Progressive will determine whether a vehicle is a total loss by doing an inspection on the car to assess whether the car can be repaired and whether those repairs will cost more than the car’s current value. The car will also have to fulfill the state’s criteria for a total loss.
Some states require Progressive to declare a total loss if the cost to repair a car exceeds a certain percentage threshold of the car’s value. That percentage will vary by state. For example, a car with damage equaling 75% of its value is considered totaled in New York, but not in Texas, where the damage has to be equal to 100% of the car’s current value. There are 22 states, including Delaware, California and Georgia, that use a total loss formula instead of a percentage threshold. In these states, Progressive will total your car if the cost of repairs plus the car’s scrap value equals or exceeds its actual cash value.
If your car is declared a total loss, the title is transferred to Progressive, which will then dispose of the vehicle. Depending on your insurance coverage, Progressive might provide you with a replacement, a claim payout, and sometimes a rental vehicle to use in the meantime. Progressive normally pays out your car’s cash value directly to you or to your leasing or financing institution.
Finally, it is worth noting that in recent years, Progressive was involved in class action lawsuits related to the way it values vehicles that are declared a total loss. These complaints alleged that Progressive purposefully undervalued comparable vehicles when evaluating total loss claims. Legal proceedings are still ongoing.
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