If you have never been in a car accident before, there are a lot of assumptions about what happens after the incident. Some people might assume that their insurance company will always fix their vehicle, no matter what. Other people might think their insurer will give them a new car if their totaled car is no longer repairable.
There is a lot more to these topics than you would expect, and every person who gets into an accident is exposed to a different situation. We’ll talk about some of the main assumptions people have after getting into a wreck, the amount of truth in those assumptions, and what you can do to get back on the road safely after the accident.
#1 – Totaled Cars Can’t Be Repaired:
When people hear the word “totaled,” they often think that is the end of the line with their car. In many ways, from an insurance perspective, this is true. If an insurance company decides that the value of your car is less than the price of the damage, they are going to suggest totaling the car.
This means they won’t pay to fix the vehicle, and you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. It doesn’t mean the car is impossible to repair, which is an assumption many people make. It all depends on the situation you are in financially. Can you pay to repair the car yourself without any help from your insurance company?
The answer is yes, but you have to make sure the repairs are within your budget. There’s also the matter of finding an auto shop that will even go through with the repairs for you. Some auto shops will only work with insurance companies because they know they will get all the money they are owed, whereas it can be iffy to get money in full from customers.
There are many different motivations for fixing cars that are totaled. Some people may want to fix their car because they have nostalgic feelings for it. Others might want to make the repairs so they can sell the car or give it to someone else. No matter why the decision is made to fix a totaled car, everyone should know it is an option for them.
Totaled doesn’t have to mean irreparable, contrary to what many people have been told. It all depends on your financial situation. If you go through with getting a totaled car repaired, you will need to talk to your insurance company about getting rebuilt title insurance for the vehicle. You will also typically have increased rates on your repaired car.
#2 – Insurance Companies Will Give You Enough Money to Buy a New Car:
Some people who have never gotten into an accident before may not realize that your insurance company won’t always pay for a new car. This would be giving the customer more than they need to. Don’t get your hopes up that you will be going from an old sedan to a new truck after an accident.
One of the worst things about getting into an accident where your car gets totaled is that you may not receive enough money to get a replacement vehicle that you like.
Let’s say you are driving a 15-year-old car. If you get into an accident, the damage to an older car might be more expensive. The parts may have been more vulnerable, leading to more damage than on a newer car. This means the car would be totaled, and the insurance company will give you the value of the vehicle.
The value of an older vehicle is certainly not going to be enough to buy a new car. There is a lot of misunderstanding from inexperienced drivers when it comes to what an insurance company will provide you with after an accident. They are not going to pay their customers more than they have to.
This means you will usually have to replace your totaled car with another used vehicle unless you want to repair the totaled car as we talked about above, or buy a new car out of pocket. This can be frustrating, as many people don’t like using previously owned vehicles, especially with all of the germs going around with the pandemic.
There are ways you can try and make it feel like you are getting a new car even when you have to purchase an old one. Try buying a different make or model of vehicle from your previous one. Maybe you have taken up an interest in the environment and you decide to purchase a used Prius. It’s never too late to get in on the electric car movement.
Look for a used car that has minimal dings and dents in it. This makes it feel like you are buying a newer car even when it’s used. Look for a model that has fewer miles on it than your car did. Add some cool car gadgets and accessories. You just have to get creative to find a used car you can be proud of.
#3 – Accidents Can Always Be Avoided:
Don’t feel guilty after getting into a car accident. Some people might judge you and think your accident could be avoided, but this simply isn’t true. Sometimes you’re minding your own business and someone else crashes into you at a stoplight because they’re distracted. Whatever example you want to use, there are plenty of ways that accidents aren’t avoidable.
This makes it hard not to get angry at the person who caused the accident, but there are several steps you should take after an accident and none of them include road rage. Call the authorities, notify your insurance company, and take pictures of the damage. You will need to prove to your insurer that the damage is real and caused by the other driver.
There are a lot of different assumptions about car accidents and what happens after they occur. Don’t go by what others say about accidents. You need to learn about the process that occurs when you notify your insurance company after an accident.
They will help you through what happens to your car next. You also need to educate yourself on certain terms like “totaled cars” and “insurance claims.” If you take these steps, you should be back out on the road quickly and with new knowledge about what happens after an accident.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. He wants to debunk assumptions about car accidents.