Total Loss

Chairperson:  Phil Martinez

The CIECA Total Loss Committee was organized to define industry-wide standards to improve and streamline the Total Loss process, from the identification of the vehicle being a total loss through the final settlement with all appropriate parties, excluding the financial exchanges.  The Salvage Committee has included the salvage disposition process.  The Total Loss process generally involves identification of the potential total loss, submission for valuation of the vehicle, receipt of the valuation, and settlement with the vehicle owner.  Also included is the disposition of salvage and total loss reporting which will be coordinated with the Salvage Committee.  Traditionally, all communication between Insurance Companies, Information Providers, Adjustors (person who manages the claim settlement), Estimators (Appraisers, person who appraises damage and writes the estimate; staff, independent, body shop, etc.), Salvors, and Vehicle Owners (fleet, etc.) has been done via phone or fax, through websites, or through proprietary and non-proprietary interfaces. 

The Mission of the CIECA Total Loss Committee is to help shorten Total Loss processing cycle time, make the process more efficient, and reduce the perceived risks by facilitating the electronic transfer of transaction information between all parties.
Scope & Objectives

The Total Loss Committee will focus on:
  • Provide industry definitions for the Total Loss process
  • Establish relationships to existing CIECA data elements and incorporate the Total Loss data dictionary in CIECA’s industry-wide Business Message Specification (BMS), XML schema and Code Lists.  The objective is to create an open system architecture for all related parties.
  • Determine the benefits to all industry segments
  • Establish Total Loss Implementation Guides
  • Work to develop total loss reporting to entities requiring this reporting and coordinate standards development with other industry organizations.  (e.g., NMVTIS, NICB, ISO)
  • Initial receipt of total loss valuations and ongoing updating of total loss valuation communication
  • Work with the Salvage Committee on all messages and data developments, and develop anticipated salvage value.  This would include data points that determine cycle time
  • Work will also be coordinate with the Recycled Parts and Inventory Committee
  • Develop industry accepted terminology with regard to cycle time in the total loss process, building on what is already included in the Assignment and Estimate information, beginning with the first notice of loss through the final settlement
  • Development of Total Loss processing work flow for multiple final disposition options
Operating Guidelines
  • To incorporate all potential business entities in the business processes.
  • To work with the group to respond to group goals and timelines.
  • To provide an open working relationship in the Total Loss Committee within the antitrust guidelines.
Industry Segments Affected
  • Insurance Company: Insurance companies and their representatives involved in the identification and resolution of vehicle total loss processing. Property and Casualty insurers in one or multiple lines of business who acts on behalf of their policy holder and impacted parties to valuate and complete the salvage disposition.  This party may also be known as a salvage provider.
  • Information Provider: A company whose business includes any combination of doing business as a Software Provider and/or a Service Provider.  Any entity that develops and/or maintains applications and/or services related to total loss processing, and/or total loss data consolidation.  This can also be known as the Alliance Partners (Salvage Committee)
  • Third Party Administrator:  Any entity that is involved in the processing and settlement of the total loss vehicle and represents the insurance company or self insured company
  • Estimator: Any entity that appraises damage and writes estimates.  Often known as the “Appraiser” when referring to an insurer or independent appraisal company.  An Estimator does not typically manage the entire claims process
  • Adjustor: The person who manages the claim to settlement.  The person may be an “Inside” adjuster who does not appraise damages, or an “Outside” or “Field” adjuster who appraises damages in addition to managing claim settlement.
  • Salvor:  Any entity responsible for the disposal of total loss or theft-recovered vehicles on behalf of a Salvage Provider.   This includes salvage pools, online auction companies, etc. 
  • Vehicle Owner & Self Insured Company:  Any entity which owns the vehicle, this includes individual owners and self insured companies such as rental companies, fleet companies, etc.  This party may also be known as a salvage provider.
  • Recycled Parts Provider: Any company whose businesses concern is distribution and disbursement of parts to the automotive repair industry, most specifically recycled parts, replacement parts harvested from vehicles
  • Data Recipients:  Any entity which receives or utilizes Total Loss data.  Data Recipients include law enforcement, National Insurance Crime Bureau/Insurance Services Organization (NICB/ISO), state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) etc.
For more information, email