If my car is written off by the insurer is it worth buying it back and will I be able to insure the car?

If my car is written off by the insurer is it worth buying it back and will I be able to insure the car?

Asked on 7 June 2019 by SALLY BEECH

Answered by Tim Kelly
It is not as straightforward as that. Insurers work on very tight contracts with their approved repair network to get your car repaired for as little as possible. What makes you think you can get it repaired for less? That is the first thing you need to bare in mind. If the damage is cosmetic or to bolt on panels it may be beneficial, whereas with structural damage, it certainly is not. Is the car beyond economic repair? If the repair cost are less than the market value, the car is not a total loss. Your insurer may well then try to con you out of 35% of your settlement by advising that is what they charge you to retain the salvage. The car is yours already, you do not need to buy it back. In this situation, never let the insurer control your asset, get your car back to your home address, or your own garage that you trust. Then insist they either repair the car or provide a "cash in lieu of repair settlement inclusive of VAT". This way the car is not a total loss and will not have a categorisation attached. Insurers deducting salvage amounts for vehicles they do not own is one of the biggest cons and unfair treatment of customers going.

If the repair cost is more than the market value, then the car is a total loss. You know now that you are going to have to spend more than the car is worth to repair, Not only this, but your car is going to be worth around 20% less than retail due to the connotation of being a previous total loss. Financially, you have to be mad to follow this path, as you are throwing your money away. I generally advise people to not retain the salvage as it's not beneficial to you. The only time I would consider it is where the damage is cosmetic, mechanical, or a classic vehicle that I wish to retain for the parts. There should be no issue insuring the vehicle afterwards.
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