Insurance Write-Off Categories Explained

Posted on 17 October 2018 by CarTakeBack

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You've all likely heard of the term insurance write-off, in relation to a damaged car, but do you know what it means? Here's the lowdown on what it means and what insurance categories are…

What is a write-off?

When a car has been damaged or involved in a collision and is deemed unsafe or uneconomical to repair by the insurance company on inspection, it's assigned a category and labelled a "write-off".

Last year, two of the four insurance write-off categories were changed due to the Association of British Insurance (ABI) changing its salvage codes, which now relates to the structural damage of a vehicle as well as the repair costs. This was done to reflect the increased complexity in repairing modern cars.

Below is a list of the current categories and explanations of what they each mean.

Damaged car

What are the car insurance categories?

Category A (Scrap)

This is the most serious category, it's assigned when a car is severely damaged and is considered unsafe. Category A vehicles must be depolluted, crushed and recycled, even if the vehicle has salvageable parts. No part of Category A cars can be removed or reused, and they can never return to the road.

Category B (Break)

This category is to show the vehicle has sustained serious damage and the vehicle's body must be de-polluted, crushed and recycled, as the car must never return to the road. However, undamaged parts of Category B cars may be removed and reused on other vehicles.

Category S (Structural Damage)

Previously known as category C, Category S is assigned when the vehicle has suffered damage to the structure and it's advised that the car shouldn't be repaired due to high costs. However, if the vehicle has been repaired so that it's safe to be driven, it can be returned to the road.

Category N (Non-Structural Damage)

Previously known as Category D, this category is to show that the vehicle has received non-structural damage, but it may have cosmetic damage, or sustained safety issues such as electrical, break or steering problems, and is considered uneconomical to repair when comparing the cost to the value of the vehicle. Cars assigned this category can be returned to the road, but must be repaired professionally before they are.

What should you do with your insurance write-off?

If you have a vehicle that has been deemed unfit for the roads, or is going to cost a fortune to repair, CarTakeBack will gladly take the vehicle off your hands. Get rid of your car with our free online scrap car quotation. We can collect your damaged car from your home, or from the garage. Just enter your registration and postcode to get started.

Instant quotes are based on the car being free from significant damage and having all of it's major parts. Please contact us for a custom quote if you car has significant damage or has major parts missing.