The facts about Salvage Retention and Insurance Write-Offs

The facts about salvage retention and insurance write-offs

Salvage retention allows you to receive or buy back what is left of your vehicle from your insurer if it’s written off.

Vehicles are written off if the cost of repairs becomes uneconomical or because the damage has made the vehicle illegally unroadworthy. This can be the case following a fire, flood or a serious collision.

How to get salvage retention

There are two ways insurance companies deliver salvage retention:

  1. You pay an extra premium on your policy. The salvage is returned to you following a write off plus your agreed or market value minus your excess.
  2. You don’t pay a premium and have the opportunity to buy back the salvage. You receive your agreed or market value minus your excess and the value of the salvage. This is what we offer.

Insurance write-off categories

There are 6 different types of insurance write-off categories:

  • A – The vehicle is either beyond repair, contaminated and subsequently will be crushed because it is no longer roadworthy.
  • B – The body shell has to be crushed because it is beyond repair or unroadworthy, however, you can salvage other parts from the vehicle which can be re-used providing you use a professional salvage company.
  • C – The vehicle can be repaired and used again; however, the cost would exceed the vehicle’s value.
  • D – The vehicle can be repaired and used again, the costs are lower than the vehicle’s value, however, other costs such as transportation raise this over the vehicle’s worth.
  • N – The vehicle has sustained non-structural damage such as broken steering or brakes and can be repaired to a roadworthy condition.
  • S – The vehicle has sustained structural damage such as a twisted axle and can be repaired to a roadworthy condition.

If your write-off is classed as category A or B, you will not be able to receive or buy back the full salvage. On this note, be mindful of insurance companies that offer the automatic return of all vehicles as part of their salvage retention schemes. The law is clear about the return of vehicles depending on which write-off category they fall under.

Taking that into consideration, you may wish to re-evaluate whether paying a premium for salvage retention is really worth it.

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Adam Šapić

Adam is the marketing manager and brand evangelist for Abbeyfields Insurance. Need specialist vehicle insurance? Get a quote online or call 0121 550 2380 - 9 am to 5 pm, Mon to Fri.