Can I Get Auto Insurance on a Salvage Title Vehicle?

Mar 8, 2021 | Personal Insurance

A shiny brand-new car is relatively expensive to buy. Many drivers who want to spend less on buying cars opt for salvage title vehicles. Some drivers who got their cars totaled do their best to repair their ride. This way, they won’t have to buy a new one, right? However, having it insured might prove to be a little difficult.

You might be wondering if it is possible to get auto insurance on a salvage title vehicle. It may be possible. You can’t expect to get the whole offer. Owning a salvage vehicle takes more than just having it repaired. Since most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance, you have to, of course, get the car insured.

Before knowing how to insure such a car, you have to know what it means when a vehicle is branded as salvage. After that, we will discuss how salvage vehicles can be insured. We will introduce you to the types of coverage that are possible to carry on your car. We can offer you a quote that will suit your needs. 

What are the types of car titles?

Before you purchase any car, you have to determine the type of vehicle title that the car has. There are three types of titles. Titles are determined based on the damages and the number of repairs that need to be or has been done. These titles are issued by the state agencies.

These titles include clean, salvage, and rebuilt titles. Generally, the colors of these titles are green, blue, and orange, respectively. Below are the three types of vehicle titles. Their pros and cons will be described below.

Clean title

This title is granted to cars that have minimal damage or none at all. New cars have this title. One perk of having a clean title car is that you wouldn’t spend for the repairs of any damages. That’s because there’s no need for repairs. However, you must be ready for the high price upon purchase.

Cars with this title are easy to insure, especially in comprehensive and collision insurance. That’s because the risk of the car is low. Insurers will find no problem getting it covered by their company.

Salvage title

Let’s say that a large tree branch fell on the top of your car. When you woke up in the morning, got ready for work, and went outside, you found your car wrecked. You can’t blame nature. It just happened that a branch fell on it. After calling your insurer, they told you that the car is considered a total loss.

Total loss cars or, in simple terms, totaled cars are vehicles that are extremely damaged. If you are going to repair them, then it will cost much more than the original value of the car. Thus, insurers consider it as such. They brand the vehicle the title “salvage”. No one will insure a salvage title vehicle.

Reasons for getting a salvage title

There are some cases where a car has to be declared salvage. Although they all are due to damages like the one mentioned above, these reasons are more strict. This may be due to the possible defects that may appear after the repairs.

  • Damages made by flood or hail. The vehicles can suffer from rusting even after the repair is done. It gets declared salvage as required by the state because of this risk.
  • A stolen car is recovered. If a car is stolen, the insurance provider will pay for the car if it isn’t recovered. Once the car is found, they will keep the car and sell it to a salvager. Salvagers can repair the car for its missing parts.
  • Severe damages due to an accident. When the repairs are costly, and the resale value is low, the car may be declared salvage. It can be due to defects found after the accident.

How do the non-repairable title and salvage title differ?

When a vehicle is damaged beyond repair, to the point that it can’t be driven safely, it will be given a non-repairable title. No matter how many repairs you do to it, the state won’t allow anyone to drive such a vehicle. 

The most that can get out of it are some parts that may be useful. There’s no way to clear this title. It can’t be changed to a rebuilt one. If someone offers to sell you a non-repairable title vehicle, then don’t buy it. You’ll only lose money and effort.

What are the benefits of owning a salvage vehicle?

The most obvious benefit of owning a salvage vehicle is that these vehicles are inexpensive. Setting aside the repair costs, you can have an advantage regarding money. Being considered as totaled doesn’t mean that the car can’t be repaired. You may even find a gem and polish it if you have the right intention.

Some people buy salvage cars because of car parts. Maybe they’re looking for the working parts that they can polish and sell. Others may use it for personal needs though. Some drivers want inexpensive cars. If you have some means to repair it at a bearable cost, then you might get a low-cost ride. 

What are the disadvantages of owning a salvage vehicle?

We all know that insurers brand cars as salvage because of the high repair costs. Owning one will, of course, subject you to the same problem too. Repairing the car can be expensive. However, there are other disadvantages aside from money. 

These disadvantages include danger. If there’s damage left unchecked, then it may compromise safety. Though you can exercise safety while driving, who knows what will happen if the car that you are operating has the problem? 

  • Forever branded as salvage. Once branded, the titles remain and can’t be erased. However, it’s not the end of your car. In fact, you can have it repaired. You just have to invest a bit more money. Even so, it may not prove to be cost-efficient. Usually, body shops who want to make some profit repair such cars. Other people include car enthusiasts and home mechanics.
  • Difficult to get auto insurance. Insuring a once-salvage title vehicle can be tricky. Supposed that you got into an accident, the insurers will have a hard time determining if the damage is new or old. The possibility of your car being damaged is relatively high, so you’ll likely make a claim. They assess you as a high-risk driver for that.

Rebuilt title

Salvage cars can’t be driven, sold, or registered without undergoing repairs. Once repaired, the vehicles can do almost the same function as new cars do. Repaired cars must undergo inspection and tests before they can earn such a title. They have to make sure that the cars are safe to drive. Then, they can be branded rebuilt titles.

The standards for rebuilt cars differ state by state. However, it is the only way for you to drive such a car. This gives an answer to the question: “Can I get a salvage title car insured?” What are the types of coverage that can be carried on rebuilt vehicles?

Auto insurance coverage for a rebuilt salvage title vehicle

When getting auto insurance in Denver, Colorado or any other state, agents introduce the types of coverage that you may purchase. There are several types including liability, physical damage, and many others. Before telling you what coverages you can buy, they ask for your information.

They will ask you for your basic information. The type of vehicle that you are driving will be taken into account. They are going to assess your risk from the details that you give them. For example, if you pass all their terms and conditions, then you may apply for full coverage.

Of course, driving rebuilt salvage title vehicles restricts the types of coverage that are available to you. Generally, insurers won’t dare to fully cover you. Full coverage means that you are getting insured in liability insurance, collision, and comprehensive insurance, as well as other additional coverages. 

That’s because your potential risk is high. That means more claims and more reimbursements. You can still be insured though. Below are the coverages that you can typically buy if you are driving a rebuilt vehicle.

Auto liability insurance

Auto liability insurance is required in almost all states. Drivers need to have minimum coverage in compliance with their state’s auto insurance laws. This coverage pays for the damages made to the other party in case an accident happens. It can be classified into two: bodily injury and property damage. 

Bodily injury liability, as the words imply, pays for the medical payments if you injured someone. On the other hand, property damage liability covers the damages made to surrounding properties due to the accident. Take note that these don’t cover any damages made to you.

Here’s a real-life situation. For instance, you and another driver collided on the road. The other driver got injured and his vehicle is damaged. The same thing happened to you. Liability insurance kicks in here. It will pay for the medical expenses of the other driver, as well as the repair costs of their car. 

How about you and your vehicle? If you are covered by medical payments coverage or personal injury protection, then you will be reimbursed for your medical bills. On the other hand, having collision insurance will make sure that your car’s repairs cost will be paid, minus your deductible.

This coverage is available to rebuilt salvage title vehicle drivers since it’s a state requirement. You can purchase how much you want. It is recommended to buy more than what is needed. After all, you can never tell how severe an accident can be unless you experience it.

Personal injury protection policy

Personal injury protection policy also called “no-fault insurance” covers the medical expenses made to policyholders and the passengers. Take note of the term “no-fault”. It means that it will pay, without paying attention to who caused the accident. It reimburses you for lost earnings, funeral expenses, and child care. 

Most states give importance to determining who’s at fault. The one who caused it will have to pay from his insurance. However, there are no-fault states. There, personal injury protection policies are typically available. 

Let’s put it this way. You got into an accident in a no-fault state. Your personal injury protection policy will kick in. If you can’t go to work because of the injuries, then your lost earnings can be reimbursed. Of course, you will have to provide proof to make such claims.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Though it is illegal to drive around uninsured in most states, there are many brave people who do. Statistics say that one (1) out of eight (8) drivers on the road is uninsured. In fact, Denver, Colorado is among the top 10 states who have uninsured drivers as of 2014. It means that you can potentially be in an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers the costs if someone without or insufficient insurance is at fault for the accident. The words “uninsured” and “underinsured” have a certain distinction. 

Uninsured motorist coverage will pay if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage will pay if the other party’s insurance isn’t enough. In some states, if you are a victim of a hit-and-run, then it will possibly kick in.

Can I get collision and comprehensive insurance for my rebuilt vehicle?

Normally, drivers can get fully covered. However, you may have noticed that collision and comprehensive insurance aren’t mentioned above. Collision insurance pays for the repairs that need to be made to your car after a collision. On the other hand, comprehensive insurance pays if your car is damaged by the weather, falling tree branches, or vandalism.

You might be wondering if it is possible for you to get the said types of coverage for your rebuilt salvage title vehicle. The answer is yes, it is possible. It will be hard though. These types of coverage take the cars’ risk into account. That means if a vehicle is once a salvage, the risk is high. For that, most insurers won’t cover you. Consider yourself lucky if you find one that is willing.

How to get insurance for a rebuilt salvage title vehicle

You have to get prepared for shopping around. Many insurance companies may reject you. Even so, there’s still hope. Some insurance providers cover such cars. To satisfy the best of your interests, comparing quotes from different companies is a must. 

You also have to consider their customer satisfaction reviews and other background info. It is best to interact with their agent to get firsthand experience. You have to remember that even if you are driving a rebuilt vehicle, you are still a qualified driver. Making sure that you receive good services is within your right.

Once you have decided, there are a few documents that you have to prepare. These will help in settling your insurance policy. Insurance companies would ask for these to decide whether they will accept you.

  • A certified mechanic’s account. Your car needs to be assessed by a certified mechanic. They will decide if it is within the standards. Their statement will help prove that the car is properly working and relatively safe.
  • Photos. You have to provide photos of the current condition of your car. Sometimes, you may have to capture a video as proof. This will be helpful in possibly getting fully covered.
  • The estimate of the vehicle’s original repair costs. It will prove that your car has been repaired through and through. 

Of course, the insurance company will send an agent to make an onsite inspection. After all, photos and videos can be altered. They can also check the car more thoroughly. Rest assured that even though you may not be eligible for comprehensive and collision coverage, you can still get the others that are available.

Final Say

Owning a salvage title car can both be a benefit and a disadvantage. As long as you play your cards well, then you may gain from it. Though most of the time, it may not prove to be worthwhile.

In case you want to insure a salvage title vehicle, remember that you need to repair it and get a rebuilt title. Salvage vehicles are not allowed to be driven. That’s because no one would insure it. Restoring its status to the rebuilt title will make sure that your ownership of such a car isn’t useless.

When getting car insurance, you are protecting yourself from financial vulnerability. Even if you can’t get a collision and comprehensive coverage for your rebuilt vehicle, what’s important is you’ve got insurance. 

Here’s a tip. If you get into an accident and the car gets damaged, then weigh your options. Pick between repairing the car again or getting a new one. Choose what you think is better to do. Nonetheless, it’s your money that you are using, so it’s up to you how you use it.

We can offer you the best quotes that can cater to your insurance needs. At Advantage Insurance Solutions, our friendly team will do our best to answer your queries and concerns about insurance. Call us today!