Oregon Vehicle Total Loss Laws

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Understanding Vehicle Total Loss

When a vehicle is involved in an accident or sustains significant damage, it may be deemed a total loss by the insurance company. A total loss occurs when the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds its actual cash value (ACV) or a predetermined percentage of the ACV set by the insurance company. In Oregon, there are specific laws and regulations that govern the process of determining and handling total loss vehicles.

Oregon’s Total Loss Threshold

In Oregon, the total loss threshold is set at 80% of the vehicle’s ACV. If the cost of repairs exceeds this threshold, the insurance company will declare the vehicle a total loss. However, if the repairs fall below this percentage, the vehicle can still be repaired and the insurance company will cover the cost of the repairs.

Salvage Titles

When a vehicle is deemed a total loss, it will receive a salvage title. This title indicates that the vehicle has been significantly damaged and repaired. It is important to note that these salvage vehicles may have reduced market value and may be more challenging to insure or resell.

Oregon’s Total Loss Settlement Process

When an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss, they are required to follow specific steps to settle the claim. First, they must determine the ACV of the vehicle before the accident. This is typically done by assessing the condition of the vehicle, considering its age, mileage, and any previous damage.

Once the ACV is determined, the insurance company will deduct the salvage value of the vehicle from the ACV. The salvage value is the estimated amount the vehicle can be sold for in its damaged condition. The remaining amount is the settlement offer that the insurance company will provide to the vehicle owner.

Disputing the Settlement Offer

If the vehicle owner disagrees with the settlement offer provided by the insurance company, they have the right to dispute it. They can provide evidence of the vehicle’s value, such as recent sales of similar vehicles or independent appraisals, to support their claim for a higher settlement amount.

Buying or Selling a Total Loss Vehicle in Oregon

When buying or selling a total loss vehicle in Oregon, there are certain requirements that must be met. The buyer must be informed that the vehicle has a salvage title, and the seller must disclose any known damage or repairs. Additionally, the vehicle must pass a reconstructed vehicle inspection conducted by the Oregon Department of Transportation before it can be registered and driven on the road.


Understanding Oregon’s vehicle total loss laws is crucial for both vehicle owners and insurance companies. These laws ensure that the settlement process is fair and transparent, and that buyers and sellers of total loss vehicles are aware of the vehicle’s history and condition. If you find yourself in a total loss situation, it is advisable to consult with an experienced insurance professional or legal advisor to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive a fair settlement.