New insurance categories come into effect for damaged vehicles

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Author: | Updated: 11 Dec 2019 11:29

Changes to the way insurers categorise damaged vehicles have come into force today (1 October 2017)

The new version of the insurance industry’s Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage features restructured salvage code categories that better reflect the large variety of vehicles on UK roads and ensures that it keeps pace with the increasing technical complexity of newer vehicles.

Following an extensive review, which shifts focus from commercial considerations such as repair costs and pre-accident value, to an assessment of the ‘Structural’ and ‘Non Structural’ damage to the vehicle, the current categories of A, B, C. D will be changing to the following:

  • Cat A: Scrap
  • Cat B: Break
  • Cat S: Structurally damaged repairable
  • Cat N: Non-structurally damaged repairable
  • Multiple stakeholders were consulted as part of this change, including insurers, vehicle manufacturers, affected government departments and agencies, police and the vehicle leasing and salvage industries.

    The ABI has also insisted that individuals carrying out repairs must meet qualification requirements in order to categorise vehicles into different salvage codes.

    Whereas the old C and D categories focused on the cost of repair, the new S and N categories will reflect the severity of accident damage.

    Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser for motor and liability at the ABI, said: “The salvage code is a great example of the insurance industry working together for the good of the general public.

    “The changes are focused on making the UK’s roads safer, and ensuring that consumers have transparency about the history of vehicles they are considering buying.”

    Tamzen Isacsson, SMMT director of communications and international, said: “Manufacturers design and build vehicles to the highest possible safety standards. Today’s announcement is a positive and significant step by industry, insurers and governing bodies to further improve safety on our roads and ensure there is clarity on whether an accident-damaged vehicle is fit for repair or should be scrapped.”

    Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said: “As the owners and operators of more than 4.7 million vehicles, BVRLA members have a responsibility to help ensure that seriously damaged, written-off and unsafe vehicles are not fraudulently sold on to unsuspecting customers.

    “We welcome this updated Code and the additional safeguards it introduces around the disposal of motor salvage.”

    The full report can be read here: Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage.

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