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Insurance damage categories & Insuring a Cat C write off

What are insurance damage categories?

All insurers have different methods of calculating the value of a vehicle when considering whether damage caused by accidents are repaired or written off. As a general rule of thumb, if the damage to the vehicle is going to cost more than 2 thirds of the total value to repair, then the vehicle will be written off. There are 4 different categories of damage write off"s which are universally employed by all British insurers. Category C is the most common write off category. Before we come to looking at how to go about insuring these vehicles, let"s take a look at the various categories and what they mean.

Category A

This is the most serious category. If a vehicle is a category A write off, then it may never be driven again. No parts from the vehicle may be salvaged and the entire vehicle and all parts must be crushed.

Category B

The damage to the vehicle will be extensive. The body and chassis must be crushed. These vehicles must never be driven again. Undamaged and serviceable parts on these vehicles may be salvaged and re-used on other road going vehicles.

Category C

These vehicles may be repaired. A category C write-off is an economical one. The insurers have decided that it is beyond economical repair. It is often possible to repair such vehicles independently using labour which is cheaper than insurers have access to, and using salvaged parts. These vehicles may be driven again when they have been restored to a roadworthy condition. Before being permitted back on the road, they must undergo a vehicle identity check by VOSA.

Category D

This final category is also an economical write-off. The difference between category C and D is that a cat D car would only be lightly damaged and, usually, easily repairable, but other aspects of cost come into play, which when added to the repair cost make the vehicle uneconomical for an insurer to repair. Examples of additional costs could be storage, delays waiting for parts, or vehicle rental costs while the delay is ongoing. A category D write off does not require a vehicle identity check prior to going back on the road. It just needs to be repaired to road going condition.

Insuring an insurance write off

Insuring these vehicles may be a bit more complex that it first seems. The problem is that many people today tend to insure their vehicles online, either on comparison sites or directly with their chosen insurer. Very few insurers ask the question online as to whether the vehicle has been previously damaged or written off and this can lead to complications. For example, if someone were to insure a vehicle that had been written off in this way and then repaired to a roadworthy standard without telling the insurer, then they may find that in the event of an accident that insurer will not cover them.

To get around this, simply give us a call on 0808 2640860 and we will be able to ensure that any quote is accurate by disclosing the situation to the chosen insurer. It"s better to be safe than sorry. No-one wants to be in a position where their insurance won"t cover them.


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