What Does It Mean When Your Car Is ‘Totaled’ In Florida?
If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida, the insurance company may decide that your car is “totaled.” But what does this mean? Let’s break down the process and explain what happens when an insurance company deems a car to be totaled after a crash.
Our Boca Raton car accident lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can assist you throughout the insurance claims process. We will negotiate with the insurer on your behalf and protect your right to fair compensation. With three offices in Florida – in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach – we represent victims of car accidents in surrounding areas, including Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and others.
What Is a ‘Totaled’ Car After an Accident?
When you file an insurance claim for damage to your vehicle, most companies use a calculation known as the Total Loss Formula (TLF). This formula is used to determine whether or not repair costs exceed the total value of your car, making it unfeasible and uneconomical to repair from an insurance standpoint.
The TLF is calculated by taking two factors into consideration: the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle and the cost of repairs. The ACV takes into account depreciation and other factors that affect current market value. If the cost of repairs exceeds 75% of the ACV, then your car will likely be considered totaled. However, this isn’t always the case; some companies will let you keep a totaled car as long as you pay for repairs out-of-pocket.
What Happens if My Vehicle Is Totaled?
If your vehicle is determined to be totaled, you have several options available to you depending on how much coverage you have under your policy. If you only had liability coverage on your policy, then you won’t receive any money from the insurance company to replace or repair your car. In a no-fault insurance state such as Florida, your own insurance will still cover medical expenses related to any injuries sustained in the accident, though.
Note: According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle, all vehicles with a Florida registration must have at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) and at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
On the other hand, if you had comprehensive or collision coverage on your policy at the time of accident, then your insurer will reimburse you for either repairing or replacing your totaled vehicle based on its ACV at the time of loss. Your insurer will issue payment up to but not exceeding what they deem as fair market value for that type and model of vehicle at that time. Then it’s up to you whether or not you wish to purchase another vehicle with those funds or keep them for yourself.
The Legal Guidance and Support You Need
No matter what happens after an automobile accident—whether it be minor damage or catastrophic destruction—understanding all aspects of auto insurance can help ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly throughout each step of the process. Being informed about exactly what happens when a vehicle is deemed totaled can help guide drivers toward making decisions that best suit their needs following an unfortunate incident like a car accident in Florida. If the insurance says that your car was totaled, our experienced auto accident lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can explain your options and protect your right to fair compensation. Call 561-660-9421 today to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.