The words no driver wants to hear go something along the lines of “your car is a total loss” or “I’m afraid it’s a write off”. They can make your heart sink and you start to imagine life without your trusty vehicle, but some people are too attached to their cars to let them go, even if they’re little more than a mangled heap of scrap metal by that point. If your car has officially been written off, but you decide to buy it back to repair it on your own, are you still insured? Or, what if you do part ways with your written off vehicle but decide to immediately buy another? Will your insurance company be covering you for that one? Find out below.
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What Happens To Your Car After It’s Written Off
After a car has been involved in an unfortunate accident, it will be assessed by your insurance company (or rather an appointed team of mechanics) who will work out the cost of repairs required to get it back into a working, road legal condition. If the cost of the damage outweighs the value of the car itself, it will be considered financially unviable to repair. Ultimately, this is what your insurance company means when they use the term ‘write off’.
From this point on, you are left with two options. The option that most motorists choose is to simply receive a payout for your car. This payout is calculated by looking at the current market and evaluating just how much your car – that’s the exact same make, model, age and mileage – is worth now. At the time of writing (August 2023) second-hand car prices have skyrocketed, along with pretty much everything else, so it’s actually not unheard of for an insurance company to pay out more for a vehicle now than its owner paid for it five or so years ago. The catch, of course, is that this money is given to you with the idea that you’ll purchase another car of the same make and model, in which case, you’re not going to be left with any profit.
If you go down the other route, you can buy your car back from the insurance company and keep it for yourself. This option is only really viable for those who fancy themselves as a mechanic, or know somebody who is, and would be able to complete the necessary repair work without blowing a small fortune on the vehicle. After all, it’s going to be slapped with a salvage category title forevermore which immediately devalues it.
Are You Still Insured After Your Car Is Written Off?
No, your insurance policy does not continue to be active once your car is written off. This is because once your insurer makes the decision to write off the vehicle, it technically becomes their property, hence them paying you a lump sum of cash for it. If you choose to buy the car back from them, it becomes your property again, but your insurance policy is not reinstated.
Can You Get Insured To Drive A Written Off Car Again?
So, since we’ve established that once your car is written off your insurance policy ends, even if you buy back the vehicle, can you get it reinsured? Well, you can, but it will have a salvage category title for life identifying the fact that it was at one point written off. This means that not only will some insurance companies flat out refuse to cover you, the ones that will are likely to increase your monthly or annual payments.
Whether you agree with this practice or not depends on how you look at it (it’s certainly not for us to say) but the insurer’s stance on the matter will be that cars with a history of severe damage are more susceptible to breaking or being involved in an accident again.
What Happens To Your Insurance Policy After A Write Off?
Despite the fact that your insurance policy is effectively ended once your vehicle is written off, you will still be expected to pay the full balance for your year of coverage. For example, if you pay monthly and your vehicle is written off after just two months on the road, you’ll still have to make those monthly payments for another ten months since you had simply broken up the cost of the coverage as a whole.
Similarly, if you paid for your policy in one go to cover you for the entire year, don’t expect a refund like you might when it comes to your car tax. The insurance company will not take the blame for the vehicle being written off, so are not obliged to refund you anything.
If you’ve got a write off that you’re desperate to get rid of, come to Scrap Car Comparison for a quote now! In just 30 seconds we can find you the highest offers from our network of scrap and salvage buyers who are stationed across 99% of the UK. We even offer free collection as standard for every single customer, regardless of what make or model you’re selling! Give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to get a quote today!