You’re in a wreck and finally receive the news that your car is not worth repairing. The struggle is that it’s so easy for a car insurance company to total a car, and so hard for the owner to hear. When a company decides that your car is totaled, it’s all of that emotional attachment, possible debt, and stress of finding a new car that is overwhelming.
For help dealing with a car wreck, get an experienced auto accident attorney in Ohio on your side.
Ohio Insurance Coverage for Property Damage
Ohio mandatory insurance is at least $25,000 for the damage to the vehicle. Unless you have a high profile vehicle that is repairable, then you may not ever see that much in property damage compensation.
In fact, you may have a hard time recovering any volume of compensation past about 80% of the values of the vehicles, usually the “blue book” value — more on that in just a moment.
When handling your coverage and property damage, you’ll need to go through the other driver’s policy as well. An Ohio auto accident lawyer should understand the full scope of the coverage available and if it will expand to cover the damages to your car for the “total loss” of about 80% of its value.
Understanding the Difference Between “Value” and “Blue Book Value”
You may have seen commercials that “joke” or poke fun at replacing three-quarters of a car after it’s totaled. It’s not really a joke because that’s how most people feel. So car insurance companies are only willing to replace so much of a vehicle, and that can range between 80 and 100%. It depends on where you live, laws in the state, and the insurance available. For example, in Texas, state law demands that an insurance company cover 100% of the car’s value when a car is totaled.
Ohio is a little strange in this context in that Ohio uses a “Total Loss Formula” where the insurance company can use a formula to decide if the cost of the repairs and scrap value is more of less than the “Actual Cash Value.”
The actual cash value is that the private party value of a vehicle often referred to as a “Blue Book.” Many people do not realize how quickly car depreciates and how severely their value can change over such a short period of time.
For example, a 2019 Chevy Cruze in Cincinnati, in very good condition, could fall into the $12,000 range in private party value, whereas prices for brand new Chevy Cruze start at about $17,000 and quickly go up to $19,000 or more. Over about a year, the Cruze has lost more than a third of its value.
What if There is Still a Loan on the Vehicle?
The misconception is that if you’re in a wreck in a “new” car or a car that still has a loan that you’re covered. The insurance will pay off the loan and send you a nice check to get a new car. That is not the case.
GAP insurance will often be available to cover the difference for the first two or three years of the vehicle’s life. But, that’s only if you purchased the GAP insurance when you bought the vehicle. That’s often not the case.
Typically when a car is totaled, most drivers see themselves paying on the car for at least a year following the wreck. And they often have to use their compensation check which should have bought a new car, to cover the loan on the totaled vehicle.
Can You Purchase a New Car with the Compensation?
An insurance company cannot tell you what to do with your compensation check. Of course, you should always manage these checks wisely and use them to actually pay the damages from the wreck, including property damage.
Contacting an Ohio Car Accident Attorney if Your Car is Totaled in a Wreck
In an Ohio auto accident or wreck? Don’t worry. Yes, you will have some trouble handling the vehicle property damage, but with the right support you can breeze through this process. Our Ohio car wreck law office helps individuals to find an Ohio auto injury attorney that provides clear insight and action plans for your case. You don’t have to stress about what to do next because you’ll have all the guidance you need.
If your car was totaled in an accident, you will probably worry about how to get a new car and what you should do to manage between now and then. With a proper attorney from Ohio by your side, you can navigate these tricky twists and turns with insurance companies. Get the compensation that you deserve and plan ahead for the weeks to come.