What To Expect During A Total Loss Appraisal For Your Vehicle

One crucial thing to understand when insuring a vehicle is that it is not insured for the value at which you purchased it. Instead, the vehicle is only insured up to its actual cash value. This essentially means if you were to be involved in an accident, the insurance provider would only pay out up to what the car is worth and nothing more. This leads to an insurance adjuster needing to perform a total loss appraisal in some situations to determine what your payout would be if the repairs exceed the vehicle's value. Here is an overview of what to expect. 

The Initial Inspection

The total loss appraisal starts with an inspection of your vehicle, which is when the insurance adjuster gets a scope of the actual damage that has been caused so they can determine if the vehicle can be repaired or is a total loss. They'll start making note of all the various repairs that have to be made to get your vehicle back on the road.

The Repair Research

The insurance adjuster then takes all of that information back to their office and starts doing research on the repairs. This is based on what it will cost for your vehicle's specific model, make, and year. For example, if you were rear-ended by another car, there will likely be specific parts that need to be ordered for the rear bumper, and then factor in the labor to have the work done.

The Actual Cost Value Research

Research will then need to be done to determine the vehicle's actual cash value. This is also done by considering the model, make, and year of the car, but considers other factors as well. This includes how many miles the vehicle has been driven, the condition of the vehicle, and what similar vehicles have sold for.

The Report Creation

The insurance adjuster will then create a report with all their findings, which documents the cost of the repairs and the value of your vehicle. They'll then be able to determine if at first glance the vehicle will be considered a total loss or if the insurance company will attempt to have the car fixed. If the repair value is close to the value of the car, further research may be done to determine actual repair costs with auto and body shops to verify if the car is in fact considered a total loss. 

For more information on total loss appraisals, contact a professional near you.