Car totaled but insurance won’t pay off my loan by Mission Viejo car accident attorney

You have been in a car accident in Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano or some Orange County city. Your car was declared a total loss but the insurance company won’t give you enough money to pay off your loan.  What can you do?

My name is John Burns and I’m a car accident and personal injury attorney.  My office is located where Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano all come together.

Here is the answer to your question.

Insurance Has To Pay Only The Actual Cash Value of Your Vehicle.

In a car accident in Mission Viejo or some other Orange County city, you will find that the other driver has a contract of insurance with his or her own insurance company. By his or her contract with their insurance company, that person’s insurance company only has to pay what’s called the actual cash value, sometimes called ACV, of your vehicle.

The same can apply if your own insurance company is handling the car damage part of your car accident. Your own insurance company has a contract with you in which it is obligated to pay you the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle if it is totaled. If the other driver was at fault then the insurance company of the at fault driver will have to pay your insurance company for any money your insurance company pays for the total damage.

Insurance Not Offering Enough To Pay  Off Your Car Loan

If the insurance company, either your insurance company or the at fault driver’s,  is not offering enough money to pay off your car loan, here is what you can do to possibly raise the value of what you have lost thus entitling you to more money.

  1. If you recently put new tires or other expensive equipment on your car, send the receipts to the insurance company to raise the value of what you have lost.  Do the same with anything else of value that you had done to the car before the car accident.
  2. Go on the internet and look at car sales websites to find similar year, make, model, condition and tire wear to your vehicle that was declared a total loss.  See if the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle was actually higher than what the insurance company is saying.
  3. If you find your car was worth more, send that information to the insurance company and show them that they are not offering enough money to pay you the actual cash value of your vehicle.  If a vehicle you find is selling for an amount of money that’s equal to or more than what you think needs to be paid off on the loan, then you can  hopefully get the value of the negotiation of your vehicle’s ACV up a little higher.

You Can Buy Insurance To Protect Yourself On Your Next Car

If your car was totaled you are obviously going to have to buy a replacement car at some time. When you do, you should ask your insurance company for a price quote to add to your policy a provision that will pay off any loans on the car that you have, even if the loan amount is highrer than the ACV of the vehicle. You will probably find out that the cost of such extra insurance coverage is quite low and well worth the price.


If you have a car accident in Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano or some other Orange County city please call me to discuss it. We handle problems like this all the time for people and can often get the problem resolved quickly.

There is no charge to talk to me so please call.  Our phone number is 949-496-7000 and my personal e mail address is I look forward to helping you with this issue.
I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you personally.  Have a great day.

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