Total Loss

What To Do When Your Vehicle Is A Total Loss

Vehicle Valuation Assistance:

Do any of us really know what our vehicles are worth? The vehicle’s fair market value can depend on the time of year, supply and demand, condition of the vehicle, mileage, plus many other variables. The value may even change depending on who you talk to.

So WHO or WHAT do you trust?

We have put together some resources to help assist you in determining the value of your vehicle.

#1 – Valuation Websites:

There are several valuation websites to choose from when determining the value of your vehicle. NADA & Kelly Blue Book are the two sites used by dealerships and consumers. Keep in mind, Kelly Blue Book will give values based on two criteria: private party & suggested retail. Suggested retail is the value you’d expect at a dealership considering refurbishments, sales commission and dealer advertising. This typically does not apply to private values.

#2 – Vehicle Value:

The value of any vehicle is typically somewhere between loan value and high retail. Most vehicles are considered average and sell at average retail.

Your insurance company may decide to use an independent evaluation tool which evaluates the value based on vehicles sold in your market. The insurance company should provide you with a copy of your appraisal which will itemize the considerations and typically list comparable vehicles within your market.

#3 – Valuation Considerations:

There are several important considerations and factors to keep in mind when trying to determine your vehicle’s values:

  • Condition of your vehicle.
  • Aftermarket accessories on your vehicle – it’s best to hunt down receipts for these items or find pictures of these items on your vehicle.
  • Consult experts who can assist you in negotiating the best reimbursement price for any added on related items to increase the settlement offer.  Otherwise, the Insurers who take into consideration normal “wear and tear”, will claim a 100% replacement value is not warranted.
  • Your ability to negotiate with the adjuster based on the above information.


Replacement Vehicle Inspection Services

We offer a couple of services that have saved our customers literally thousands of dollars, a lot of heartache, and grief.

Suggested Services:

If you decide to purchase a used vehicle, take a moment and go over these suggestions.

  • Ask for a CARFAX report on the vehicle. This will report if the vehicle was involved in any accidents and can be useful when doing other inspections.
  • Have a mechanic inspect the vehicle for engine and drive train condition.
  • Have Valley Motor Center inspect the frame & body for previous collisions. This could save lives. If the frame or structure are not repaired to manufacturer recommendations and tolerances, then major safety issues arise. The vehicle may not perform as designed if you were to get into another accident.

Once you find a vehicle, feel free to contact us to schedule an inspection time.


Total Loss Definition:

When the cost of repairing a vehicle to pre-loss condition plus a standard supplement factor (15-30% of the vehicle’s value) exceeds the fair market value of the vehicle.

Example Total Loss Scenarios:

Estimate for Repairs……………………………$9,000*
25% Supplement Factor……………………….$2,250
»» Total Repair Cost………………………….$11,250


Fair Market Value of Vehicle………………..$11,000*

* In this case, the vehicle is deemed to be a total loss.
Total loss driver

Have Further Questions?

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