Being involved in a severe accident that leaves your car totaled is scary and life-altering. Even drivers who "plan" on the possibility of there being an accident (by opting for GAP coverage) are not really PLANNING on it actually happening. Such an event will rattle you, frustrate you and leave you wondering what comes next. Just be glad that you’re alive and take care of one thing at a time.
Immediately After an Accident
The first thing that you should do after a traumatic collision is take care of yourself. If you have sustained significant injuries, focus your energy on healing your body before worrying too much about your transportation situation. Then, when you're ready, assess your situation and take the necessary actions.
- Deal with your insurance provider.
First, make sure that your car has actually been judged to be a "total loss." Evaluation standards vary from company to company, and there are typically several factors involved in the decision making process. How old is your vehicle? How much is its approximate value? How much would it cost to repair the damage? If your car truly is totaled, proceed to the next step.
- Read up on your rights.
It may be the case that your car insurance provider treats you fairly, acts swiftly and makes everything as easy as possible. Or, they might, in one way or another, give you the run around. Every state in the U.S. regulates how auto insurance companies do business, but each state does so in a slightly different way. Find out what defines "fair treatment" in your state, and demand that your carrier acts accordingly.
- Make plans for the arrival of your check.
If you have proper coverage and your car has been totaled, you should get a check for the vehicle's estimated value. If you're still paying for the car and you don't have GAP coverage, there's a chance that, because of depreciation and interest rates, your insurance check won't cover the remaining balance on the loan.
If this is the case, you will want to put the amount of your payout towards the loan, and make plans to continue payments on the rest. This will be a less than desirable situation because you will be paying for a car that you can no longer drive and you may be limited in what you can immediately buy to replace the totaled vehicle.
Planning Ahead for the Unexpected
If that accident hasn't happened, you still have time to make sure you’re properly covered if it does. GAP (Guaranteed Assist Protection) insurance will cover the difference between what you owe and what your car is worth in the event of a collision that leaves your vehicle totaled. And according to CCC Information Services, if you're involved in an accident, there is a 1 in 7 chance that your car will be a total loss. So, it is a good idea to get GAP coverage, especially if you've purchased a new car.
Getting Back on the Road
If you suddenly find that you need a replacement vehicle as quickly as possible, Auto Credit Express can help. We can help you find affordable financing even if you're working with a small budget and your credit is less than perfect. Don't subject yourself to the hassle and frustration of going from dealer to dealer when you can fill out just one fast and secure online application. Get started today.