My car was totaled! Now what?

Was your car declared a total loss after an accident or flood? Here are some answers to questions you might be asking.

What does ‘totaled’ mean? Your insurance company compares the value of your car and the cost to repair it. If the repair costs are about the same or more than the car’s value, it will likely consider the car totaled.

What if I think my car is worth more? If you think your car is worth more than the insurance company is offering, you can try to negotiate. Be prepared to show what a car like yours would sell for in your area:

  • Get quotes from used car dealers.
  • View prices online and look for local ads for similar vehicles.
  • Document special features or custom parts on your car.

Can I fix my car instead? To keep your car, let your insurer know quickly. The company will subtract the car’s salvage value from the amount it was planning to pay you. The car also may be issued a salvage title, which could make it harder to insure or sell later.

Have a question about insurance? Call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439 or visit


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