Car insurance write-offs

Average customer rating: 4.3/5
Written by Kenneth Young
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor
Last updated March 19, 2024

What happens when your car is written off

What is a write off?

How much damage is required to write off a car?

Does car insurance cover my car if it’s written off?

Expert tips on car insurance write-offs

Our resident car insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has helpful tips for car insurance write-offs.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

You may be eligible for a new car replacement

Some insurers offer new car replacement if your brand-new car is a total loss and written-off within a set time frame (and/or kilometre limit). You have to be the first registered owner and this option typically only lasts one or two years, depending on your insurer. Be sure to read your PDS to understand if and how you’re covered for new car replacement.

Consider getting an agreed value in your policy

If you’re looking for peace of mind knowing what you will receive from the insurer in the event of a write off, an agreed value policy may be for you. You should contact your insurer to find out if this option is available to you.

Inform your insurer of any modifications to your vehicle

You should let the insurer know if you’ve made any modifications to your vehicle. This can affect the value of the car and how much you’ll pay to insure it but doing so can ensure that if the vehicle is written off, you’re covered for the cost of the car and your modifications (up to the limits and terms set by your insurer).

Different types of write-offs

Statutory write-offs and repairable write-offs

Can a repairable write-off be re-registered?

Sometimes, a repairable write-off can be re-registered in Australia. Assuming it can be repaired and passes safety inspections, it could then be re-registered or sold. However, it is likely to have lost much of its value.

Firstly, you’ll need to re-register the vehicle, as registration is cancelled once the car is written off. Each Australian state and territory has specific rules regarding whether a repaired write-off can be registered again.

For example, the NSW Government only allows a repaired write-off to be re-registered if all damage is repairable and the car was:1

  • Damaged in a hailstorm
  • Inherited in an already written-off state in a will or letters of administration
  • Registered under your name 28 days or longer before the incident that wrote it off.

Check with your state government for details on re-registering written-off cars. You may need to apply to have it registered, and the car will have to pass inspections and safety checks.

Market value, money matters and more

How is market value determined for car insurance?

Will a write-off affect my car insurance premiums?

What if I had a loan and now my car is a write-off?

Is it possible to sell a car after it’s been written off?

Important to know

How is damage assessed on vehicles?

Can I salvage parts from a wrecked car?

What’s the difference between WOVR and PPSR?

Meet our car insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor is passionate about demystifying car insurance for consumers, so they have a better understanding of what they’re covered for. Adrian’s goal is to make more information available from more insurers, to make it easier to compare and save.


1 Re-registering a written-off light vehicle. Roads and Maritime Services, Department of Transport,
New South Wales Government. 2022.