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If you’ve previously read our article on what to do when a car on finance is written off, you may be wondering what your options are if you don’t think your write off is fair. If your car has been involved in an accident the last words you want to hear are ‘write off’. But these things do happen, and life can hit you unexpectedly. If you’ve received a valuation for your car when it’s been written off and you’re not happy with the price you’ve been given, you can choose to dispute it. Our latest blog below explains how you can challenge a car insurance write off and the steps you can take in order to do so. 

What is a car insurance write off?

A car insurance write off is when a car has been damaged beyond repairs or is no longer roadworthy. If you’ve been involved in a road accident or crash, your car insurance provider will assess your vehicle and deem it roadworthy or not. Even if the damage doesn’t look that bad, in many cases the damage can be beyond repair, and you’d be surprised how often this happens. The level of damage to the vehicle can fall into different categories and some are more extreme than others. 

feeling sad about car

What is the car insurance write off categories?

Car write offs can be sorted into categories based on the level of damage. Car insurance assessors are used to rank the seriousness of the damage sustained and can fit into the below categories:

Category A – The vehicle is too damaged for repairs and all parts should be destroyed and scrapped.

Category B – Similar to category A but some parts can be salvaged to be used again in other vehicles.

Category S – The vehicle can be driven again if it has been professional repaired and only suffered structural damage.

Category N – The vehicle has suffered non-structural damage and can be repaired and back on the road.

How to challenge a car insurance write off:

A consumer may choose to challenge a car insurance write off if they think the insurer has not properly valued their car. Insurers may also value the cost of repairs to be more than the cost of the vehicle and this would also be considered an insurance write off. Consumers may feel that the insurer has overvalued the cost of repairs and want to dispute it. If you’re reading this blog and that applies to you, this is what you can do about it. 

1.   Challenge the valuation

You may be able to challenge the valuation of your vehicle if you are unsatisfied with the compensation figure. You can pay for an independent mechanic’s report to put forward to your insurance provider. Alternatively, you can gather your own evidence as to why you think the vehicle has been under-valued. For example, evidence that the vehicle has had money spent on it e.g., new technology, tyres, or modifications. You can also find the market price for similar vehicles from car dealers or free online valuation sites.

2.   Take your case to the Ombudsman

If you and your insurer are failing to see eye to eye, you can escalate your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You’ll have 6 months from the date of the claim to take it to the Ombudsman. They will then assign you to an impartial employee who will review the case and make the final decision.