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Understanding Total Loss Claims

Your Vehicle is a total loss. What now?

To help us resolve your claim quickly, here are some things you should do. It is important you complete these steps in order.

1. Remove all personal belongings from inside your vehicle as soon as possible and remove any personal items attached to the outside of your vehicle (license plates if necessary and available, transponders, EZPasses, parking passes, car magnets, garage door openers, sunglasses, USB cords, etc.).


2. Tell the body shop or tow yard that you are releasing your vehicle to Travelers. We will have your vehicle picked up, usually within 24 hours. If applicable, review and complete any required release forms, and review any invoices for accuracy and retain them for possible reimbursement.


3. Give your Claim professional the original title, your keys/key fob, and, if applicable, your lease/lien information. The title may be in the possession of your lienholder or leasing company. Call your loan/lease provider and give them permission to provide information about your account to Travelers. Let them know Travelers will be contacting them regarding the release of your title. Your Travelers Claim professional can help you sign your title and enter your mileage.


4. Complete any required forms. You may need to give Travelers power of attorney or complete a transfer of ownership. If you have not received these forms, they will be sent to your shortly. A FedEx label will also be provided in order for you to send your title and/or other documents to Travelers, 60 Lakefront Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14202. In states that allow electronic signature, your Claim Professional will discuss how to complete these forms electronically.

Total loss claim frequently asked questions

When should I remove my personal belongings?

As soon as you are advised your vehicle is a total loss.

Why is it important to advise the body shop or tow yard to release your vehicle to Travelers?

Releasing the vehicle to Travelers allows us to move the vehicle to a free storage facility in order to avoid additional storage fees. If you do not release the vehicle and the fees are unreasonable, you may be responsible for those additional storage fees.

How do I sign the vehicle title and/or transfer of ownership documents?

You should always consult with your Claim Professional before signing your title and/or transfer of ownership documents. States require your paperwork to be error free.

You may be required to fill out a power of attorney. How is the power of attorney used for my claim?

If you sign a Power of Attorney, it allows Travelers to act on your behalf to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

How do you determine the actual cash value (ACV) of my vehicle?

We evaluate your vehicle’s ACV by determining how much your pre-loss vehicle could have been sold for today, also known as its market value. We use industry accepted tools and resources to locate similar vehicles to yours in order to help us evaluate your vehicle’s market value.

Will recent enhancements or repairs made to my vehicle, such as a custom stereo system or rebuilt transmission, add value to my total loss settlement?

In some cases, vehicle enhancements may add value to your totaled vehicle; this depends on the kind of vehicle enhancements you’ve added, how old they are and your policy coverage. Routine maintenance performed on your vehicle will not typically increase its value.

Will my total loss vehicle be automatically removed from my policy?

No, it will not. Please contact your agent or service representative to update your policy. Contact information is located on your declarations page or insurance ID card.

What do I do about transportation while I am looking for a vehicle?

Begin your search for a replacement vehicle as soon as you know that your vehicle is a total loss. In general, after a total loss value has been communicated to you, you should be able to replace your vehicle very quickly, usually within 5 days. If you have rental coverage, we can approve a rental vehicle for a reasonable amount of time for you to obtain a replacement vehicle.