The 3 things you MUST know if you’ve written off your car

As if having an accident isn’t bad enough, being faced with the news that your car has been written off is a whole new level of low. Forget about adulting your way through the moment, this is when you’d be forgiven for dropping to your knees and wailing like a 3-year-old.

In insurance terms, your car is considered a write-off when it’s going to cost more to fix than to just call it quits and pay you out the insured value.

If you aren’t prepared, this already stressful event can turn into an actual nightmare. That’s why we’ve broken the writing off process into 3 key areas that you MUST know about, so that it can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

1. The royal write-off process

You’ve had an accident and done what you needed to do to lodge your claim, like getting the other party’s details and reporting the incident to the police (we’ve jotted down all the steps here if you’re wondering).

Now, you’re into the next step of having your car written off. This is when a royal representative will get in touch so that we can get important docs from you.

Paperwork you’ll need to provide:

  • Your car’s registration papers.
  • A settlement letter (if your car’s still financed) showing the amount you owe.

Then, your car will be moved to 1 of our approved assessment centres. This is where we rely on experts to review the cost of the repairs required. If the costs come to an amount that’s higher than the total you’ve insured your car for, then alas… Your car is considered uneconomical to repair and is officially declared a write-off.

2. So, how much will you get

The money we pay out is called a ‘settlement figure’. Again, we rely on experts to calculate the insured value of your car.

The experts compare prices of similar cars, and details specific to your car, like its mileage, condition, and any upgrades. And then there’s some fancy maths involved… The end result is an overall figure that we’ll pay out before any deductions.

Possible deductions that could impact your settlement figure:

  • Your excess amount: The amount you pay first when you make a claim.
  • The amount you still owe the finance institution if your car’s still financed.
  • Dual insurance: If your car is insured by 2 overlapping, independent insurance policies.
  • Depreciation: General wear and tear of your car, which results in your car’s value decreasing.

An example of a pay-out if your car has been written off

Let’s say that your car is insured for R500,000, you selected an excess of R2,500, the depreciation (for the small dents and dings) comes to R20,000, and you still owe R45,000 to the bank.

Before anything happens, you need to pay us the excess amount. Then we pay the amount that you still owe on the car, directly to the bank or financing house. Then, we’ll pay you out as follows:

R500,000 – (R2,500 + R20,000 + R45,000) = R432,500

3. Say your goodbyes

Your claim has been settled and you know how much you’ll be getting. Before you start hunting for a new car or a used car dealership that offers in house financing, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

For starters, did you know that you can ask us if you can keep your car (if it isn’t financed)? Depending on the situation, you could keep your car and your settlement will be reduced by the estimated salvage value.

We’ll help you understand all of your options, because that’s part of how we treat all members of our kingdom. It’s crucial to us that you’re kept in the loop every step of the way, that you know what’s expected of you to get the ball rolling, and that you understand what’s happening and why.

We take our jobs very seriously when it comes to helping you during a claim, so if you don’t already have our reassuring, royal touch in your life, then get a quote here.