Let’s start off with an important distinction: the difference between a salvage title car and a rebuilt title. A salvage title is issued to a vehicle when it has been damaged beyond a percentage of its market value, as determined by insurance companies and state laws. A rebuilt title, on the other hand, is issued to a salvage title vehicle after it has been repaired and undergone a DMV inspection. You cannot insure a vehicle that still has a salvage title, but you can insure a vehicle that has been issued a rebuilt or rebranded title.
So, can you insure a salvage title car?
The quick answer: yes, you can insure a rebuilt salvage title car, motorcycle, truck, and so forth. It isn’t quite as simple as getting insurance for a clean title vehicle, however. Many insurance companies won’t provide full coverage for rebuilt titles, and even when they offer collision coverage, they may only cover 80% (often less!) of the vehicle’s total value.
Since it’s difficult to determine the actual value of a restored salvage title car, insurance companies are often hesitant to provide full, comprehensive coverage to pay out the ‘full’ value of a vehicle in case you make a claim.
So what should you do?
Many insurance companies will offer liability coverage for a rebuilt salvage title car, so you can at least legally drive the vehicle. Collision and comprehensive, like we mentioned earlier, is a bit more difficult to find. And when you do find insurance companies willing to provide either for a salvage vehicle, you’re likely to pay much higher premiums.
There are a few things you can provide insurance companies that may speed up the process
- A certified mechanic’s statement: this shows the insurance company that your vehicle is in good working order.
- Photos of the vehicle: this will help the insurance company assess any claims that you make, think “before” and “after.”
- Repair estimates: not only does a repair estimate detail existing damage, but it helps prove that the damage was taken care of in the first place.
You’ll need to do some digging and shop around for quotes: try to get at least three or four. See if the company you’re in contact with has additional charges for salvage and rebuilt title cars, specifically. It’s best to get an estimate for insurance costs before you bid on a vehicle, that way you can factor it into your overall budget. If you can’t find affordable insurance, you don’t want to get stuck with a vehicle you can’t drive.
We’re here to help
Another step you should always take is running a vehicle history report through a reliable NMVTIS provider like ClearVin to get an accurate picture of what the vehicle has been through. It’ll help you understand the extent of repairs you’ll have to make, and you can factor that into your budget.
If you have any questions about registering with us or need help placing a bid, you can call us at +1 (503) 298-4300 between 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday, Pacific Standard Time, or you can email us at [email protected] and our Buyer Services team will be happy to help. If you’re an international buyer, you can also contact us via WhatsApp at +1 (503) 473-9895.