State laws and insurance companies’ guidelines differ regarding when a car or motorcycle is determined as a total loss. Generally, an insurer will total out a vehicle when repair costs exceed 50% to 75% (or more) of the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). Each insurance company has a way of calculating ACV, but typically it can include the blue book or NADA value, local comparable vehicle sales and internal information.
If there is major structural damage to a vehicle that cannot be properly repaired or that makes it uneconomical to repair the vehicle, then an insurance provider typically declares a total loss. If a scraped frame on a motorcycle means that the frame has to be replaced or go through extensive and expensive repairs, it may cause the bike to be totaled out since it could be uneconomical for the insurance company involved to fix the bike.
If your motorcycle has been in an accident that damaged the frame (scraped, dented, etc.), then speak with the insurance adjuster working the claim to determine how the company determines when a vehicle is totaled out. You can also ask if, according to their specific guidelines, there are certain damages such as frame damage that automatically cause the insurer to find the vehicle a total loss.
As for state laws regulating when a vehicle should be totaled out by an insurance company and be found to be a salvage vehicle, contact your state’s insurance regulatory body for consumer advice on this subject. They can give you information on your specific state’s laws.
— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.