Most salvage cars are cars that have suffered damage that insurance companies consider to not be worth repairing. In many cases, these vehicles are destined for the scrap heap. However, in many states – Kentucky included – car dealers or even individuals can buy a salvage car and restore it to a roadworthy condition.
It might not be an easy task, but it’s entirely possible, and that includes getting insurance coverage for a rebuilt salvage car in Kentucky. Here’s a brief overview of the entire restoration process.
Rebuilding a Salvage Car
When a car is declared salvage in Kentucky, this means that the title of the car actually changes to reflect its status as undrivable. A car with a “salvage title” cannot be registered or insured in the state of Kentucky until it goes through a rigorous inspection process after its restoration is complete.
Some states require you to go to a licensed rebuilder to have a salvage car repaired, but that’s not the case in Kentucky. Here, you can do all the work yourself. When you decide to buy a salvage car and restore it to good working condition, you’ll need to know that it may require a significant amount of work.
ReTitling a Salvage Car
There are several forms the owner of a restored salvage car will need to submit to get it ready for re-titling and re-registration.
If the car was even partially rebuilt from parts sourced from other salvage cars – such as those purchased from a salvage yard – as an owner you will have to have an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Assembled From Wrecked or Salvaged Motor Vehicles filled out and notarized.
Additionally, a record of every replacement part you purchase for your car will have to be submitted with a notarized statement from the individual you purchased it from or with a receipt from the company it came from. This extends to any receipts for labor if you didn’t do the work yourself. Finally, you’ll have to have the vehicle inspected and fill out an application for a new title or registration.
Fulfilling all these requirements, in addition to restoring the salvage car to a safe and drivable condition – will result in your title and registration application being approved. You then have 60 days to get the new title and registration. Once you do so, you’ll notice that your new title will have the word “rebuilt” branded on it. This rebuilt title will let subsequent owners know what kind of work went into the vehicle.
Getting Your Rebuilt Salvage Car Insured in Kentucky
Unfortunately, when your new title is branded as rebuilt, this also lets insurers know that your particular vehicle was a salvage car at one time. This can complicate things when it comes to getting insurance for your car.
Since you can’t legally drive the vehicle without at least minimal insurance, you can’t avoid applying for coverage. However, insurance companies don’t like providing coverage to rebuilt salvage cars, as the risk of additional mechanical problems or hidden faults are higher in these types of vehicles. According to most insurers, it’s just too risky to cover a rebuilt vehicle.
Still, you can manage to get insurance for a salvage car in Kentucky. One tactic to pursue is to only take out personal liability and property damage coverage, as this will avoid attempting to insure the vehicle against physical damage in the same way that comprehensive or collision coverage would. However, this can be problematic if your rebuilt vehicle represents a significant investment on your part. Physical damage coverage is often the best way to protect that investment.
It takes work on your part to find an insurer willing to offer you physical damage coverage on your rebuilt salvage car. You are likely to be turned down outright or offered very high price quotes. However, in many cases an insurer is willing to meet a rebuilt salvage car owner halfway.
If you’re willing to subject your vehicle to yet another inspection by a car insurance agent, an insurer that would have otherwise been reticent to offer you physical damage coverage may change its mind, or may lower its price quote to something approaching a more reasonable figure.
This means that it is possible to secure full insurance coverage for a rebuilt salvage car in Kentucky. It just requires some work on the part of an owner. However, anyone who has successfully navigated the treacherous bureaucratic waters of the state’s motor vehicle laws in re-titling and re-registering a salvage car should be more than ready for the challenge of allaying the fears of a few insurance underwriters.