What does it mean when a car is totaled?

When an auto insurance company determines that a car is totaled, it means that the cost of repairing the car is greater than the actual value of the car. In this situation, it's cheaper for an insurance company to give the driver a cash payout (or pay for a replacement vehicle) than it is for them to cover repair costs. You can always negotiate with your insurance company if you believe their estimate for your totaled car is incorrect.

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2023Fact Checked

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Laura Berry has experience as a licensed producer selling life, health, and property insurance coverage for both Allstate and State Farm. She has dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand the insurance marketplace so they could find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their circumstances. While she currently helps businesses take advantage of the federal R&D tax...

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Licensed Insurance Producer Laura Berry

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2023

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our auto insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different auto insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our auto insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different auto insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

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