The write-off write up - What happens after the tow

You're sitting with a look of shock and desperation on your face. Your airbag is draped around your legs after successfully cushioning your head. Where to now? For many, this event has a very serious chance of happening and as such we should all be prepared. The usual safety checks are well documented so we wanted to tell you what happens after your car leaves on the tow truck. This week we want to focus on specific circumstances where a car is completely written off. A write off, in plain English, arises where the cost of repairing the damaged car exceeds the price of an equivalent replacement car.

The steps involved

1. Waiting at the scene for emergency services and towing company
This is just common sense. You need to wait for the police and/or the medical personnel before you make any moves, so sit tight if either of these are needed. Once this is done, or if this is not needed, you will need to contact Fleetcare (if your not with Fleetcare you need to call your insurance provider) to order your tow if this has not been done by the local authorities.

2. Assessment and WOVR stage
Once the vehicle has been taken away by the tow company it's up to you to ensure that its damages get assessed. In most cases the insurance provider will tow the vehicle. However in cases where its taken by another provider (a fleet management company, the local road authority or a novated lease company) you may need to liaise with the insurance proved to have the vehicle assessed. The insurance company will then asses the vehicle and a WOVR (written off vehicle report) will be completed. It’s at this point where the vehicle will be termed a write off or not.

3. The settlement process with the insurer
If the vehicle is indeed written off as per the WOVR, the insurance company will enter into the settlement process with both the finance company (if there is one) and the vehicle owner. Obviously the circumstances surrounding the incident will dictate who pays for what at this stage.

4. Insurance payout and expense settlement
As stated earlier, this will depend on what happened to case the damage and who is at fault. Once this is established you will know if you are liable for any excess or if you are entitled to payment. In the interim period it is important to update all parties involved of the circumstances. This can include a novated lease provider if the car is leased.

General advice

These processes can be long, drawn out, frustrating and confusing, so prepare yourself. It may sound unusual, however always remember to take details of the storage yard as no one wants a lost car. The best advice is to stay abreast of what exactly you are entitled to from your insurance contract and base your contacts around these. It’s also a good idea to get as much information as you possibly can on the topic of a replacement or interim vehicle.

Final thoughts

Being involved in an accident is stressful and not knowing what comes next can make things seem unbearable. For this reason the best thing to do is keep a realistic plan of what to do in the glove compartment of your vehicle or vehicles. This is especially important for a fleet manager who manages a large number of vehicles. As with everything in life; a panic with a plan can calm quickly, however a panic without a plan can escalate fast.

Other related blogs;

Preparing for the worst - planning for accidents

Better things to do - everything you need to know about driver distraction

Have you been involved in a write off situation?

Have you had a accident nightmare?

Please comment below.

Back to previous page Back to main blog
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment

 Security code