Total Loss Threshold by State

Appraisal Engine Inc

Reviewed by:
On March 4, 2015
Last modified:August 12, 2017


Total Loss Threshold by State. When is a vehicle declared a total loss.

The Total Loss Threshold is the dollar amount or percentage of value that triggers an automobile’s being declared a total loss by the insurance company.

total loss threshold graphic cars

This amount differs from state to state, please review the table below to learn which method your insurance carrier will use to determine if your vehicle is to be totaled.

Method 1: Percentage of FMV
This percentage is normally set by the state or the legislature. Most states have a 3/4 total loss ratio.
Cost of Repair Fair Market Value Result
$18,000 $20,000 (80%) Car Totaled
$12,000 $20,000 (60%) Car Repaired
Method 2: The total loss formula TLF
This is normally set by the carrier or a law that limits the carrier’s exposure to a claim by allowing them to pay the lesser of the two amounts below.
FMV – Salvage Value Cost of Repair Result
$20,000 – $4,000 = $16,000 $18,000 Car Totaled
$20,000 – $4,000 = $16,000 $12,000 Car Repaired

The salvage value is normally obtained by contacting salvage yard or soliciting a salvage bid from a salvage re-builder.

Insurance companies often auction off totaled cars at salvage auctions, example, IAA.

If you own the car free and clear (no liens), you have the right to buy-back the vehicle from the insurance company for the salvage value.

Other factors affecting the Total Loss decision:

  1. Vehicle safety if repaired
  2. Time to complete repair
  3. Scarcity of vehicle
  4. Diminished Value
  5. Loss of use
  6. The possibility of supplements

If you need professional help navigating your total loss claim, contact Tony Rached at Appraisal Engine by calling 1-800-667-2326.



Unless a TL percentage is established by law, insurers will use the total loss formula.

Alabama 75%
Alaska TLF
Arizona TLF
Arkansas 70%
California TLF
Colorado 100%
Connecticut TLF
Delaware TLF
Florida 80%
Georgia TLF
Hawaii TLF
Idaho TLF
Illinois TLF
Indiana 70%
Iowa 70%
Kansas 75%
Kentucky 75%
Louisiana 75%
Maine TLF
Maryland 75%
Massachusetts TLF
Michigan 75%
Minnesota 70%
Mississippi TLF
Missouri 80%
Montana TLF
Nebraska 75%
Nevada 65%
New Hampshire 75%
New Jersey TLF
New Mexico TLF
New York 75%
North Carolina 75%
North Dakota 75%
Ohio TLF
Oklahoma 60%
Oregon 80%
Pennsylvania TLF
Rhode Island TLF
South Carolina 75%
South Dakota TLF
Tennessee 75%
Texas 100%
Utah TLF
Vermont TLF
Virginia 75%
Washington TLF
West Virginia 75%
Wisconsin 70%
Wyoming 75%

Do you want to challenge what the insurance company is offering you? Start with a claim review.

Total Loss Threshold by State. When is a vehicle declared a total loss.

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