IT’S CRUNCH TIME
What to do if your car is a write-off, and how to make the best of a bad situation
‘A car can be bought back as salvage, if the client makes their wishes known’ PETER JAMES INSURANCE
New data has revealed that around a third of used and classic cars in the UK are – or have been – classed as an insurance write off.
The figures, provided by online car history checking service, My Car Check, suggest that a third of cars in the database were classed as an insurance write off at some point in the past.
But, when it comes to write-offs, how should you make the best of a bad situation?
You have several options if your classic is accident-damaged beyond economical repair. In the cases of Agreed Value policies, in which the car’s value has been settled beforehand with a specialist insurance broker, the procedure will be easier – you receive the sum in cash and the insurer keeps the car. Otherwise, you may have to negotiate the vehicle’s true worth, which can take many weeks.
Ultimately, the write-off remains your property, unless you agree to sell it to an insurance company, but remember that the onus is on you to inform the DVLA.
Once out of your hands, it could be sold as scrap, or entered into a salvage auction for either future repair, or dismantling.
Yet, there is one key advantage to engaging a classic broker’s services – namely, having first refusal to buy the car back, if you so wish.
A spokesman from Peter James Insurance says: ‘Subject to certain restrictions, such as chemical contamination following a fire, a classic vehicle can be bought back as salvage, provided that the client makes his or her wishes known at the start of the claims process. Any costs will depend on the individual vehicle, or circumstances.’
A spokesperson for Lancaster Insurance adds: ‘In relation to costs, if a vehicle was valued at £10,000 and the salvage was determined as £750, you would get back £9250 ( less any policy excess), as well as your vehicle.’
However, Footman James advises that, for £15, you can buy nildeduction salvage cover and this ‘gives you the option to retain the salvage of your vehicle in the event of a total loss, deduction-free upon settlement of the claim, provided that the vehicle is in neither Categories A or B and, therefore, prevented by law from appearing back on the road.’
Significant body damage results in a Category B write-off. Such a car can only be bought for parts. INSURANCE