This is according to Christelle Colman, managing director and founder of Elite Risk Acceptances, who says that being clued-up about the process followed by insurers in the event of a car being written off can help policyholders to navigate the claims process better and avoid any unnecessary financial loss.
“Generally speaking, an insurer will classify a car as a write-off if the cost of repairs is high in relation to - or more than - the car's insured value. This, however, is by no means an exact science and will depend on the car's make, date of registration and mileage. Even the popularity of the car may come into play, as this influences the availability and cost of repair parts.”
Colman uses the example of an imported car, which may have relatively small damage, but due to the high cost of repairs, insurers will elect to write the vehicle off. “In this instance, it will cost less to pay out the value of the vehicle in full than to repair the damage. Insurers are also entitled to the salvage and will, in terms of their agreements, recover a portion of the claims cost from the salvage dealer.”
But some premium insurers would replace a car with a new one if it is written off within the first year or two of registration.