All You Need To Know About Total Loss Car Insurance Claim Process

Did you know that, about one in seven car accident claims worldwide is a total loss. But what exactly does the term total loss of a car mean? How do you know if your car has incurred a total loss? What documents do you need? And how do you claim a total loss insurance? We answer all that and more in this article so that you don’t lose yourself in the insurance jargons.

An insured vehicle is declared a total loss car if the estimated cost of repairing it is more than 75 per cent of the Insured’s Declared Value (IDV). The IDV is the sum insured at the commencement of the policy; which is, for practical purposes, the market price of the car. The car declared a total loss is referred to as a totalled car.  On the other hand, the insurance companies call an insured car a Constructive Total Loss (CTL) when the aggregate cost of retrieval and repair of the vehicle exceeds its current value or worth.


Total car loss is incurred in two situations – theft and extreme damage. If your car is stolen and there’s no scope of recovery, it automatically amounts to a total loss. On the other hand, if the car is severely damaged and the cost of repairing it is almost as much as the cost of the car, it can be called a totalled car.

How is total loss calculated?

Total loss is declared when the cost of repairing the car is more than 75% of its IDV. IDV is basically the approximate market value of your car. The following factors determine the IDV of a car:

  • Make and model of the car
  • Mileage
  • Age of the car
  • If it is a private or company owned car
  • Condition of the car
  • Cubic capacity
  • Ex showroom price of the carThe insurance claim process of a total loss is as follows:
      • As soon as your car gets damaged, get in touch and inform your motor insurer about the mishap.
      • The insurer will send an adjuster to the site. Provide all kinds of information regarding the accident to the adjuster.
      • Upon assessment, the adjuster will either declare it as a total loss or approve it for repair.
      • If it is declared as a total loss, the adjuster will evaluate the cash value of the totalled car.
      • Upon evaluation, you will receive the cash value of the totalled car from the insurer.