If you are an average Australian, you will have invested quite a bit of money in your mode of transportation. You know how important it is to look after your car, so that you don't lose too much in terms of depreciation and annual running costs, but also so that you protect its inherent value.
In the latter case, this means that you will almost certainly rely on an insurance company to protect the replacement cost of the vehicle by taking out comprehensive cover. While most people don't expect to call on this type of coverage, it's unfortunate that accidents do happen and your vehicle may have recently sustained significant damage.
How does the insurance company determine whether to repair the vehicle or to classify it as a 'write off'?
Being on the Ball
You should never delay in reporting any accident to your insurance carrier. Some people may be slow in doing so, especially if the accident did not involve any other vehicle or person. It is important that you do not delay the process in any way, however, as the company will want to send an expert out to have a look at the vehicle's condition now, to start the process. This individual is also known as an 'adjuster' and his or her job is to come up with a value for the vehicle as it is, in relation to its condition before the incident.
This is where you need to be proactive. While a certain amount of detail is quite easy to uncover, such as the age and mileage on the odometer, it's in your best interest to provide the adjuster with as much information as possible about the condition of the vehicle before the accident. In an ideal world, you would have some recent photographs but in any case, you need to tell the adjuster what upgrades you may have fitted to the vehicle that could affect its inherent value.
In other words, if you had fitted leather seats or a sunroof to the vehicle, or may have recently received a new gearbox or transmission, this could all increase the value of the vehicle and will definitely play into the equation.
Making the Decision
Once the adjuster has determined the extent of the damage and how much it's likely to cost the insurance company to repair, they will then compare that information to the adjusted value of the vehicle to see whether it is economical for them to sanction that it be fixed. At the end of the day, this is a fairly straightforward calculation and once determined, the adjuster will tell you whether the vehicle is a write off or can be booked in for extensive repair.