Saturday, February 4th, 2023

What’s an insurance coverage write-off? Cat A, B, S and N defined

From how your automotive is valued to disputing a valuation, our information to insurance coverage write-offs explains all the pieces you must know within the occasion that your car is broken past restore.

What’s an insurance coverage write-off?

Write-off is the time period utilized by insurance coverage firms to explain when a automotive has been broken to the extent that one of many following is true:

  • it is going to be unsafe to drive, even when it’s repaired
  • it doesn’t make financial sense to restore

You might also hear a write-off known as a ‘whole loss’.

There are 4 classes of write-off, that are outlined by the extent of injury the automotive has sustained. The class your automotive is positioned in will decide whether or not it may be offered or have to be scrapped.

A write-off could be made towards your personal coverage or towards one other driver, assuming that you’ve third-party insurance coverage and the opposite driver was at fault.

How does an insurer determine if a automotive is a write-off?

insurance write-off
When your automotive is in an accident or sustains important harm (from hearth, vandalism, flood and so on), your insurer will first determine whether or not the automotive could be repaired to a protected commonplace. If not, it is going to be declared a write-off.

If it may be repaired, the insurer will then assess the kind of harm sustained and the repair-to-value ratio. Which means that they are going to examine the estimated price of restore with the worth of the automotive. Normally, a automotive is deemed a write-off if its restore will price at the very least 50% to 60% of the automotive’s worth, though this does range between insurance coverage firms.

Think about, for instance, you’ve gotten a automotive price £6,500 and maintain harm in a crash. Your insurance coverage firm makes use of a repair-to-value ratio of 55%. Which means that they are going to class your automotive as a write-off if repairs price £3,575 or extra.

It’s price noting that insurance coverage firms will base their calculations on an estimate from an official bodyworks restore firm utilizing alternative elements purchased straight from the producer. Which means that what seems to be minor harm to you should still end in an insurance coverage write-off.

What are the insurance coverage write-off classes?

insurance write-off
There are 4 fundamental classes of insurance coverage write-off, that are based mostly on the extent of the harm sustained.

Class A

A Cat A write-off implies that your automotive won’t ever be protected to drive once more and have to be crushed.

Class B

A Cat B can even by no means be protected to drive on the street once more. It have to be scrapped, however some elements could also be salvaged.

Class S

A Cat S automotive has suffered structural harm, akin to a collapsed crumple zone (the entrance or rear of the automotive), damaged suspension, or bent chassis, however could be salvaged.

Class N

A Cat N automotive is one which has suffered in depth non-structural harm. This covers any beauty harm in addition to hurt to the brakes, steering wheel, leisure system or different elements of the automotive.

What if I get my Cat S or Cat N automotive repaired?

In case your automotive is a Cat S and Cat N, that is classed as a write-off till you’ve gotten had it professionally repaired and re-registered with the DVLA (Driver and Automobile Licensing Company). After this, you’ll obtain an up to date logbook (V5C registration certificates), which will probably be marked with an ‘S’ for ‘salvaged’. That is in order that new consumers are conscious that the automotive was as soon as written off.

Former classes: Class C and Class D

Upset man with crashed car in background

Cat S and Cat N have been launched on 1 October 2017 to exchange Cat C and Cat D. Though automobiles written off after this date can have the brand new classes utilized, there are nonetheless many Cat C and Cat D automobiles accessible on the second-hand market.

Cat C was the classification given to autos the place the price of restore would have been greater than the worth of the automotive; a repair-to-value ratio of at the very least 100%. Cat D automobiles are comparable, however the place the repair-to-value ratio was increased than the insurance coverage firm’s threshold for restore.

Can I preserve my automotive if it’s declared a write-off?

In case your insurance coverage firm classifies your automotive as a write-off, they are going to give you a money payout well worth the worth of the car after which promote or scrap the automotive. If you happen to want to preserve the automotive, the insurance coverage firm will nonetheless provide the payout however will then promote the automotive again to you. That is solely doable for a Cat S or Cat N write-off.

For a Cat S, you should ship your logbook (V5C) to the insurance coverage firm and apply for a brand new one utilizing type V62. You don’t want to do that for a Cat N, however you should inform the DVLA that your automotive is a write-off irrespective of which class it’s in.

Can I insure a automotive that’s been written off?

insurance write-off
You may insure a Cat S or Cat N write-off for those who purchase it again out of your insurance coverage firm (see above), however not a Cat A or Cat B automotive. It’s also possible to insure a Cat C or a Cat D automotive for those who purchase one second-hand or you probably have an older car that was beforehand declared a write-off.

Not all insurance coverage firms will present cowl for a automotive that has beforehand been written off, so it’s finest to discover a specialist insurer like Adrian Flux.

Your insurance coverage firm might request proof of the repairs that you’ve needed to your automotive. In case you are shopping for a written-off automotive second-hand, ensure you get the complete service and restore historical past. In some instances, your insurance coverage firm might require an unbiased engineer’s report back to guarantee that the repairs have been safely carried out.

What if I don’t agree with the choice to write-off my automotive?

If you happen to don’t consider that your automotive is a write-off, you’ll be able to argue this to your insurer – however just for a Cat S or Cat N. Most individuals problem the choice to write-off a automotive for one of many following causes:

  • They consider they need to have the next money payout.
  • They consider that the repair-to-value ratio isn’t as excessive because the insurance coverage firm has claimed (and the automotive might due to this fact not be a write-off).

Each of those relate to the worth of the automotive. Your insurance coverage firm is required to provide you a money payout that may enable so that you can purchase the identical automotive because the one which’s been written off (in its pre-write-off situation).

Man speaking on the phone

If you wish to contest a choice, you should inform your insurer as quickly as doable. The subsequent step is to do your analysis so to show the worth of your automotive to the insurance coverage firm. Attempt a number of of the next:

  • Purchase a Parkers information from a petroleum station and verify the valuation of your automotive, or ask a mechanic to lookup your automotive within the Glass’s automotive information. These are used as commonplace throughout the business.
  • Look in your native paper at for-sale commercials. If yow will discover a number of advertisements for automobiles of the identical make, mannequin, 12 months and situation which are being offered at the next worth, you should utilize these as proof.
  • You could possibly additionally have a look at forecourts for automobiles on the market from sellers and get a replica of the main points for automobiles like your personal.

After getting gathered your proof, ship this to your insurer or dealer and attempt to negotiate the next money payout or decrease repair-to-value ratio. If this doesn’t work, it’s inside your rights to request an unbiased evaluation. However you must solely do that for those who really feel strongly that you’ll obtain the consequence you need as you might have to pay for the privilege of getting this achieved. You also needs to bear in mind that the assessor’s resolution is remaining – and there may be each likelihood that they are going to worth your automotive at lower than the insurance coverage firm initially provided.

You even have the correct to contact the monetary ombudsmen along with your grievance, however you must all the time attempt to resolve the difficulty straight earlier than taking this ‘last-resort’ step.

What if the write-off valuation gained’t cowl my automotive finance?

Woman on the phone after a car accident
If you purchase a automotive on finance, you find yourself paying greater than the worth of the automotive by curiosity. Sadly, a write-off won’t change the sum of money you owe to your finance firm, so it’s seemingly that your money payout will probably be lower than your remaining steadiness owed. That mentioned, in some instances – for instance, you probably have had your automotive for a very long time and almost paid the steadiness – your insurance coverage firm might repay your finance straight or your financier might clear your debt. Converse to each and ask for recommendation.

It is usually price checking for those who purchased Assured Asset Safety insurance coverage (GAP), typically known as whole loss safety, if you purchased your automotive or final renewed your coverage. GAP insurance coverage will cowl the distinction between the money payout out of your write-off and the worth of your automotive if it was purchased model new.

If you happen to’re focused on studying extra about Cat C and Cat D automobiles for buy, take a look at our weblog on the professionals and cons of shopping for a former write-off.

Get insurance coverage on your written off automotive

In case your automotive has beforehand been written off, we will help. As a specialist insurance coverage dealer, we’re in a position to supply insurance coverage for written-off automobiles the place others can’t. Name us on 0800 081 0777 for a quote, or request a callback at a time that fits you.


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