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Values for damaged autos

by Joe Petersen

One of my cars was recently involved in an accident, so far I have one repair estimate and am going to get several others.

I have numerous sources to look up current vehicle values, but my actual question is: What sources for valuation or motor vehicles use, and/or what formula do they use to find the value of a vehicle that they deem "TOTALED" I need to find a similar source to look up the totaled value of my car.


Hi Joe,

Most insurance companies hire independent third party companies to do an independent evaluation of the value of your car. The insurance adjuster inspects the car, and then the adjuster turns the paper work to the third party company. They will look at similar vehicles in your area for the same model, condition, mileage, etc. and the will pay you what your local market is paying.

Usually, Blue Book Value or NADA values are not taken into account.

visit: for more information about total loss and how to handle your situation.

As far as a formula, it depends on the state and the insurance company. If the repair estimate is 80% of the value of the car, then the car is a total. Some insurance companies go down to 70% and some to 90%. It depends on the things mentioned above.

I hope this helps,

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