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What To Do If You Totaled A Car With No Insurance

“I totaled my car with no collision insurance.” Those are words you never want to have to say. A car accident is a low point in life. There’s a possibility people have been injured and require medical attention.

Your vehicle and potentially other cars could be damaged badly, and it might be irreparable. If you have no collision insurance on a car that’s totaled, you probably have few options. If irreparable, you have the possibility of selling your totaled vehicle.

But the worst part is not knowing what to do, especially if you don’t have collision insurance. Of course, it’s most important that everyone is healthy and alright. But once you know that everyone is okay, you’re left with a totaled car. What do you do?

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Totaled Car Meaning

The term ‘totaled’ refers to an insurance industry term known as ‘total loss’. A car is said to be totaled when the cost to repair it just isn’t feasible. The calculation for totaled is different depending on who is assessing the car.

How to Sell if a Car is Totaled

How to Sell if a Car is TotaledIf you’re dealing with an insurance agency evaluating a totaled car, they’ll say the car is totaled based on the repair costs. For some, they’ll say a car is totaled if the cost to repair it exceeds its value. For example, if your car is worth $10,000 and the cost to fix it back to the way it was exceeds its value, it’s totaled.

For others, a totaled car is a percentage of the repair cost. Every insurer has a calculation they use, but many are around 70 to 80 percent of the car’s value. For a $10,000 car, for example, $7,000 in damage could mean it’s totaled.

Collision coverage can help you out in the event that your car is totaled. However, another kind of insurance you may have that could save you in the case of totaling a car is GAP insurance.

What is GAP Insurance for Cars?

Gap insurance is actually an acronym – Guaranteed Auto Protection insurance. But the name ‘gap’ is effective in describing what it’s all about. Essentially, in a total loss car situation, gap insurance covers the gap between how much you owe on your car loan and what your car is worth. That gap is known as negative equity.

Here’s the stitch – gap insurance only covers you against insurable losses. A fire, vandalism, accident, or theft are covered by gap insurance. But for discount insurance policies where acts of God are not covered – that would be a tornado, flood, wind, and the like – you might not be covered for gap insurance.

How Does Gap Insurance Work if Your Car is Totaled?

So, you’ve been in a big accident and your car is totaled. What does Gap insurance cover? If you have car insurance, you’ll get the value between the amount owing to the finance company after your car’s insurance settlement has been paid out.

If you have $5,000 negative equity, that’s how much gets paid out. And if your car loan is covered by insurance completely, or you have some money coming back to you, gap insurance pays nothing. Zippo. Zilch.

It’s still worth having GAP insurance — if you have no gap insurance and your car is totaled in an insurable accident, you might still have to pay loans on a vehicle you don’t owe. But it won’t protect you from everything.

Will Gap Insurance Cover A Totaled Car with No Insurance?

Nope. You see, gap insurance is only in effect IF you have collision or comprehensive insurance coverage. You might wonder why, but it’s because there needs to be an insurance payout, otherwise there’s no difference for gap insurance to pay out.

If that’s the case for you, it could be a doubly bad situation. You’re stuck with a totaled car that you’re still paying for, PLUS you’ve been paying gap insurance and unable to use it.

Totaled My Car No Gap Insurance

Initially, it looks like a small price to pay. Gap insurance is about 5 percent of the insurance cost for your vehicle. But add it up, and it can cost significantly more than it will ever pay out to you.

The good news is that, in most cases, you can apply for a gap insurance refund after total loss. Say you have a 48-month car loan and your car is a total loss after just a year. You can apply for a refund for premiums paid for the remaining 36 months.

What to Do With A Totaled Car With No Insurance

It all depends on your circumstance if gap insurance is worth purchasing.

  • If you are putting no money down, or a small down payment, it’s typically worth buying gap insurance, as long as you have current car insurance.
  • If your car loan is nearly the same as your car is worth, gap insurance doesn’t make sense.
  • If your car is worth more than your loan value, it’s no question – don’t bother with gap insurance.
  • If you aren’t planning to keep comprehensive car insurance, there’s no point in buying gap insurance.

Like all insurance coverages, you don’t want to be in a position where you have to use it. It’s good to have if you need it. But like all insurances, it makes the insurance company more money, not you.

If your car isn’t insured during the collision, the term ‘totaled’ is arbitrary. You’ll have to decide for yourself if your car is worth fixing or not and what you should do with your totaled car. After all, the repair costs are all up to you — no one will be paying to fix your car.

What’s exponentially worse is that if there were other cars involved in the accident, you could be sued for their repairs or medical expenses! You may not have the money to fix your car after it’s all said and done.

Your car’s totaled, you still owe and it’s not your fault? Unfortunately, that doesn't change much. The uninsured costs are still your responsibility unless you’re able to personally sue the other party.

But if you try it, know that you’ll be going against a team of lawyers for the other party’s insurance company. You won’t have an insurance provider to help you, and there’s a very good chance you’ll lose the case.

In addition to medical costs and car repairs, you’ll have legal fees to pay too!

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If you’ve wrecked your car without insurance but it’s still driving without much difficulty, you’re one of the lucky ones! It means that most of the damage was simply cosmetic, even though the repairs would cost too much to be worthwhile. You’ve bought yourself a bit of time so you can make a more informed decision. Plus, your car will still have more value than one that doesn’t drive at all.

You might decide to keep driving your salvage vehicle for a time. But when you need to get a state inspection, your car probably won’t pass. So, the time you’ve bought won’t last forever.

Your best bet is to sell your totaled car while you can, driving or not. In that way, you can recoup at least some of its salvage value. You could put it toward your next vehicle, or use the money to pay for damages on the other party’s claim against you. — We Buy Totaled Cars!

If you’ve been searching “totaled value of my car”, you know how frustrating it is to get an accurate price. There’s no real totaled car value calculator available to the public - it’s something the insurance companies keep to themselves. You’re left on your own to find someone to buy your wrecked car from you.

What if I Have A Totaled Car With A Loan?

You could tow your totaled car without insurance to the junkyard and sell it for scrap value. The junkyard will pay you based on how much your car weighs. All they want is the scrap metal it contains. But that means that you won’t get much for it, plus you’ll have to pay to get it towed to the junkyard.

The good thing is that it’s dealt with quickly. The downside is that you’re virtually giving your car away.

Sometimes you can find a private buyer looking for a wrecked car like yours. They might fix it up or use it for parts. But you can guarantee that they aren’t looking to give you much money for it.

If you try to sell your totaled car privately, it could take months to find the right buyer. As well, in the end, you probably won’t get much more for it than the junkyard.

Sell Your Total Loss Car to

The best option to get a good price for your car and have it dealt with quickly is CarBrain. You can sell your car fast with a simple online process and get a fair offer for it. Simply request an offer from CarBrain, complete with all your vehicle details.

CarBrain will give you a guaranteed quote. If you like it, accept the offer. You’ll get paid quickly for your vehicle and your car will be picked up from wherever it sits, free of charge. It doesn’t get much easier, does it? Get your offer now to see how much your car is worth.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will GAP Insurance Cover A Totaled Car With No Insurance?

Sadly, you cannot have GAP coverage without standard vehicle insurance. GAP insurance covers what is not covered by your primary insurer. If there is not primary insurance company, there's no gap for the coverage to fill.

What Does 'Totaled My Car' Mean?

Totaling your car refers to declaring your vehicle a total loss. Insurance companies will declare a vehicle a total loss if the cost of repairing the vehicle is too high compared to its pre-accident actual cash value. Once an insurance company declares the vehicle a total loss, it will typically receive a salvage title branding, rendering it illegal to drive on the road.

What Happens When You Total A Financed Car Without Insurance?

Totaling a financed car with no insurance leaves you with very few options. Once the vehicle is totaled, its value will plummet — but how much you owe will not be impacted. In most cases, your loan would immediately be underwater.

CarBrain can help clients with underwater liens, depending on how much they owe on their vehicles. We're willing to make a fair market offer on the vehicle, and we can purchase it — but ONLY if the offer we make is greater than or equal to the outstanding lien.

If the remaining lien amount is low enough, some sellers will pay down the lien until all that's left equals what CarBrain's offer is worth, allowing them to sell the vehicle to CarBrain and minimize some of the costs of paying off their loan on the totaled car.

My Car Is Totaled. Now What?

If your car has sustained damage severe enough to be declared a total loss, your options may be limited. In most cases, your insurance will simply purchase the vehicle from you and sell it at auction. If you don't have insurance, you don't even get the benefit of help from an insurance company.

Luckily, at CarBrain, we're always ready to help you sell your less-than-perfect vehicle. Get an offer today in just 90 seconds for a fair market quote with free, fast towing included!

What Happens If Your Car Is Totaled Without Insurance?

If your car is totaled without insurance, then you are 100% on the hook for the cost of fixing the car — or finding a solution to sell it. In most cases, it's far too expensive to try to repair the vehicle out of pocket.

Instead, consider selling your vehicle with a service like CarBrain. We specialize in less-than-perfect cars, and we're happy to make an offer on a totaled or salvage title vehicle — no insurance required!

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