September 10, 2011

Deciding Whether To Keep A Vehicle After A Total Loss

When a vehicle is declared a total loss as a part of a car insurance claim, the insurance company has determined that it would cost more to fix than it's worth. This can be troubling for drivers, as it means looking for a new car, and it also means that something needs to be done with what remains of the old vehicle. Car insurance companies will usually offer to purchase a total loss vehicle from a driver to sell for parts and as scrap metal. For many drivers, this is a great way to get some value out of a damaged vehicle, but it's important to determine whether this is the most cost-effective option.

Drivers who are somewhat mechanically knowledgeable may decide to keep a vehicle and to remove working parts to sell while scrapping the body and any nonfunctional components. Generally, this will mean more money than if a vehicle is simply sold to a car insurance provider. After all, the insurance company wouldn't offer to purchase a total loss vehicle if they weren't getting a good value for the purchase. However, the process may be too complex and difficult for drivers who aren't mechanically inclined. Pricing each working part, finding buyers and bringing the vehicle's chassis to a scrapyard can take a tremendous amount of time and know-how. It's a fun project for drivers with the time and a bit of mechanical intuition, but selling a total loss vehicle can be more trouble than it's worth for the average driver.

The best tactic for casual drivers is to call a few scrapyards to figure out the value of a total loss vehicle before deciding whether to sell the vehicle to an insurance provider. If a local scrapyard will pay for a tow and will give a driver more money than the insurance provider, it would be a waste of money to do otherwise. However, many drivers will sell their vehicles to their insurance providers anyways, as it's a simple, easy way to get rid of a totaled car quickly. This is especially true after a major accident has damaged all of a vehicle's major systems-in this type of situation, selling to an insurer is almost always the best choice.

When negotiating a car insurance claim, there are quite a few tactics for increasing the total payout, and selling a vehicle to an insurance provider can certainly be helpful in this respect. However, by making a few phone calls, drivers can ensure that they're getting an appropriate value for their totaled vehicles, which can be extremely helpful in determining whether to sell to an insurance provider.