What do I do if my car is written off?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

A vehicle can be considered a write off for a number of reasons and your car doesn’t have to be involved in a huge crash for it to happen. Some vehicles may have only sustained a small amount of damage which is visible from the outside but can still be considered totalled – it doesn’t just have to be a mangled mess of metal to end of up on the scrap heap, unfortunately.

What is an insurance write off?

Your insurance company basically writes off your car when the costs of any repairs outweigh against the cost of the actual car and would be uneconomical to repair. Most insurers consider this limit around 50-60% of the car’s overall worth.

What happens when your car is totalled?

In the event of your car being written off, your insurer will keep the vehicle and you will receive a cash payout for your loss. The amount paid out is generally the market value of the vehicle.

What are my options should my car be written off?

If your car insurance company informs you that your car is written off you do have the option to accept or even decline this decision. If you do choose to decline the decision you may not be able to receive the full amount that the insurer would pay out to help you replace the car.

Insurers calculate the car’s market value for a payout by using a number of factors:

  1. The listed value and current market sales of same model
  2. The condition of the vehicle before the write off
  3. The distance the vehicle had travelled

Always check with your car insurance provider for further details should your vehicle be written off. They will be able to provide a clear answer on how to continue in the event of a car totalling accident.

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