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What happens if my quote for repairs is higher than value of car?

Quote for accident repair is higher than what I paid for the car (used). I'm not at fault. What are my options? The quote for repairs is $7,000 and I only paid $4500 for the car when I bought it. Will the insurance cover it? They are still investigating and I just want to know my options before I decide to have it fixed or not.

Aug 8, 2018 Vallejo, CA

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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

There are several things to think about here. One, it sounds like your vehicle is totaled. The definition of a totaled vehicle varies by state. California is what is called a total loss formula state. This means a vehicle is determined to be a total loss if the cost of repairs (your $7,000) plus the scrap value of the vehicle is greater or equal to the actual cash value of the vehicle.

Although I do not know the scrap value or absolute cash value of the vehicle (chances are, it is lower than $4500 because vehicles depreciate), it is more than likely your vehicle will be totaled. My best recommendation is to contact the at-fault party's increase and file a claim. You should be paid out the value of the vehicle at its current worth. You can check Kelly Blue Book online to get an estimate of what you might receive. I would not file a claim with your insurance company because the repairs aren't worth it considering your vehicle's current value. Check out our claims calculator and guide to filing claims to learn more about when to file a claim and what to expect from the process. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.

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