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How to Get Paid More After Insurance Declares Your Car a Total Loss

worried woman talking on the phone after car accidentIf your car has been involved in a serious accident, it’s up to your insurance company to handle repairs. However, if your insurance company decides that your car is a total loss, you might think you have to sell your car to your insurance company and give it up.

In fact, you have another option: retaining the car and selling it yourself. By keeping the car, you can get a second check from a car buyer on top of the check your insurance company will give you.

The insurance company won’t pay you more if you do this. However, the act of keeping the car and selling it elsewhere lets you shop around to get a better price for your car, rather than just letting the insurance company cut you a single check that might be undervaluing your car.

You’ll still get a check from your insurance company, but you’ll also get a check from whoever buys your car.

Read the sections below to learn more about how you can keep your car and what you can do to sell it for more money.

How Your Car Insurance Values Your Car

the man sitting at the desk in front of the computer is counting on the calculatorWhen you get into a serious car accident, you typically file a claim with your insurance company to cover the cost of the repairs.

The insurance company will first calculate the actual cash value of your vehicle just before the crash as accurately as possible. In other words, it will determine what the value of your car would have been if you decided to sell it minutes before it was totaled.

Depending on the actual cash value of your vehicle, your insurance company will then decide if it will cover the repairs or declare your vehicle a total loss. Typically, insurance companies decide vehicles are a total loss if the cost of repairs exceeds 50 percent of the value of the vehicle (note that this can vary by company and by state).

Keeping Your Car After An Accident

woman holds car keysAt this point, your insurance company will attempt to give you a check for the value of the vehicle minus your deductible. The insurance company will then sell the car at a salvage yard and profit off the vehicle.

However, you may be able to get more money by retaining your vehicle. In that case, you should indicate to your insurance agent that you wish to keep the vehicle. In that case, your insurance company will allow you to retain your car’s title with a salvage market on it.

You’ll still get a check for the actual cash value of the car. However, the insurance company will subtract both your deductible and what they expected to profit off the vehicle at the salvage yard from your check.

Given that insurance companies typically specialize in insuring and not selling salvage cars, there’s a good chance they have undervalued the potential value of your vehicle in a sale.

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Selling A Totaled Car Independently

man works on the computer with a cup of coffeeOnce you have obtained your car’s salvage title and the check from your insurance company, you can begin figuring out how to sell your car independently.

You have a few options to do this. You can sell it privately to an individual, sell it to a junk or salvage yard of your choice, part it out or sell it to an online service like CarBrain.com.

Selling it privately to another individual could be the least profitable option. Chances are, an individual buying a totaled car is interested in parts or a repair project. They may know that fixing the vehicle will be exorbitant, or may only be interested in using a portion of the parts. Asa result, individuals are likely to negotiate you down.

Selling it to a junk yard or a salvage yard yourself allows you to shop around for different price points. However, this can be an onerous process, as you’ll have to demonstrate the shape of the vehicle. In some cases, you may even be required to pay for towing costs.

junk yardParting it out requires some know-how, time and effort. Along with needing mechanical knowledge to remove and separate parts, you’ll also have to take time to advertise and find a buyer. It could be months before you finish, if you manage to sell all the parts at all.

Then there’s CarBrain. Selling a damaged car to us is easy, safe and quick. We take all the fuss and hassle out of selling your damaged vehicle, helping you recoup your losses.

Why CarBrain.com Is The Right Choice For You

At CarBrain, we specialize in buying less-than-perfect cars. We know what the fair market value for your car is. We’ll take into account any work or upgrades you put into it to determine what the right price is for your vehicle.

When you sell to CarBrain, the process is simple. You can get an offer in under 90 seconds with our online quote generator. Like what you see? We can help you schedule a FREE towing and FREE title transfer in under 48 business hours.

Not quite ready to sell? Our offers are guaranteed for seven days, so you have time to think about it. Once you’re ready, all you have to do is contact our buyers to get started. There’s no hidden fees or charges. It’s that simple. Why wait? Sell your totaled car to CarBrain and get a second check.

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