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7 Things to Do While Filing an Automobile Total Loss Claim

Jul 27, 2022

Auto Insurance

7 Things to Do While Filing an Automobile Total Loss Claim

If your vehicle gets damaged to such an extent that no amount of repairs could bring it back to its original state (the repair cost exceeds the actual cash value), it is deemed to be a "total loss." Total loss insurance covers your vehicle when it gets damaged beyond reasonable repairs, and it primarily includes collision and comprehensive coverages.

Checklist for Filing an Insurance Claim on Your Totaled Vehicle

Here's what you need to do while filing a total loss insurance claim:

  1. Declare Total Loss

    In NY, the total loss threshold is 75%. This means that to be declared a total loss, the repair cost must be at least 75% of your vehicle's fair market value (FMV). Your insurer will obtain information on 2-3 vehicles of the same like, kind, and quality, usually located within 25 miles of your residence. They will appoint a claims adjustor who will work with you to determine the FMV of your vehicle. Note that the FMV doesn't reflect a dealer price but the amount your vehicle is likely to fetch at a private sale.

  2. Submit No-Fault Application

    If the people inside your vehicle sustain injuries during the accident, they must submit a no-fault application to your insurance company within 30 days of the accident. This form will be provided by your insurance carrier. They may also have to submit other documents like receipts, reports, and other relevant forms to your insurer.

    Also, if there are any injuries, or if the cost of property damage or damage to your vehicle exceeds $1000, the driver will also have to complete and mail the MV104 form to the Albany address provided on the form. Your agent or carrier will supply you with this form.

  3. Report Your Rental

    If you have rental on your policy, your Insurance companies will include rental coverage for up to five days after the initial total loss settlement offer. So, if you are seeking compensation for your rental car, immediately contact your insurer or agent for coverage details.

  4. Vacate Your Car

    Remove all personal belongings from your car. However, all sets of car keys should be placed within the vehicle. Your carrier will make arrangements to have your vehicle moved to a "storage fee-free facility."

  5. Remove the License Plate

    You can either turn in your license plate to the DMV (for $1.00) and provide your agent with the (FS6) form - you will receive this once you turn in your plate to the DMV - or you can transfer your plate to another vehicle.

  6. Submit Title Deed

    Sign the first signature line on the back of the title deed exactly as it is listed on the front of the Title. Your adjuster or agent will provide directions on mailing. If there is a lien on your vehicle, the claim check will be issued in your name as well as that of the lending institution. If there are no lien holders, the claim check will be issued in the name of the policyholder. If your lien has been paid off and the lien holder is on your Title, you must supply the original Lien Release with the Title.

  7. Choose Where to Store Your Vehicle

    Your vehicle can be moved to a storage fee-free facility, or in some instances, you can choose to keep the totaled vehicle. If you decide to keep the vehicle, check out New York DMV for steps to applying for salvage value examination.

For further assistance with your total loss insurance claim, contact our representative at Tompkins Insurance Agencies. We are here to assist you in getting the most out of your car insurance coverage. And check out our in-house Claims Team, experienced professionals dedicated to guiding our customers through the claim process… so they can get the experience settled and behind them.

Contact us today to learn more.

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