CLASSIC CAR WRITE-OFF: WHAT IS SALVAGE RETENTION?
With Heritage’s comprehensive classic car insurance, a salvage retention agreement is included as standard*. This means in the unfortunate event your classic car becomes a write-off, you’ll be able to retain the salvage of the vehicle.
Usually, the insurers own the salvage of the vehicle in the event of a write-off. But if you have salvage retention in place, you’ll have the option to keep the salvage yourself.
Are you a new customer looking for salvage retention with your classic car insurance?
*Not available with Optima policies.
HOW DOES SALVAGE RETENTION WORK?
Every salvage has a scrap value. With salvage retention, the damaged car’s value is deducted from the insurance pay-out due, allowing you to keep ownership of the salvage.
What you’re able to retrieve depends on the category of loss. If it’s a Category S or N write-off, you’ll get the full savage, while Category B write-offs let you claim parts. For Category A write-offs, the salvage is unattainable.
Without a salvage retention agreement in your insurance policy, the insurer owns the salvage, can scrap the car, and claim its value.
You’d still receive a pay-out for the written-off vehicle’s value in this case (check your insurance terms and conditions for more information), but you’d not be entitled to retrieve any of the salvage.
It’s important to remember in the event of a write-off claim, you will need to express to the claims department that you want salvage retention. If you don’t request it at this point, you may not receive the salvage.
IS SALVAGE RETENTION INCLUDED IN MY POLICY?
With Heritage, salvage retention is free of charge and included with all our classic car insurance policies, except Optima. As a salvage retention agreement is standard on Heritage policies, you don’t need to ask for this level of cover when you first take out your policy.
WHAT COUNTS AS A CLASSIC CAR WRITE-OFF?
A car insurance write-off is defined as a vehicle that’s deemed too damaged for safe road use or beyond economical repair. Economical repair is generally decided on a repair-to-value ratio, which may vary depending on the insurer and the vehicle.
SALVAGE RETENTION WITH AGREED VALUE: ILLUSTRATED EXAMPLE
Say you have a classic car valued at £10,000. After an accident, it’s written off as a Category S. The value of the salvage (the remaining parts of the vehicle) is £2,000.
Without salvage retention
The insurer pays you the full £10,000 value of the vehicle. This amount gets recorded against your policy. The insurer becomes the owner of the salvage and scraps it for £2,000; this is not shown on your claims record.
With salvage retention
The insurer pays you £8,000, having deducted the £2,000 value of the salvage from your pay-out. You retain ownership of the salvage, and the claim is recorded against your policy at £8,000. Always inform your insurer at the time of making a claim if you intend to keep your car’s salvage.
Why agreed value?
Without agreed value on your classic, you won’t know what your exact insurance payout figure will be as the insurer will determine this based on market rate at the time of the claim. With agreed value, you secure your car’s worth when initiating the policy. You can get free agreed value for your classic vehicle through Heritage.
VEHICLE WRITE-OFF CATEGORIES
There are four different categories of vehicle write-off:
- A: scrap – not suitable to be repaired. It must be crushed without any parts being removed.
- B: break – not suitable to be repaired. Usable parts can be recycled.
- S: structural repairable – repairable vehicle that has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis, and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.
- N: non-structural repairable – repairable vehicle that has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis, and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.
YOUR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Put simply, salvage retention means you can retain the salvage of your car once it’s been written-off after an accident. It’s a feature that Heritage includes as standard with all our classic car insurance policies (except Optima).
If your classic car has been in an accident, it’s up to the insurance company’s team of vehicle assessors to review the damage and determine whether it’s a write-off.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘cat’ (short for ‘category’), car insurance write-off categories are used to label the level of damage caused to a vehicle following an accident. The way in which vehicles are classified as write-offs was updated in 2017 and there are currently four main categories: Cat A, Cat B, Cat S and Cat N.
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