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My car was totaled! Now what?

If your car is declared a total loss after an accident, you may be wondering about your options. Here are answers to three common questions.
totaled car

1 What does ‘totaled’ mean?

The insurance company will look at your car’s actual cash value vs. the cost of repairs. If fixing your car will cost more than what it’s worth, your insurance company will consider it totaled. You can ask your insurance company what source it used to decide your car's value.

2 What if I think my car is worth more?

If you think your car is worth more than what the insurance company decided, you can try to negotiate. Be prepared to show what the car would sell for in your area.

  • Get quotes from used car dealers.
  • View prices online and look for local ads for similar vehicles.
  • Document any special features or custom parts on your car.

3 Can I fix it?

If you want to keep your car, let the insurance company know as soon as possible. The insurance company will subtract the car’s salvage value from the amount it was planning to pay you.

The car also may be issued a salvage title. After it’s repaired, you’ll need to get a new title from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles before you can drive it. Be aware that a vehicle that had a salvage title could be harder to sell or insure in the future.


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Last updated: 3/2/2018