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Total Loss

When an accident causes extensive or costly damage to your vehicle, it's possible we’ll declare it a total loss. If this happens, we’ll manage the process for you and answer any questions you have along the way.

Here, we’ve answered a few of the most common ones.

What is a Total Loss?

Generally, a vehicle is a total loss when the cost to return it to its pre-loss condition is greater than the value of the vehicle. And in some states, a vehicle may be a total loss if the repair costs would exceed a percentage (e.g., 80 percent) of the vehicle’s value.

We consider many things—in addition to comparing the cost to fix your vehicle with how much it’s worth—when determining whether it is a total loss. For example, we also look at the condition and structural integrity of the vehicle and/or state laws.

What happens if my vehicle is declared a total loss?

First, we’ll obtain your vehicle title, license plate and the account and phone number of any lienholder. We’ll also make sure any personal belongings from your car are returned to you. Then, with your permission we’ll move the vehicle to a free storage location. If you need help finding a new car—new or used—you can use Progressive’s free shopping service.

How much will I get for my total loss?

We’ll pay you its actual cash value (ACV)—the market value of the vehicle based on factors like pre-loss condition, age, options and mileage—minus any applicable collision or comprehensive deductible. Depending on your individual situation, we’ll give the payment to the owner(s), the lienholder(s) or both. We work with a third-party to determine the actual cash value.

What if I disagree with the total loss value?

We’ll generally ask you to provide supporting documentation. We’ll review it, and if it affects the assessment of the actual cash value, we’ll adjust our offer. If you’re a Progressive customer, you can also refer to your policy contract for information on how to arrange an appraisal.

Will I still owe money on my loan or lease?

After we declare your vehicle a total loss, you might still owe money on your loan or lease if the actual cash value of your vehicle is equal to or less than what you owe. If you have Loan/Lease Payoff—or “gap”—coverage , this coverage may pay the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and what you still owe on your loan or lease, minus any applicable comprehensive or collision deductible.

What happens to my vehicle?

Generally, you’ll transfer the title to us once we pay your claim.

We comply with the appropriate laws or regulations that require obtaining salvage titles or branding/marking the title.

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