Damage category changes

Insurance companies have for many years operated a system for categorising the level of damages to a motor vehicle.  The system was simple, easy to understand by both the trade and the public and set out four categories of damage.

A car classified as Category ‘A’ damaged was a total and complete write off, destroyed beyond redemption.  A Category ‘B’ write off was a severely damaged car with no chance of being restored to the road, but with many useful parts, so it could be regarded as “breakable for parts”.  A Category ‘C’ was usually given to a car seriously damaged but repairable (not economic to repair based on value) and a Category ‘D’ write off was usually a lightly damaged low value vehicle not economically viable to repair.

However, from 1st October, the categories change.  The Association of British Insurers have issued revised categories and guidelines for classifying vehicle damage.  Category ‘A’ and ‘B’ stay the same.  Category ‘C’ now become ‘S’ (standing for “Structural” damage, while Category ‘D’ becomes Category ‘N’ (standing for repairable non-structural).

While the use of these revised codes is not mandatory, they are expected to give the public and trade a clearer picture of the type of damage suffered by a vehicle.  Classic and special interest vehicles are exempt.

As with all sales, it is important to describe the goods accurately and honestly.  This new system might help achieve that aim.


Authors: Philip Strickland

Published: 12 Jul 2017


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