The insurance company is only required to fix your vehicle or offer the fair market value for your vehicle in the event your vehicle is a total loss. Fair market value is what you could expect to get for your vehicle if you tried to sell it yourself. Often the fair market value may be less than what you owe on your loan.
If you were fortunate enough to have gap insurance as part of your vehicle insurance policy, your gap coverage will likely cover the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and what the insurance company says the vehicle is worth.
Unfortunately, those without gap coverage may find themselves still owing on a vehicle after it has been totaled out. This area of the law is not favorable to the accident victim and may seem extremely unfair, particularly to those individuals driving a tried-and-true older vehicle with low resale value.