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What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules Car Insurance

How Can Salvage Cars Be Insured And Sold On Auto Auction?

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/18/2022 Posted: 10/21/2015

Can Salvage Cars Be Insured

There’s a lot to love about a salvage car. They’re inexpensive to purchase, especially since the primary source of salvage vehicles is through online and in-person car auctions that are open to the public and everyone can view available lots, for example, insured auto auctions. This makes it easy to pay pennies on the dollar for all sorts of salvage cars.

Of course, these advantages don’t come without drawbacks. Salvage cars have been classified as salvage, after all.

While the definition of salvage may differ slightly from one state to another, for the most part, it means that the vehicle has been in some sort of accident where it’s sustained so much damage that it’s just not cost-effective to repair. As a result, the original car owner’s insurance company wrote the car off instead – “totaled” it – the manager cut a check to the owner, and hauled off the broken-down car to be sold off at auction.

Luckily, you can rebuild a salvage car and get it road-legal once more. This involves physically repairing the damage it sustains. Getting inspection by the state, and a clean “rebuilt salvage” title before registering it. However, this also means you’ll have to insure it as well – and that’s where some salvage car owners run into difficulties.


Yes, Salvage Cars Are Insurable

Many people may deride the idea of buying a salvage car with an eye towards restoring it, remarking that it will be “impossible” to insure the vehicle once you’re done.

While there is a grain of truth in what they’re saying – it is, after all, impossible to insure a salvage vehicle before its restoration. Once you satisfy your state’s requirements for re-classifying your salvage car as a rebuilt or reconstructed one. It’s not only possible to get your rebuilt salvage car insurance, but it’s a legal requirement.

Each state requires a different minimum amount of insurance to keep on any car you register in your name. And that you’ll be driving. In general, it’s a requirement to keep what we refer to as a “PLPD” cover. Or Personal Liability and Property Damage insurance, before you can drive your car legally.

However, there’s a reason this is “minimum” coverage. It offers no protection against any physical damage that might occur to your vehicle. This is why so many drivers prefer to have either collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or both on their car – even one that might not be worth much because it’s a former salvage car.


Striking a Deal with Insurance Companies

The problem with obtaining higher levels of insurance on a rebuilt salvage car is that insurance companies tend to avoid providing coverage to these types of vehicles. Not only is a reconstructed salvage car a former write-off from another insurer, there’s never any way of knowing if the repair job done by the salvage car’s owner or his or her mechanic was sufficient enough to fix any issues with the vehicle that might lead to next accident on the road.

It’s just a poor risk for many insurance companies, and with insurers building their business on managing risk, many of these companies will either offer exorbitant premium price quotes – or simply decline to cover the vehicle altogether.

If you’re thinking that this sounds suspicious, considering how most states require an inspection of a rebuilt salvage car. By an official from its department of transportation or a state police officer, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening

These state inspections often leave much to desire. When it comes to determining if the car is in drivable shape or not.

The most important things that state officials are looking for when inspecting rebuilt salvage cars. Is the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) match between the paperwork and the parts themselves. It’s essentially a check to ensure that no undocumented or stolen parts were used in rebuilding the car. This has little to nothing to do with whether these parts work properly. Or if the car is safe enough to drive to the standards of an insurance provider.

So how can you fix the problem? Many insurers will let you set up an appointment for your car inspection by an agent. After a phone call or sending a fax to the company. This inspection gears towards documenting the physical state of the car and any damage it might have.

Once this is complete, insurers feel much more comfortable in providing higher levels of cover. Just let that agent take a few notes and snap a few pictures. And you may get the insurance coverage you need.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Each US State. Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.