You’ve probably heard the term “depreciation” in relation to car insurance . But unless your car has won that unfortunate title, you might not know exactly what qualifying means. Basically, your car can be canceled after an accident or damage if it is irreparable and unsafe to drive or uneconomical to repair. If you have coverage that includes a payment for total loss or replacement, you may receive an insurance premium for your car up to the agreed-upon or market value of the comparable new car or vehicle.
If you only have motor liability insurance or do not have coverage above mandatory liability insurance (CTP), this may not be an option. But if your wheels are found to be low, you can save some money by selling working parts or the entire lot for scrap.
Who decides if your car is a victim?
That would be your health insurance. Specific vehicle accident classifications differ slightly across Australian states and territories. However, it is the insurers that mark vehicles as official victims of accidents in all areas.
If you do not have insurance, the insurer of the driver involved in the incident may classify your vehicle as written off and insure it accordingly (depending on the type of car insurance the defaulting driver has).
A downloaded car ends up in one of two fields:
- Statutory Retirement: This is the end game. Legal write-offs are considered irreparable, typically due to structural or other extensive damage, and you will never be able to re-register the vehicle. However, any usable materials or parts can still be sold for scrap.
- Repairable Losses: You could repair this type of damaged car, but the supplier estimated that the repair would cost more than the car’s market value. These types of depreciation can be sold and then recorded again when repaired to the correct standards.
After the official classification, your car will be entered in the Written Off Vehicle Register (WOVR).
Can you dispute a car insurance write-off?
In the case of a total repairable loss – the kind where the insurer decides it is uneconomical to repair the damage – this is possible. However, you should hurry because once the car is placed in WOVR, it will be difficult to change the rating and the processing time is usually a week.
If you’re trying to get your provider to pay repair costs, you’ll need to show that the “recovery and repair costs” are less than the market value (and the insured value) of the vehicle. If the damage is rated “irreparable”, you will have a hard time contesting the WOV title.
How much do you get back from a car in total?
This will depend on your insurance policy, but it will likely be less than you thought as it is not a simple automatic amount payment. The amount can be affected by:
Your deductible: This is an amount you must pay before your insurance takes effect. This can range from around $500 to $3,000, depending on factors like the value of your car and who was driving it at the time of the insurable incident (if it was an unlisted young driver, the deductible could skyrocket).
Be sure to keep an eye on your deductible and the value of your car to ensure that a write-off doesn’t make an insurance claim uneconomical once the deductible is paid.
Remaining premiums: Even if you pay monthly, you will still have to pay the remaining installments of your car insurance premium. Insurance companies usually deduct the rest of your annual premium from your wages.
Unused Registration and CTP:You have an Agreed Value Policy (where you negotiate a set amount that will be covered in a downside scenario) or you have signed a Market Value Coverage based on the sale price of an old branded car , similar condition and mileage at time of claim .
When assessing market value, your CTP and record can be factored into the equation. In this case, the remaining amount at the time of the claim may be deducted from your payment.
What if I still owe money for my vehicle after it is written off?
If you took out a car loan to buy your wheels, that debt doesn’t go away with your vehicle depreciating. Hopefully you’ve insured the car to make up for its value and either get a new or old replacement vehicle or get a decent down payment that you can use to continue paying off the loan while figuring out a new mode of transport.
Regardless of the situation, once you have the insurer’s final say, it’s important to contact your lender to discuss your options. Many financial institutions have hardship policies if you are struggling to cover payments.