What Happens When I Wreck My Car? Accidents happen. Sometimes they’re minor, but sometimes the loss is substantial. But what happens when I wreck my car? If you wreck your car in an automobile accident, and it’s damaged beyond repair, it may be considered totaled. So what happens next?
Whenever you’re in a car accident, you need to report the auto insurance claim as soon as possible. After you talk to a claims representative, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment for someone to assess the damage to your vehicle.
Your vehicle will be considered a total loss if the damage is so severe that it can't be repaired safely, or if the cost of repairing it is greater than the value of the vehicle. It could also depend on your state of residence. In some states, a car can be considered a total loss if the repair costs exceed a certain percentage of the vehicle’s value.
If your car is totaled, your insurance company will guide you in the process. You’ll need to contact your agent so that they can arrange to collect your vehicle title, license plate and the account and phone number of any lien holder.
But how much will you get for your dearly departed car? The market value of the vehicle determined by a number of factors including the car’s pre-loss condition, age, and mileage. That’s also known as the actual cash value (ACV).
However, if you were leasing the car, that changes things. You may have something called a "gap waiver" in your agreement. In that case, you will not be obligated to pay the gap amount in the event of an accident. If there is no gap protection included in the lease agreement, you may be responsible for the payment. Review your lease to find out more about the specifics of your agreement.