My question involves insurance law for the state of: California
I own a 2011 Toyota Camry worth approximately $21,000. A storm occurred and water got sucked into the engine and damaged the engine internally. The cost to repair the engine was approximately $4,000. My insurance company, Travelers Insurance, refuses to pay for the repair claiming that my car is a total loss. I do not understand how a $21,000 car can be a total loss just because there is $4,000 in damage to its engine. I do not understand why the vehicle cannot just be repaired for the $4,000. My insurance company has told me that because the salvage value is $14,400, the car is a total loss.
What is the legal definition of a total loss in California? I want to see whether my vehicle meets this legal definition, because if it doesn't, I intend to fight the insurance company on this. I have a hard time believing that a $21,000 car with $4,000 in damage to its engine is a total loss. I do not understand why the insurance company cannot just pay the $4,000 for the repair of the engine and instead considers this a total loss. This appears to be insurance bad faith. What is the legal definition of a total loss in California?