Car Insurance write offs: What You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered about car insurance write offs, what they are, and when they’re applied? We often use the term “write off” generally to refer to a car that’s no longer roadworthy. However, while this isn’t always incorrect, there’s more to a written off vehicle than just cars that have been in an accident. In line with this thought, today, we’re looking at some of the main things you need to know about write offs to help you find out more.

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What is a Car Insurance Write Off?

Not all written off vehicles are the same. Indeed, for the most part, write offs are imposed by a car insurance provider following an accident or damage to the vehicle. Sometimes, these are because the car is severely damaged and is not safe to take on the road. In other cases, though, it could simply mean that repairing the vehicle is not financially viable and will cost more than the car is worth.

Write Offs Don’t Always Mean Irreversible Damage

One factor that’s important to keep in mind when looking at a write off is the category of write off in question. Indeed, while write offs can occur due to a car being damaged beyond repair, they don’t necessarily require extreme damage. In fact, write offs can also happen when a vehicle that has a low market value receives a small amount of damage.

If this small amount of damage would be costly to repair, and the bill would be greater than the vehicle’s value, then the insurance company may write the car off for financial reasons.

There are four main categories of car write offs. These are:

Write Offs Don’t Always Mean Irreversible Damage

  • Category A: The car has been damaged beyond repair and has to be scrapped
  • Category B: The car has experienced damage beyond repair but parts can be salvaged
  • Category S: The car has suffered structural damage but is repairable
  • Category N: The car has no structural damage, only non-structural damage

Category A and B cars cannot be brought back onto the road, but category B cars may be used for salvaged parts in some cases. Category S and N write offs, however, are repairable and these can potentially be fixed.

Can I Get a Writen Off Car Back On The Road?

If a car has been written off solely for financial reasons, you can potentially still buy it back and pay for the repairs yourself, although this may leave you out of pocket compared to the car’s market worth. As such, consider this carefully before you buy.

Check Your Car’s Not a Write Off Before You Buy

Buying a second-hand car can be a highly affordable option; still, just because a vehicle looks in good nick doesn’t mean it’s not a write-off. In fact, it’s amazing how much difference a good repair job can do to make a car look road-worthy again, even when it’s not. As such, running a car check before you buy is crucial to make sure that the car isn’t an insurance write off.

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