After you’ve been in a car accident in Brockton, Randolph, or Stoughton, Massachusetts, and everyone is safe and sound, your next focus is likely getting back on the road. That means taking a look at your vehicle and determining if the car can be repaired.
If the damage is extensive, your vehicle might hit the Total Loss Threshold of your insurance company. Since Total Loss Thresholds vary by state, the team at Collision 24 is here to answer some common questions about the Total Loss Threshold in Massachusetts and how you can determine whether or not your car is repairable or considered a total loss.
What Is a Total Loss Threshold?
A vehicle is considered a total loss or totaled when the repair cost is more than the car is worth. A vehicle is deemed salvageable or repairable if the cost to do so is less than the vehicle’s worth. If it’s more than the threshold, it will likely be taken to a scrap yard, and your insurance company will pay you what your vehicle is worth.
How Is Total Loss Determined?
Each state has different rules for determining a total loss. Insurance companies use either a percentage rule or a custom formula depending on the state.
For example, in New Hampshire, a vehicle with damage that adds up to 75% of its value would be considered totaled, while in a state like Colorado, where the Total Loss Threshold is 100%, the same car would be regarded as fixable.
What Is the Total Loss Threshold in MA?
Massachusetts insurance companies use a formula rather than a percentage to determine if a vehicle is a total loss. The total loss formula is as follows:
Repair and labor costs + value of the vehicle as scraps > car’s value before the accident
If the cost of repairs plus the amount you’d get at the junkyard for scraps equals or exceeds the car’s value before its accident, your car is considered a total loss.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine a Car’s Pre-Accident Value?
Insurance companies use the current value of a vehicle to determine how much it may have been worth pre-accident—primarily, how much would someone reasonably pay for your car if you were selling it?
A selling price would consider the make/model, mileage, condition, and even any previous accidents or prior damage. This price will also take into account the vehicle’s depreciation from the price it originally sold for.
How Does My Insurance Company Determine the Cost of Vehicle Repairs?
When your vehicle is in an accident, you’ll need to take it to a repair facility, like Collision 24, to determine how much it will cost to fix. These repair costs are typically called estimates. Your insurance company will take the estimate the collision facility provides and decide if your vehicle is a total loss.
How Our Automotive Experts Can Help
Collision 24 is staffed by expert automotive technicians who can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your vehicle. We’ll work with your insurance company to help you get back on the road. Our team will determine the costs to repair a vehicle, if possible, and send it to your insurance company—which will make the final say in determining if your vehicle is a total loss.
After an accident, you may notice a flat tire, smoking hood, or leaking fluids from your vehicle. These are all signs that your car isn’t drivable. You’ll need a towing service to move it from the accident scene to a repair facility. Our 24-hour towing service can help.
When you need a tow, call our towing service. We’ll dispatch a tow truck mechanic to assess your vehicle's damage. They’ll let you know if your car needs a tow or is drivable. Our team will tow your vehicle back to our secure repair facility if it needs a tow. Our tow trucks are capable of towing vehicles considered light or medium duty.
What Happens After a Vehicle Is Declared a Total Loss?
If your vehicle is considered a total loss, there are a few things you likely need to do.
Are you leasing your vehicle? You’ll need to contact the leasing company to let them know the car has been totaled.
If you’re able to, remove your license plates. Removing and keeping these plates safe can prevent issues if someone were to steal and use them before the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) removes them from your records.
Remove all your personal belongings. You may need to visit the collision center to remove any items from your vehicle. Check your vehicle's glove compartment, trunk, and other nooks and crannies. If you turn in your keys before recovering your belongings, you may not be able to retrieve them, or it could become more difficult later to do so.
Send all the keys you have to your insurance company. Your insurance company will likely want all of them. If you have more than one key, be sure to send it to your claims adjuster. You can let them know you have a key that needs to be sent, and they’ll tell you where you can mail it or drop it off.
Once your vehicle is declared a total loss, you may have some paperwork to fill out before receiving money from your insurance company. These documents include a title transfer to the insurance company so they can send it to the scrap yard before paying you for your vehicle. The collision center team may also need a signature or two once you remove your personal belongings.
If you have any questions about what to do after your vehicle is declared a total loss, your insurance claim’s adjuster will be able to answer them for you. They are there to make the entire process as easy as possible.
Schedule a Vehicle Estimate Today
Whether your vehicle needs to be appraised as a total loss or requires repairs, the team at Collision 24 can help. If your car is repairable, then you’ll have an incredible team of certified collision repair technicians ready to move forward with repairs that will restore your ride to its former glory in no time.
If you’re looking for an estimate to determine a total loss or the cost of repairs around Brockton, Randolph, or Stoughton, MA, schedule an appointment with our team today.