Is a Car Totaled if the Airbag Deploys?

Determining whether or not a car is totaled is usually the job of your insurance adjuster. Whatever they say goes in terms of the condition of your car and how much it is worth. But many car owners often confuse themselves when it comes to airbag deployment. Most people assume that if an airbag deploys, a car is instantly rendered a total loss; but this is not always the case.

Continue reading to learn more about the link between airbags and totaled cars.

Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188
Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Average Cost of Airbags

Airbags are not cheap. They can cost up to $1,000 just for the part; then you have to pay for labor, as well as, any damage done to the dashboard and steering wheel. Overall, you can expect an airbag replacement and repair to cost at least a few thousand dollars.

All insurance companies deem a car a total loss if the cost to repair it back to its condition prior to the accident exceeds the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident. Most states set the limit between 50% and 80%; here in Indiana, it’s 70 percent. So if an airbag deployment renders a vehicle so damaged that the cost to repair it is more than what the car is actually worth, it will be deemed a total loss and given a salvaged title.

However, a deployed airbag does not always cost more than a vehicle’s cash value. In some cases, the cost to replace an airbag and reconstruct the dashboard and steering platform does not exceed the fair market value of the vehicle. This is usually common among newer model vehicles, and brand new vehicles.

For instance, if you have a 2015 Lincoln Navigator, the cost to replace a deployed airbag would not cost tens of thousands of dollars, which is what a Navigator of that model would probably sell for. In contrast to this example, smaller or lighter vehicles, like a new Hyundai Accent, would likely be totaled if the airbag deployed because more damaged would be done.

Total Loss Automotive Claims

The first step to the automotive claims process is to contact your insurance provider to schedule a time to have the condition of your vehicle evaluated by an adjuster. They will determine, along with their appointed auto body experts, whether or not your vehicle is a total loss. If it is a total loss, they will tender your policy limits.

If you wish to keep your total loss vehicle, you must buy it back from the insurance company by paying them the actual cash worth, minus your policy’s deductible. Usually, you just forgo the payout they offer for the vehicle; you don’t actually pay your insurance company out of pocket. Upon keeping your totaled car, the DMV will issue it a salvaged title.

Get Top Dollar for Your Totaled Car in Indianapolis

Cash for Junk Cars 317-608-2188
Cash for Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to quickly and conveniently sell a totaled car in Indianapolis. We offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer! We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle and pay you cash. Call 317-608-2188 to request a free estimate, today.