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Your car will be considered to be totaled by the insurance company any time, usually when the costs to repair the vehicle exceeds the costs to replace it. If your vehicle is considered to be totaled, you can expect to receive the vehicle's market value.

There are several standard guidelines for determining the market value of your car for insurance purposes. You and your insurer can refer to the Blue Book, which lists the depreciated value of all new and used cars. One Blue Book is published by the National Association of Automobile Dealers (NADA) at www.nada.com. The other is published by Kelley Blue Book at www.kbb.com. For you to get a settlement higher than the Blue Book value of your car’s make and model, you will have to submit evidence such as mileage records, service history and affidavits from mechanics to show that your car was worth more. You can also show that your car was considered a "classic" car that commonly trades at a value higher than the Blue Book value. You’re entitled to the market price of the car you just lost.