If the Frame of My Vehicle Is Damaged, Is My Vehicle Considered a Total Loss?

July 17, 2017 8:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The way modern cars are made, even a small fender bender accident can look like a catastrophic collision. Bumpers crumple with little force, panels dent severely and front ends can turn into a twisted mess of metal. Ideally, vehicles are designed to strategically compromise in the event of an accident to best protect drivers from major injury. The problem, however, is that once a frame is damaged, your car might be beyond repair.

Determine whether your vehicle is a total loss is something your insurance company or auto body shop in Middletown, NJ will figure out, using a simple equation. Generally, it involves taking the cost of collision repair versus the current value of the vehicle and factoring other variables to determine if there’s any worth left in the vehicle. If there isn’t, you’re looking at a vehicle that’s considered “totaled.”

Determining the scope of damage

The cornerstone of determining a total loss comes from identifying the scope of damage. Obviously, if your bumper is pushed in a little, it’s not going to greatly affect the repair cost of your vehicle. However, if part of your car’s metal frame is damaged, the cost of repair can skyrocket. Here’s why:

  • Parts like bumpers and door panels can be easily swapped out if damage is catastrophic. These parts of the body can be detached, replaced and painted to look brand new, often for a nominal cost.
  • The metal frame of your vehicle is what everything else is adhered to. This can’t be replaced—it’d be the equivalent of buying a new car! Instead, it must be welded and re-formed to its factory shape. This is much more expensive.

A mechanic or insurance surveyor will thoroughly inspect a vehicle post-accident to see where the damage is present. If replaceable components absorbed the extent of the damage, the vehicle likely isn’t a total loss. If the frame has been damaged, it’s going to trend towards the loss column. This is also the same reason many bad-looking accidents aren’t declared total losses, while minor-looking accidents can be deemed irreparable.

Matching damage with value

Most damages are assessed at the repair rates of a group of mechanics. If the average repair cost for a bent frame is a certain amount of money, that’s the claim value the insurance company will place on it. This dollar value must then be compared to the Blue Book resale value of the car. This is the assessed value of the car based on make, model, mileage, defects and general condition (after repairs).

The discrepancy between these two numbers will be the catalyst for determining a total loss vs. a vehicle that’s eligible for collision repairs in Middletown, NJ. If the cost of repairing a frame is $3,500 and the Blue Book value of the car is $4,500, there’s viable reason for repairs. However, if the cost for repairs is $3,500 and the value of the car is only $3,000, it’s likely to assume “total loss” status.

Even if it looks like a bad situation after your accident, try not to assume the worst until after an insurance assessment is done. You might find that the cost of collision repair in Middletown, NJ doesn’t warrant a total loss!

Categorised in:

This post was written by Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *