If a natural disaster, vandalism, theft, or accident has caused your auto insurance company to declare your vehicle a total loss, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for your car.
In many cases, vehicles that have been written off by insurance companies are retired from use and are never driven again. but this is not true in all cases. In certain situations, a salvaged car can be rebuilt so that it can once again function as a source of daily transportation.
If a car has been severely damaged, your state’s transportation agency may issue a salvage title. A vehicle that has been rebuilt after this type of damage may receive a rebuilt title, depending on its condition. In this article, we’ll explain more about each title and provide information on how these titles can affect the cost and availability of your auto insurance. We’ll also look at which insurance companies provide coverage for vehicles with rebuilt titles.
- what are salvage and rebuild titles?
- Can I get insurance on a car with a salvage title?
- Which insurance companies cover rebuilt titles?
what are salvage and rebuild titles?
Let’s say your car was in a serious accident or seriously damaged due to theft, vandalism, or natural disaster.
If the cost of the damage is close to or more than the fair market value of your car, the insurance company may declare the car a total loss. Your state’s transportation agency may give the vehicle a salvage title, although laws about when a salvage title is required may vary by state. In many states, vehicles with a salvage title cannot be driven on public roads.
If significant repairs have been made to a salvage car, what some states call a rebuilt title may be issued. A rebuilt title indicates that a salvage-titled car has received the necessary repairs to make it safe to drive. To qualify for a rebuilt title, a salvage vehicle may need to pass state-mandated anti-theft and safety inspections. required inspections may vary from state to state.
Can you get insurance on a car with a salvage title?
You can legally buy or sell a vehicle with a salvage title. But because it’s generally illegal to drive one of these cars on the road, unless to or from a vehicle inspection site, it’s not possible to get auto insurance on a salvage vehicle.
The situation changes if your car has a rebuilt title. It is legal to drive a car with a rebuilt title, and some insurance companies offer coverage for these vehicles.
But not all carriers offer coverage for vehicles that once had a salvage title. among those that do, coverage options may be limited and full coverage may not be possible.
“Companies that write auto insurance policies for a vehicle with a rebuilt title tend to offer only liability insurance,” says penny gusner, senior consumer analyst at carinsurance.com. “It’s more difficult to find an insurance provider that offers the owner the option to add comprehensive and collision coverage.”
What do insurance companies require when they cover a rebuilt vehicle?
If you expect to get your salvage-titled vehicle back on the road, it will need to pass certain state-mandated inspections designed to determine if the vehicle is safe to drive on the road. To qualify for auto insurance coverage, the car generally must pass an inspection by a mechanic.
“Typically, the insurance company will want a statement from a mechanic that the car is roadworthy,” says gusner. “This is especially true if you’re looking for collision and comprehensive physical damage coverages.”
Just like when you buy standard auto insurance, you’ll need to present your driver’s license and proof of vehicle registration when you buy coverage for a vehicle with a rebuilt title. You may also need to provide the vehicle identification number, or VIN, a copy of the rebuilt vehicle title, or photos of your car.
Is it more expensive to insure a car with a rebuilt title?
If you’re insuring a rebuilt title car, you’ll likely pay a higher insurance premium than you would for the same coverage on a vehicle that wasn’t repossessed or rebuilt.
“That’s partly because there aren’t as many companies that offer this coverage,” says gusner. “with less competition, fees can be higher.”
It’s also worth noting that if your rebuilt title car is destroyed, you may not get much from your insurance company on your comprehensive or collision claim; Payments are generally based on the value of the vehicle, which may be less due to the rebuilt title.
Which insurance companies cover rebuilt titles?
Companies that insure cars with rebuilt titles include root and general insurance. hartford, 21st century, infinity, omni and progressive may also cover these vehicles, according to carinsurance.com.
Note that some of these companies may offer coverage for cars with rebuilt titles in some states, but not in others. To find out for sure if these auto insurance companies offer coverage for rebuilt titles in your state, you’ll need to contact the company or an insurance agent.
If you’re considering purchasing a rebuilt title vehicle, be sure to check with your state’s transportation agency to understand state laws. You may also want to get a vehicle history report, such as a carfax report, and have the car inspected yourself to make sure it was properly repaired and safe to drive. Check with your auto insurance company to see if they insure rebuilt cars, or if you’ll need to find an insurance policy elsewhere.
Like when shopping for auto insurance on a vehicle with a clean title, it’s important to shop around and compare insurance quotes. doing so can give you reasonably affordable options, especially if you’re just looking for vehicle liability coverage.