Relentless Collision

Handling a Total Loss

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We are often asked is my car a total loss or why did you total my car? About 20% of the vehicles in an accident are actually declared a total loss by the insurance company.

Here in Raleigh we have a North Carolina Total Loss Code which you can read for yourself to understand the basics – though it is not a short read.

We could fix any damage on your car – in an absurd example we could replace or repair every single piece of your vehicle. Call this the Johnny Cash One Piece at a Time scenario. The cost of such a repair would far exceed the value of buying a new car. That would be a nonsense solution for you – getting another vehicle would be cheaper and better. A total loss is a judgment about the cost of repair versus the value of your car.

If you have a North Carolina insurance policy and come into our shop in Raleigh or Durham, your insurance company is legally required to total the car when repair costs meet or exceed 75% of the actual cash value prior to the accident.

Our estimate will be to properly repair the vehicle. We document each procedure, repair and part required to complete the collision repair at market cost. We do not know and cannot tell you the actual cash value of your car. We can tell you the cost to repair. Once you know the cost to repair you and your insurance company can make a decision on a total loss.

Over our 25 years in auto body we have been asked by customers to total their car and we have been asked to please make sure you don’t total my car. This would be a violation of North Carolina law and we cannot do either one. Just know Relentless Collision is not making the decision to total the car – it is a function of state law.

There are insurance company pages on total losses which may be helpful to you:

State Farm

Progressive

USAA

Erie Insurance

If your car is totaled we will help you get your belongings, license plate and answer your questions. We want the total loss process to go smoothly so you come back when you need auto body services.