What to do in the event of a motor accident resulting in total loss or write-off…

If your vehicle has been damaged and Insurers have deemed it a total loss or a ‘write off’, Thomas Carroll will work with you to progress the claim and obtain the appropriate financial settlement under your Policy.

When a vehicle is written off by an Insurer, the salvage must be dealt with correctly to make sure that dangerous, badly repaired vehicles aren’t put back on the road or that the salvage isn’t used to give a new identity to a stolen vehicle.

A voluntary code of practice supported by major organisations, including The Home Office, Department for Transport, Association of British Insurers, DVLA, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, defines four categories for vehicle salvage:

  • Category A – scrap/crush only, no economically salvageable parts e.g. total burnouts.
  • Category B – break for spares and crush body-shell/chassis.
  • Category C – repairable, but repair costs exceed pre-accident value.
  • Category D – repairable, but repair costs do not exceed pre-accident value.

In order to offer the appropriate settlement for your vehicle, Insurers will need to inspect the damage as well as consider the overall condition of the vehicle. Settlement is based on the market value of the vehicle in its pre-accident condition and will take into consideration age, mileage, specification, bodywork and service history.

The vehicle inspection will generally be arranged at the premises of an approved repairer. However, where the damage is substantial, it may be recovered to an approved salvage yard where it will be stored and inspected before the claim is concluded.

As part of the total loss process, Insurers will require:

  • The DVLA’s V5 registration document
  • Copy valid MOT (if appropriate)
  • All sets of keys
  • Copies of the vehicle service history
  • Details of any finance and contact details for settlement

If following an accident there is a likelihood that your vehicle will be a total loss, we recommend that you remove your personal property as soon as possible as once settled, it will be transferred to a salvage yard which may be out of area.

When safe and convenient to do so, please contact your dedicated Claims Executive at Thomas Carroll or by calling 02920 853788. If your vehicle is not drivable, we will assist with roadside recovery.

In the event of an emergency or an incident outside of business hours, please telephone Thomas Carroll’s Out of Hours service managed by Auto Legal Protection Services (ALPS) on 0330 123 4780.

ALPS will assist with reporting the claim and provide guidance around any injuries, recovery or repairs.

You can also notify Thomas Carroll of an incident at any time of day through our Claims App.

Alternatively, should you prefer to notify your insurers directly of the incident, please contact them using the helpline recorded in your Policy documents.