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Auto Insurance

What does car insurance do in the event of total loss of your car?


There are two types of total loss (or claim): at the technical level: it is impossible to repair your car in a safe way; at the economic level: a repair is not wise, because the costs incurred would be higher than the real value of your car. The older  the vehicle, the greater the risk of total loss.

An independent expert appointed by your own insurer determines the extent of the damage suffered. For more information, read the section on compensation procedures. The expert also decides whether the vehicle is technically repairable or not. It is a question of total loss when your car is no longer repairable.

What does my insurance do in the event of total loss of my vehicle?

If you have not taken out omnium insurance and are the victim of an accident, you can usually contact your own third-party auto insurance , at least if the circumstances of the accident fall within the scope of the RDR agreement. RDR stands for direct settlement – direct regeling. This is an agreement between insurers to settle claims more quickly.

In concrete terms, you can receive from your auto liability insurance an amount of up to 25,000 euros, provided that you are the victim of the accident. Note, however, that liability must be established at 100% before an RDR settlement can enter into play.

Your RC car insurer will appoint an expert to assess the value of your car just before the accident. This takes into account the age of the vehicle, the mileage travelled, the maintenance…

If the accident is not covered by the RDR regulation, you can call on your legal assistance insurance . This will help you obtain compensation, for example by writing to the opposing party, giving them formal notice and sending them a claim for compensation. In short, your legal protection insurer will ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, but only if the other party is deemed responsible for the accident.

If you are not covered by an  omnium insurance and the responsibility of another party is not engaged, you will unfortunately not obtain any compensation for the damage suffered.

What are the administrative procedures to take if my car is beyond repair?

If the expert declares a total loss of your car, he will ask you to give him the purchase invoice, the vehicle documents, a VAT declaration, the car keys and the alarm codes. Your insurer’s claims handler will treat the file as a total loss return your plate to the Vehicle Registration Department (DIV), otherwise you will have to continue paying your car tax;

if you already have a new European plate, attach it to your new car. Your insurance intermediary will inform the DIV of the change of vehicle.

if you still have an old plate, your insurance intermediary will communicate the change of vehicle to the DIV. You will receive a new number plate and a new registration certificate;

your insurance intermediary or yourself notify the insurance company of the change of vehicle. You will receive a new insurance certificate (green card).

And the wreckage of the  vehicle?

It all depends on whether you have taken out comprehensive insurance. If so, your insurer will usually ask you to waive the wreck. The amount that it will bring back will then go to the insurer. Otherwise, the highest amount offered by a buyer will be deducted from your compensation.

If you do not have omnium insurance, the adjuster will contact several buyers asking for an offer. His report will mention the highest bid and the buyer’s data. This amount will be deducted from your possible indemnities.

Then contact the buyer of the wreck. He will pick it up and pay you the agreed price. If you decide to keep the wreck, you will be responsible for the additional costs associated with towing and preserving it.

What compensation am I entitled to as a victim in the event of a total loss of my car?

If you do not have comprehensive insurance and if the other party is responsible for the damage caused to your car, you are entitled to the following indemnities:

Immobilization compensation covers the days when you cannot use your car. Generally, these allowances are around 20 euros per day. The immobilization includes both the waiting period between the declaration and the confirmation of the total loss by the expert as well as the established replacement period.

The replacement time corresponds to the number of days that pass before you can use your new car (after the purchase), which is the delivery time and the time necessary for the administrative formalities. Please note: the loss of use is generally limited to a maximum of 9 days.

If you have omnium insurance, you should not wait for the responsibilities to be established or for the RC Auto insurance of the responsible party to compensate you. You immediately receive compensation for your car. Read here the principles governing compensation by your omnium insurance as well as the deductibles that may apply.

Some omnium insurance policies, such as that of P&V Assurances, also provide for extras such as covering the costs of towing, temporary storage, repatriation, etc.

In the event of a total loss, am I entitled to a replacement vehicle during the repair or while waiting to receive my new car?

Generally, your RC car insurance offers you a replacement vehicle after a theft or attempted theft or if your car is towed after an accident. Including if you are responsible for the accident.

If your auto liability insurance does not provide assistance in the event of an accident, you can try to recover the costs related to your replacement vehicle from the party responsible for the accident.


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