CCC News & Insights

EV Trends and the Shifting Dynamics of Total Loss in Auto Claims

In our recent webinar, a panel of CCC's industry analysts and experts broke down the data from our Crash Course Q1 2024 report, sharing their insights on vehicle complexity and how it’s impacting the auto claim and repair industries.

While our analysts covered a wide range of topics, most of attendees’ questions during the Q&A were related to electric vehicles (EVs) and total loss trends. Here’s what our analysts had to say about it.

Electric Vehicle Trends

EV Repair Costs and Trends
  • High Initial Repair Costs: Currently, the repair costs for EVs are notably higher due to the specialized technology and the skills required to safely manage electric systems. However, as technicians become more experienced and familiar with EV technology, these costs are expected to decrease.
  • Repair Shop Learning Curve: The initial high costs are partly due to shops learning how to process the uptick in EV repairs. The frequency with which they encounter EVs and subsequently perform repairs is expected to reduce the learning curve and ultimately enhance efficiency, with potential to reduce part of the cost equation over time.
Impact of EVs on Insurance and Repairs
  • Total Loss Rates for EVs: Total loss rates for EVs have so far been comparable to those for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, but this could shift as more EVs enter the market and as the industry adapts to the new dynamics these vehicles introduce. Dwindling EV values could also be a major driver of EV total losses in the long-term.
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Total Loss Trends

Factors Influencing Total Loss Rates
  • Total Loss Increases: Total loss rates have been trending higher, influenced by normalizing ACVs (Actual Cash Values) and increasing repair costs. This is compounded by the complexities introduced by newer, more technology-laden vehicles.
  • Younger Vehicles Being Totaled: CCC data shows that newer/current year models have seen a jump in total loss rates – higher than even 1- to 3-year-old vehicles – due to increased severity of losses (either high severity or cost of damages). Growing vehicle complexity and the higher cost of repairs relative to the vehicle’s value are factors that have likely contributed to this trend.
Industry Responses and Trends
  • ADAS and Repair Challenges: The integration of ADAS and safety technologies has significantly increased repair costs and complexity. Calibration and ADAS repair are substantial factors that need industry-wide standardization to help manage costs.
Broader Insurance Market Trends

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Want to watch the Crash Course webinar replay? Click here.
To access the full Crash Course report,
click here.