Total Vehicle Loss in Minnesota
You may be surprised to learn that the risk of suffering a car crash is higher than you think. According to data published by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, from 2010 to 2020, there were 800,578 vehicle crashes in Minnesota, an average of almost 73,000 crashes each year. A total of 57,127 crashes occurred in the state during 2020 alone.
Most car crashes result in damage to the vehicles involved. But even minor auto crashes can be traumatic events for all involved. If a car crash results in extensive damage to your vehicle, personal and financial stress will likely increase. Auto insurance is designed to protect you from financial risks and stress resulting from car accidents.
Auto Insurance and Total Loss
When you buy insurance, the law requires that you be treated fairly and that your claim be paid in accordance with the terms of your policy. However, insurance companies frequently neglect to pay for a car’s fair market value when it is considered a “total loss.” What then?
What Happens When Your Insurance Company “Totals” Your Car?
If your vehicle sustains extensive damage in a crash, your insurance company may declare it a “total loss.” Under Minnesota law, a vehicle may be declared a total loss if the cost of repairing the damage is greater than 70 percent of the car’s pre-crash “actual cash value,” which is the amount necessary to replace the damaged item with one of like kind and quality.
The benefits you are entitled to from insurance are determined by state law and the terms of the insurance policy.
If your vehicle is declared a total loss, under Minnesota law, your insurance company is required to offer a comparable and available replacement vehicle including all applicable taxes, license fees, or other fees, or offer a cash settlement based on the actual cost of purchase of a comparable vehicle, less the deductible amount as provided in the policy. A proper total loss cash settlement should include all applicable taxes, license fees, and other fees incident to transfer of evidence of ownership.
However, some insurance companies, when settling total loss claims, fail to properly calculate the settlement payment and often neglect to include such costs as:
- Sales tax
- Title transfer fees
- Vehicle registration fees
- License plate transfer fees
- Other mandatory Minnesota fees
If you do not include these costs and fees in your settlement for your total loss, you may be entitled to pursue a claim to receive those additional amounts from the insurer. Where it appears that the insurance company has failed to include these items as a general practice, moreover, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate to recover on your behalf and for all other persons similarly affected. And for that, Anderson + Wanca can help.
Call Anderson + Wanca for Total Loss Vehicle Claims in Minnesota
Anderson + Wanca is a boutique class action litigation law firm. Our consumer rights attorneys at Anderson + Wanca have years of experience with class action litigation, including fighting for the rights of insureds whose total loss claims have been improperly underpaid. If you believe you have been wronged by an insurance company in connection with your total loss claim, or if you just want to be sure you have been offered a proper settlement, contact our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca. We will review your insurance policy, settlement documents, and the invoice for your replacement vehicle to see if you are being offered a fair settlement and, if not, to determine if there is a potential for a class action claim that our firm could advance on your behalf at no monetary cost to you.
Anderson + Wanca works with licensed attorneys in Minnesota and throughout the United States.