With used car prices so high, would you be able to replace your car if it was involved in an accident? Turns out many older cars are underinsured.

Shannon White lifted the tarp over what had been her 2007 Nissan Sentra. It caught fire on the way home from her job as a house cleaner. White was uninjured, but her car was a total loss.

Normally if this was to happen with your car, your insurance company would total it out and write you a check for $5,000 to $10,000, or whatever it is worth. But, for that to happen, you would have to have collision or at least comprehensive insurance.

Herm Harrison learned a similar lesson. He found out that his Ford was underinsured when he got into a fender bender last year.

“Body shop pulled it out, straightened the panel,” Harrison said.

When he asked his insurance company to pay the $3,000 bill he was stunned. Instead, he got a letter stating the repair cost was more than half the car’s market value. So, they would be totaling the car and giving him less than $2,000.

So, what can you do?

Jonathan Klinger with Hagerty Insurance says with a core more than 15 years old, you may want to as for “stated value” coverage with a specific worth if it is damaged.

“The value of the vehicle, its market value, that is agreed at the time the policy is issued. there are no questions, no determining the value at the time of the loss,” Klinger said.

As for Sharon, make sure you have comprehensive insurance that covers things like fire or deer collision. It is only about $150 a year.

Sharon in the end had to beg friends for help finding a new five car.

Make sure you understand your insurance, so if something like this happens to you, you’re covered and you don’t waste your money.