5 min read
Updated on Mar 14, 2023
Car accidents have been on the rise in India over the past few years. Car insurance helps to cover up the loss for a damaged car. If your vehicle is severely damaged, you can raise a car insurance claim under the total loss category. However, often vehicle owners don’t have adequate knowledge regarding the total loss in a car insurance claim. As a result, the insurance company offers them a lesser amount than the original losses incurred. In this post, we discuss what is total loss and how to claim car insurance in case of total loss.
When the repair and recovery cost of the car surpasses 75% of the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the vehicle, it is considered to be total loss. Also, when the policyholder initiates a claim for serious damages or theft, the motor insurance company may declare the car as a total loss.
In this situation, the insurance provider compensates for the existing IDV of the vehicle minus the amount of mandatory excess. The company suggests that the owners take their vehicles to the recommended premise. The owner also needs to transfer the ownership of the damaged vehicle in the name of the insurance provider. Sometimes, the insurer also asks the owner to cancel the registration of the vehicle at the RTO office.
A constructive loss is considered when the repair or replacement cost of the car overpowers the present market value of the vehicle. An insurance company cannot agree for retrieval in this scenario; hence, it considers this as a total loss. For a constructive total loss, the car owner receives the current IDV of the car as reimbursement from the vehicle insurance provider.
The Insured Declared Value of any car is calculated by deducting the valid depreciation from the ex-showroom price of the vehicle when it was insured. At the start of each policy period, the IDV of a vehicle is calculated. This value is the amount that an insurance company would pay the owner if the car cannot be repaired. This value diminishes with time.
IDV = The selling price of the vehicle by manufacturers + Total value of accessories – Depreciation according to the age of the vehicle
Let’s take a look at how to claim insurance for car damage in case of total loss:
For claiming insurance for car damage in case of a total loss, you need to submit the following documents:
There are no limitations to the number of claims that a car owner can raise to the insurance company.
|Car Parts||Rate of Depreciation|
|Rubber, plastic components, batteries, airbags, nylon, and tyres||50%|
|Glass components||No depreciation|
To calculate the IDV, depreciation is estimated according to the age of the vehicle
|Age of the vehicle||Rate of depreciation|
|Below 6 months||5%|
|6 months to 1 year||15%|
|1 year to 2 years||20%|
|2 years to 3 years||30%|
|3 years to 4 years||40%|
|4 years to 5 years||50%|
|Above 5 years||The value is decided mutually between the car owner and the insurer|
Read More: Should File a Car Insurance Claim for Minor Accident or Not?
In case of a total loss, if you want to receive the entire cost of replacement (not the depreciated value), you need to purchase Return-to-Invoice add-on insurance cover from the insurance company.
By purchasing this add-on facility, you will get the exact invoice value of your car (along with the registration expenses and all taxes). This is applicable only if your car is lost or damaged severely (beyond repair). Here, you will receive the actual amount that you paid initially as car insurance claim charges. Note that you’d need to purchase this add-on cover at the time of policy renewal, not after an accident/theft.
Although several companies offer various car insurance plans, it’s a good idea to check the car insurance claim settlement ratio before opting for a plan. To receive the claim amount from the insurer, you need to make a claim request by submitting all valid documents.
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A total loss car insurance settlement is a type of insurance claim in which your car is deemed a total loss, meaning the cost of repairs exceeds the actual cash value (ACV) of your car. In this case, your insurance company will offer you a settlement amount based on the ACV of your car, minus any deductible or salvage value.
The ACV of your car is typically determined by an insurance adjuster, who takes into account factors such as the make and model of your car, its age, condition, and mileage. They may also consider factors such as the local market for similar cars and any recent upgrades or repairs you have made.
Certainly, if you believe the settlement amount provided by your insurance company is too low, you can negotiate it. To support your claim, you can submit documentation such as invoices for recent repairs or upgrades, or estimates from dealerships or mechanics. You may also choose to employ an independent appraiser to obtain an estimate of the worth of your vehicle. Keep in mind that your insurance company may also bargain with you, so be prepared to provide proof to back up your claims.
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