Total Loss Service

One of the services CSI-NC offers is in confirming whether or not the insurance company's offer is fair, based on the actual market for your automobile. Email CSI-NC or call and we will discuss your claim.

 

When is an automobile considered a Total Loss?

When the original estimated and/or supplemental cost of repairs reach or exceed 75% of the automobile's pre-accident actual cash value, you have a total loss. Auto insurers also have been known to deem an automobile a total loss when damages are first estimated at 50% to 65%. This is due to unknown additional cost of repairs, rental car, parts needed are not available or on back-order, which will also drive-up the rental car cost.

Note: Auto insurers along with auto body shops are in the business of making a profit and profit is not realized if the vehicle is declared a total loss. Therefore the auto insurer and body shop can intentionally keep the repair cost below the 75% total loss threshold and they will even hide from you a supplement cost that can put the cost of repairs over the 75% total loss threshold! And in today’s economy both auto insurers and the body shop will do just that. Especially those auto body shops on the auto insurer’s recommended repair shop list. So protect your interest, have CSI-NC on your side!

Where do auto insurers get their values from?

Under 11 NCAC 04 .0418 on Total Loss Motor Vehicles it reads: "if the insurer and the claimant are initially unable to reach an agreement as to the value of the vehicle, the insurer shall base any further settlement offer not only on published regional average values of similar vehicles, but also on the value of the vehicle in the local market. Local market value shall be determined by using either the local market price of a comparable vehicle or, if no comparable vehicle can be found, quotations from at least two qualified dealers within the local market area." 

CSI-NC has seen auto insurers use Kelly Blue Book and NADA values to settle a total loss, whereas others insurers will utilize a third party valuation information service (computer generated) to develop a local and non-local market value for a total loss vehicle. These computer generated valuation information services ARE NOT available to the consumer. These services  rely on information provided by the insurance company's field adjuster. Often the options of the vehicle are misstated or missed altogether which will negatively impact the settlement offered by the insurance company. 

Prepare in the event you car is a Total Loss

You need to plan ahead in the event your car may be a total loss. See the checklist below

  • If you have a loan on your car, locate the paperwork that shows who holds the loan, the account number and the lender's contact information

  • If you don't have a loan on your car locate your Title

  • Remove personal items from your vehicle, including license plates

  • If you plan to purchase a replacement vehicle in the event your vehicle is a total loss, begin researching your options and contact your lender to discuss financing.
     

What paperwork do I need before the insurer issues my payment?

You will need to obtain the physical title and a federal odometer disclosure statement for you to fill out. If a lender holds the title, the auto insurer will get the title from them, and you'll just need to sign a Power of Attorney. Keep in mind, there may be additional/differing state requirements.

 

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