Insurers generally consider a motor vehicle to be a total loss when the estimated cost of repair (including any supplements) plus the probable salvage value equals or exceeds the actual cash value of the vehicle. LSA-RS. 32:702 requires all vehicles sustaining damages equivalent to 75% or more of the market value as determined by the most current National Automobile Dealers Association Handbook (NADA) to be declared a total loss subject to salvage titling requirements.
However, LSA-RS. 22:676 allows an insurer to consider whether a vehicle would be a total loss if the cost to repair or replace the airbags system is excluded from the total loss determination. This will make it possible for an insurer, if the insured agrees, to pay more than 75% of the NADA book value to repair a vehicle without declaring it a total loss, subject to salvage titling, as long as the cost to repair or replace the airbag system makes the total damage exceed 75% of the
NADA market value.