Categories: Family

What To Do When Your Kid Totals Your Car

You trust your teen to make the right decisions, especially when it comes to your expensive car. However, all inexperienced drivers run into accidents at some point. If a minor totals your car, you may not know what will happen next with your insurance policy and medical bills. Review a few tips on how to handle this predicament.

Check for Medical Injuries

The first step is to have your teen checked out for medical injuries. Some people assume that they are not injured because they do not feel serious pain. However, they could receive irreversible damages for injuries that are not repaired right away.

If injuries are found, stay in close contact with the doctor. The doctor keeps documentation of all hospital visits and medical treatments. If you ever hire a lawyer, you need medical documentation to present your case in court.

Prepare for Personal Liability

You could be held liable for damages that your child causes. The rules of personal responsibility are not the same for every insurance company. Even if the person who totaled your car is a licensed teenage, the rates are still high for inexperienced drivers.

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Some companies cover licensed and unlicensed teen drivers, while others only cover those with licenses. Some accidents are not covered if your teen is not listed on the policy or takes the car without your permission.

Review the Insurance Plan

In any case, the rates on your policy are likely to increase significantly. After an accident, the insurer could increase your premium or cancel the policy altogether. Teen drivers are riskier to insure than older drivers, so their rates will increase more.

Determine the Car’s Value

Find out what your insurance company defines as a total loss. The damages for a totaled car are usually 70% or higher, but the threshold is not the same in every state. If your totaled car is covered by the insurance company, you receive money.

First, the insurer has to determine the car’s value. Many insurers use the actual cash value that includes depreciation costs. Otherwise, you could receive a new replacement car that does not include depreciation. The insurer may allow you to negotiate the cost of the payout. If nothing else, you can send your car to a company like U Pull & Pay to get money for the parts.

You can’t change the reality of a teen misusing your car and totaling it. From then on, you can only face the consequences that include medical injuries and possible lawsuits. Make sure that you are prepared to deal with the insurance company and more as you recover from your total loss.

Lizzie W: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. You can find her on Twitter @LizzieWeakley.

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