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Written off

The end of a beautiful relationship

The sight of a written-off vehicle is heartbreaking at the best of times. If you’re the owner, it’s even worse. Sure, we’re going to give you some sort of compensation for your loss, but to put a price on the love of a man (or woman) for his (or her) car? It certainly won’t bring your car back and it most definitely won’t make up for your loss. We get this. We really do. But – please consider why this really is the best decision (for the both of us).

It’s not you, it’s us

Here’s the thing: we may need to write off your car if it’s going to cost us more to have it fixed (back to its original roadworthy state) than actually just calling it “quits” and paying you the insured value (minus the excess) in cash.

After an accident, we’ll send out an assessor to determine the extent of the damage to your vehicle. The assessor will also look at the availability of parts and the age and condition of your vehicle before he makes a decision.

Instead of simply applying a fixed percentage threshold (e.g. if the damage to your car is more than 60% of vehicle’s value) to establish whether or not the car is a write off, we prefer look at the historical salvage data for your specific vehicle model and type to determine a more accurate write-off threshold.

Our decision

If we decide to write off the vehicle, we’ll continue to process your (valid) claim as usual. Only - in the case of a write off, you’ll need to provide us with the original registration forms as well as signed change of ownership forms.

If your vehicle is not financed and you prefer to have the vehicle fixed privately, you will need to sign a disclaimer as we will not be responsible for, or pay for any unseen damage. However, given the time, effort and risk of the repaired vehicle not being the same as before the incident, we would strongly advise you not to challenge the decision to write the vehicle off. Please note that if the vehicle is financed, we cannot reverse our decision as your vehicle is the property of the bank, and we’ll have to abide by the rules of conduct of the bank in question.

Let’s talk money

In the case of a write off, we’ll pay out the insured value (e.g. retail), minus your excess, dual insurance, betterment and depreciation. To illustrate:

  • You insured your car at retail value (i.e. R200,000).
  • You selected an excess amount of R3,000.
  • The vehicle has since depreciated in value (less R40,000).

In this example, the claim will be settled at R157,000, assuming that betterment and dual insurance did not come into play.

Final goodbyes

Once we’ve settled your claim, we’ll take the vehicle to our salvage contractors where the change of ownership will be done in OUTsurance’s name. All salvaged vehicles are auctioned off by our salvage contractor. Unfortunately, if you change your mind and want to “buy” your vehicle back after we’ve settled the claim, you won’t have “right of first refusal” and the only way to secure the salvaged vehicle would be for you to attend the vehicle auction and make the highest offer.

 

 

3 Tips on what to do after a bumper bashing incident

  • Stop! Never drive away from the scene of the accident, even if you’re fairly sure that you didn’t cause any damage to the car in front of you.
  • Repair the vehicle as soon as possible. Don’t put off bumper repairs for too long as this may cause any damage to worsen in future
  • Report the accident to the police and to your vehicle insurance company – even if the damage was minimal.

Frequently asked questions

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 Will OUTsurance give me the option to have the vehicle repaired with cheaper, second-hand parts to bring down the repair cost to avoid a possible write off?

We have specialised assessors who determine what parts we can use, depending on the warranties, age and safety concerns. We also have to take into consideration financed vehicles, which means that once the vehicle has been written off, we cannot change this decision as the vehicle is after all still the property of the bank until it’s paid off. We have to abide by the code of conduct signed with the finance house.

 If I want to do the repairs myself, can I do this?

Yes, if the vehicle is “repairable”, you can do the repairs yourself, however we strongly discourage this as we cannot be held accountable for the quality of the repairwork or for any delays. We have service level agreements with all of our suppliers, so if you use one of our suppliers, at least you can have peace of mind that if something goes wrong with the repairs process, we’ll follow up on your behalf.

 Will OUTsurance insure my repaired written-off vehicle?

We will be able to insure a repaired write off on the condition that the vehicle passes all the relevant roadworthy and AA tests.

 What if I still owe money to the bank, even after my claim has been paid out?

If you’ve opted for our vehicle credit shortfall option, we’ll pay the difference between the insured value of your car and the outstanding amount to the relevant finance company.

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