What do I do if my car is written off?

Posted on 2017-10-11


What does it mean to have your car written off? When your car is deemed a write-off by your insurance company, the damage might not seem that severe to you, but it could lie beneath the surface.

Navigating through the process can be a stressful experience if you aren’t prepared, so we’ve put together a detailed guide to help break down the process, explain how an insurance company will evaluate your vehicle after an accident, and what will happen next.

What is the car insurance write-off procedure?

After a car accident, the insurer will assess the damage to your vehicle. If they consider the cost of repairs to be uneconomical to repair, then the vehicle will be declared a write-off. This normally happens when the cost of repairs is high in relation to, or more than, the insured value of your car.

What do I do after an accident?

If you are involved in a collision, the first thing you need to do is turn on your hazard lights and:

  • Record the date, time and location of the accident.
  • Note the make, model and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Collect the personal details (name and ID number) of all drivers involved, including their insurance details.
  • It’s helpful to get contact details of any witnesses at the scene too. This may help you in the future if there is ever a dispute.
  • Contact your insurance company to get authorization for the correct towing company to tow your vehicle. The towing companies that arrive at the scene of the accident might pressure you to use them. If you do not use an authorized towing company (and confirm with your insurance company that they are, as the tow truck operators might tell you they are authorized) you may be liable for the cost of the towing and the subsequent storage costs of the vehicle

How is a settlement figure determined?

The settlement figure is determined by calculating the insured value of the vehicle. The selected value will be calculated by comparing the Trade, Market or Retail prices of similar vehicles, depending on which insurance cover you selected initially, and then taking into account mileage, condition of the vehicle, and any upgrades the vehicle might have had to determine your car’s insured value.

The BetterCar Value insurance option is available from Budget Insurance, an authorised financial services provider with FSP number 18178. If you invest in the BetterCar Value option, your car will be replaced with a younger model with less mileage. T’s & C’s apply.

Can I keep my car after it’s been declared uneconomical to repair?

Once the vehicle has been written off, you can ask your insurance company to allow you to keep it if it is not financed. If agreed to, the cash settlement will be reduced with the projected salvage value.T’s & C’s will apply.

Which type of insurance covers everything?

When you’re selecting the right insurance for you and your family, make sure you fully understand the different options available. Vehicle insurance from Budget Insurance, an authorised financial services provider with FSP number 18178, offers four options, each one tailored to suit each customer’s unique needs. Dealing with insurance doesn’t have to be a chore; if you familiarise yourself with your policy there will be no unpleasant surprises.

The information contained in this document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.