Why Can a Total Loss Claim Take What Feels Like an Eternity to Settle

When a vehicle is written off can be horrific. It may even be terrifying.

Did you know that there genuinely are one million and one ways to have a vehicle declared a total loss. From fire, flood, accident, theft and everything between. From the outside looking in, some reasons many seem humours, however we can never lose sight of the fact that in some cases the scenario that leads you to make a claim can at best be described as “heart braking”.

We know only too well that when it comes to making your gap insurance claim we can never presume to know that it is an easy experience. We completely understand that time is also of the essence. In some cases you may be without transport. Depending upon what you use your vehicle for this may even mean that you are unable to work.

So if everyone understands the urgency and the need for tact when dealing with a gap insurance claim why can it take so long?

The simple and most common reason is that no gap insurance company can ever process a claim or pay a settlement until your own motor insurance company have confirmed that your vehicle is going to be declared a total loss.

If your vehicle has been stolen some motor insurance companies can impose a time delay during which time they await to see if your vehicle is going to be located. This can range from a few days to a few weeks.

This means that in most cases it can be quicker for your motor insurance company to declare your vehicle a total loss if it has been damaged. The simply explanation being that this will mean that they have a physical tangible asset which they can rate and make factual decisions based upon their findings.

Certainly the gap insurance and total loss policies which tend to be available online tend to have a stipulated time frame in which they commit to settle your claim. Please remember however that this time frame which only come into action once confirmation that your vehicle has been declared a total loss has been given by your motor insurance company.

So what can you do to make sure that your gap insurance claim is settled a hyper speed? We think our five point plan may help.

  1. Buy a gap insurance policy from a reputable source.
  2. If possible try to find a policy which sets out in black and white how long it will take to settle your claim. (Not just in the marketing but physically in the policy terms and conditions.)
  3. It may save a lot of time if you allow the two claims teams to liaise with each other rather than trying to do everything yourself and then having to relay information back and forth between the two sets of claims teams.
  4. Read your policy documents and make sure that you understand exactly what is and what is not covered should you ever have to make a claim.
  5. Get your paper work in order. By this we mean take copies of important documents such as insurance certificates and invoices. If necessary request financial settlement letters.

Last but not least if you are not happy about the length of time your claim is taking talk to your provider. The gap insurance market is very specialised and certainly from our perspective reputation is everything. This means that no provider can and ever should ignore an unhappy or concerned policy holder so let your provider know what is happening they will ignore you at their our peril.