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How to get a new car by filing a total loss claim in Wisconsin

Automobile insurance is mandatory in Wisconsin. So if you have been in a car accident and your vehicle has been deemed a total loss, you should be able to get a new car by promptly filing a total loss claim. Your insurance company is obliged to pay you the actual cash value (ACV), or fair market value, of your motor vehicle so that you can replace it with a comparable one.

To legally declare a car totaled in Wisconsin, the cost of repairing the damage needs to be at least 70% of the vehicle’s value.

Research how much your car is worth so that you can make informed decisions, and submit documents as soon as they are made available to you.

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What is included in the total loss payment after your accident

The insurance adjusters determine the value of your vehicle and make an offer for that amount. In theory, you should be covered for the cost of replacing your car, including the attendant sales tax, and tag and title transfer fees. 

However, there is no applicable statute, case law, or regulation governing recovery of sales tax for first or third party claims in Wisconsin. The good news, though, is that insurer companies who have not done so have been have been cited by state insurance commissions under Wis. ADC § Ins. 6.11

How are you paid for a total loss?

If you hold clear title to the vehicle, your insurance company will pay the price agreed upon directly to you.

If you are financing your vehicle, the finance company will be first in line for payment. However, if the pay out is less than the balance you still owe on the car, you are liable to fork out the difference. Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance covers situations where the total loss insurance payment is less than the balance due.

Driving a leased car affects an insurance claim after a crash. When it comes to leased vehicles, the lien holder (i.e. the company that leased you the vehicle) gets paid out. However, you will have to continue making lease payments until the title is cleared as per the terms of your lease., 

In the case of a leased vehicle, there may be a difference between the value of the car and the balance you still owe on the lease. The terms of the lease agreement normally hold you liable for this difference. Check your paperwork to confirm this, and whether you have GAP insurance to cover this difference.

What if the total loss claim doesn’t cover your costs?

As mentioned earlier, in Wisconsin there is no regulation governing recovery of sales tax or tag and title transfer fees. However, the precedent has been set that these ought to be part of the amount you are compensated.

If you feel that you have been short-changed, contact the team at Shamis & Gentile, P.A. to look into it on your behalf.

Car accidents in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has its fair share of motor vehicle accidents annually. Although the last decade showed automobile accidents to be one of the top causes of death in those between 1 and 45 years old, Wisconsin traffic fatalities were at their lowest level in at least 5 years last year.

get a new car

Insurance fixes your car, not your finances

As the popularity of leased vehicles is on the increase, it is important for consumers to understand what must be done if they are involved in an crash in their leased car. Do not be taken for a ride by your insurance company.

Recovery of sales tax after total loss

Thanks to recent legal decisions, you could be part of class action lawsuit investigation with the lawyers at Shamis & Gentile, P.A.

With offices across the country, the experienced attorneys at Shamis & Gentile, P.A. are dedicated to providing tireless legal representation in every aspect of your leased car accident case in Wisconsin. Contact us now to schedule a free evaluation with us.

Submit a Class Action Claim

Submit a class action claim today; there are no associated fees or expenses unless we manage to win the case on your behalf.