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Understanding Total Loss Claims

After your Claim professional has reviewed your vehicle information, he or she will determine the value of your vehicle in accordance with state regulations based on its year, make, model, options, condition, maintenance and confirmed mileage. Your Claim professional will then contact you to discuss that value and work with you to make sure we have everything we need to resolve your claim promptly.

Get a head start by:

  • Removing all personal belongings from your vehicle, including garage door openers and any items adhered to your windshield, such as transponders or toll lane passes.
  • If your vehicle is currently at a body shop or tow yard, tell the facility you will be releasing it to Travelers. This will allow us to transfer the vehicle to a secure storage facility.

 Make sure you have the following important items:

  • Keys. Once located, please store your keys safely until your Travelers Claim professional provides further guidance.
  • Vehicle title. This document is important to your settlement process. If your vehicle is leased or has a lien holder, the title may be in the possession of your lien holder, bank or leasing company.
  • Lien information. If applicable, gather all lien holder information, including the loan account number. Call your loan provider and let them know Travelers will be contacting them regarding the vehicle.
  • Additional forms. You may be required to fill out a power of attorney form or another transfer of ownership document. If you have not already received these forms, they will be sent to you shortly.

Total loss claim frequently asked questions

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

Through an individualized process, we evaluate your vehicle’s fair market value prior to the loss, also known as ACV. One tool we use is valuation software that gathers sales information from local auto dealers, car lots and various media outlets to find the value of vehicles similar to yours in your area. We also carefully evaluate and take into account the condition of your vehicle prior to the accident. Your final payment from Travelers will be your damaged vehicle’s ACV minus your policy deductible and any negligence for the accident assessed to you, if any.

Will recent enhancements or repairs, 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 is dependent on the type and age of vehicle enhancements. Routine maintenance performed on your vehicle will not typically increase its value. Please inform your Travelers claim professional of any recent vehicle enhancements that you would like to have considered in the calculation of your vehicle’s overall value.

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

Your vehicle will not be automatically removed from your policy. Please contact your agent or service representative located on your Policy Declarations page to update your policy.

What if the amount I owe for my vehicle is more than the payment I receive from Travelers?

In this instance, you should first check to see if you have purchased Loan or Lease Gap Coverage with your insurance policy. This coverage generally covers the difference between Travelers’ final payment and the remaining principal left on your account after a covered loss. If you don’t have Loan or Lease Gap Coverage, ask your lien holder about payment options that will work best for you.

What do I need to know about the vehicle title and/or transfer of ownership documents?

All vehicle titles and vehicle title transfer processes vary according to state regulations. States typically will not accept any errors made when signing title documents. Even a small cross-out or scribble could interfere with the transfer process. You should always consult your Travelers Claim professional directly before signing your title or transfer of ownership documents.