How to Insure a Car with a Rebuilt or Salvage Title

Last Updated on February 23, 2019

Buying a car with a salvage or rebuilt title can be tempting. These cars are much cheaper than other used cars. Besides the fact that a salvage car requires a lot of work, there are some important considerations to take into account before you make that purchase. One of those considerations is your ability to insure the vehicle.

The Difference Between Rebuilt and Salvage

insuring car with salvage titleThere is a difference between rebuilt and salvage titles, and the difference is important when it comes to car insurance. When a car is in an accident and is totaled by the insurance company, it gets sold to a dealer with a salvage title. The salvage title means that the car was totaled and needs extensive work before it can be brought back to its original condition.

After a car has been repaired and rebuilt from the salvage condition, it gets a rebuilt title. Converting a title from salvage to rebuilt requires a good deal of work as well as a thorough inspection. Even though a car has a rebuilt title, it may still have some damage that could not be repaired. However, a rebuilt title means that the car is in safe operating condition.

Some cars that have salvage titles need less work than others. Different car insurance companies, as well as different states, have policies for how to determine when a car will be totaled. The car may be considered totaled if the damage is 50 percent of the value of the car. In this case, it may be worth fixing.

Car Insurance for Salvage Title

It can be very difficult to get car insurance coverage for a salvage title. Some insurance companies will refuse to insure a car with a salvage title. Other insurance companies will insure a salvage title, but they will limit the coverage that you can get. As a general rule, you will not be able to get anything beyond liability insurance coverage for your salvage title, if that.

The best way to get insurance for a salvage title is to shop around and find the insurance companies that are willing to work with you. There are some car insurance companies that will be willing to take the risk and give you the state minimum auto insurance coverage, but it may come at the cost of higher premiums.

Car Insurance for Rebuilt Titles

Rebuilt titles are easier to insure. Cars with rebuilt titles are certified through inspection to be in safe operating condition, although they may not be in the same condition they were in before they were salvaged. With a rebuilt title you can usually get the state minimum liability coverage very easily.

You may also be able to get additional coverage for your rebuilt title. Many car insurance companies will allow you to get collision coverage for your rebuilt title. This type of coverage covers damage if you hit something that is inanimate, like a pole or a tree. You may also be able to get your policy to cover you in case of an accident with an uninsured motorist.

However, you may not be able to get comprehensive coverage or full coverage on your rebuilt title. It is difficult to determine what a rebuilt car is worth. Without having a clear value for the car, full coverage becomes difficult. Your car insurance company can help you determine what coverage is available for your rebuilt title and what maximums you should have for the vehicle.

Shopping Around Pays Off

Especially when it comes to salvage and rebuilt titles, it pays to shop around for car insurance. Not all car insurance companies will cover salvage and rebuilt titles, and the coverage that they may offer for such titles can vary widely.

It is a good idea to call insurance companies directly for a quote for a salvage or rebuilt title. While getting quotes online may seem easy, for a rebuilt or salvage title it can be more difficult to get quotes online. When you get a quote online, unless you enter the VIN number the quote will not be based on a salvage or rebuilt title. This makes the quote much less reliable.

Calling the insurance company directly and talking to an agent will get you a more accurate quote. It will also give you the chance to discuss your options with the agent, find out what they are willing to insure, and how much the different coverages are going to cost you. You can also get more information on how your policy could change if you switch from a salvage to a rebuilt title after the repair work and inspection have been completed.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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