident, cooperate in the claim investigation, or comply with policy conditions. Work with the adjuster as best you can. Ultimately, only a judge and jury can determine how much you are owed in a liability claim.