USA Number Plates
By Mike Richards Updated: 08/12/2022 Posted: 10/21/2015

Whether you buy a salvage car at auction and rebuild it yourself or you buy a reconstructed salvage vehicle from a used car dealership, there’s one thing that you’ve got to worry about: getting that car insured.

The path to getting a salvage car insured can be difficult for the uninitiated, so here is how to get that vehicle insured in any state of the United States.


What You Need to Know about Salvage Cars

Vehicles can become classified as salvage in several different ways. But the most common is a car suffering enough damage in an accident to be too costly to repair. When the cost to remedy the damage is between 60%-90% of the total value of the vehicle. Insurers will often declare the car a write-off. And attempt to settle with the owner by cutting them a check for the value of the car. This is what happens when a vehicle is “a total loss.”

Since salvage vehicles are former insurance write-offs, the majority of insurance carriers are extremely reticent to provide coverage for such a car even if it has been rebuilt to the specifications of your particular state.

One of the reasons behind this reluctance is that the inspections that many states require of salvage vehicles before allowing registration is not to ensure safe and correct repairs. Instead, these state inspections are to make sure that the parts for repairs of the damage were legal.

This means there’s no guarantee that the work done on the car was sufficient to make it safe to drive. In a situation such as this, it’s obvious why an insurer would rather not provide coverage to such a vehicle if they can help it.


Some Insurance Is Easier to Get than Others

There are some levels of insurance you can easily receive on your salvage vehicle that undergoes reconstruction.

Since most states require a bare minimum of coverage that includes little more than personal liability insurance and property damage insurance – two levels of coverage that don’t provide any protection against physical damage befalling the vehicle – it’s often possible to find an insurance provider that will offer this level of bare-bones coverage to your salvage vehicle.

However, it’s a completely different story if you’re looking for coverage that provides protection against damage to your car. Levels of insurance such as comprehensive or collision coverage are much more difficult to get. Because your insurer has no guarantee that your car is in good condition.

The only way to convince an insurance company otherwise is to show them that the car is working well.


Laying It on the Line

You’ve got to show your insurer that you are serious about  getting coverage for your rebuilt salvage car. One of the only ways to do this is to let a representative from the company inspect your car. To make sure it’s safe.

Many insurers ask you to bring your salvage vehicle somewhere in order for visual inspection. Either by an agent or by a qualified mechanic. they take several pictures of your car to document its condition. If your car is in good shape to convince an insurer you’re worth the risk of providing physical damage coverage. You’ll receive that comprehensive or collision insurance that you want.

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.