Did You Know? - August 18, 2010

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Did you know that your vehicle isn't always "repairable" after an accident?

Depending upon the extent of the damage, your insurance company may choose not to repair your vehicle after it was damaged in an accident but instead consider it a "write off" or "total loss". An insurance company will consider a vehicle a total loss if the cost to repair the vehicle is higher than the book value of the vehicle.

For example, if the cost to repair your vehicle is $4,000, and the Canadian Automobile Red Book value of the same vehicle in similar condition is $3,000, the insurance company will pay a cash settlement of $3,000.

Insurance policies are based on the Principle of Indemnity, which is defined as placing a person back into the same financial position that they were in prior to the loss. Repairing the vehicle in this case would not comply with this principle as the insurance company would be spending $1,000 more than your vehicle is worth, putting you in a better financial position than you were in prior to the loss.