Watch this short video on total loss to understand the process and navigate your next steps


What should you do next?

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Remove license plate, personal items, vehicle title and any paperwork from the vehicle

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Leave your keys with the vehicle

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Contact your lienholder and give them permission to discuss the claim with us

Here’s what to expect from us

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Claims will contact you to discuss the inspection and settlement process, including payment options such as:

  • Digital payment (your fastest option)
  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
  • Check

The claims associate will discuss steps to release your vehicle from storage and, if applicable, rental vehicle options. Once given permission, we’ll coordinate with your lienholder. Covered claims should be paid once we have all the proper documentation and your vehicle has been picked up.

Track your claim

Questions? Call 1-800-421-3535 to speak to a Nationwide Claims associate.

Frequently asked questions

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A vehicle is considered a total loss when estimated repair costs for the damage are greater than the vehicle’s value; the vehicle can't be restored to safe operation; or state laws requiring a total loss determination.

Typically, the year/make/model, mileage, vehicle condition, major options and/or refurbishments, and the local market for comparable vehicles determine the value. Nationwide uses a third-party vendor, approved by the Department of Insurance, to help determine the value of your vehicle. You will receive a detailed report outlining how the value was determined.

Your rental reimbursement amount is typically specified using a daily limit and an overall maximum amount. To see your specific rental coverage, go to the claim tracker.

Learn more about rental car coverage.

After your vehicle is released from the shop or tow yard with your permission, it will be towed to Copart for inspection. Your total loss adjuster will contact you to discuss in further detail the outcome of the inspection and the next steps to resolve your vehicle claim.

Nationwide will reach out to your lender to obtain the payoff amount. Usually, the vehicle owner receives the balance remaining after the loan is satisfied. If there is an unpaid balance on the loan after the total loss payment, your total loss adjuster will discuss this with you in further detail.

If the actual cash value of your vehicle is less than what you owe on your loan or lease, then you may still owe money. If you have Gap insurance, that coverage may apply to the money you still owe to your lender.

If you have the physical title, hang on to it and wait for instruction from your claims professional. If the title is held by a lender, be prepared to fill out and sign a power of attorney and odometer disclosure statement. When these are complete, Nationwide will obtain the title from the lender. Please note that requirements do vary by state, so you may have additional requirements.

This depends on state laws and regulations. Your total loss adjuster can discuss this option with you in further detail.

If you had a car seat in your vehicle, please let your claims adjuster know. If a replacement is appropriate, you can work with a Nationwide preferred vendor to get it replaced as quickly as possible.