Compare Car Insurance Companies That Take Salvage Titles [2021]

It can be difficult to find car insurance companies that take salvage titles, especially if you want full coverage. However, there are a lot of options available to you for salvage title insurance. Since salvage cars are considered riskier, you should be prepared to pay more and spend more time shopping for the right car insurance quotes.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2021

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Here's What You Need to Know

  • Since salvage titles are illegal to drive on public streets, insurance companies won’t insure them
  • You can get insurance for a rebuilt title, though they are generally 5%-10% more expensive
  • Most companies that insure rebuilt titles only offer liability

Salvage cars can be appealing for many reasons – maybe you just have to have that specific model, or perhaps your favorite hobby is fixing up cars. Of course, salvage cars can be an excellent option for bargain hunters, too.

However, getting a salvage car back on the road again can be tricky. Not all car insurance companies cover salvage titles, but you can’t drive without coverage.

Can you get insurance on a rebuilt title? The answer is yes, but you might only be able to find liability auto insurance coverage.

You’ll need to shop for affordable car insurance companies that take salvage titles to find coverage that works for you, though.

Finding good car insurance companies for salvage titles can be a challenge, but it’s much easier with help. Enter your ZIP code to get started looking at quotes today.

What insurance companies will insure a salvage title vehicle?

What insurance companies cover rebuilt titles? Despite the risk, most reputable car insurance companies will give you a liability policy at the very least. Companies that will work with you include:

  • GEICO
  • Allstate
  • Esurance
  • Statefarm
  • Progressive
  • The General
  • USAA
  • Farmers
  • The Hartford

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding salvaged titles. It can be difficult to find car insurance companies that cover salvage titles because they all seem to have different policies regarding salvage companies.

For example, General Direct does not insure salvaged cars, while State Farm only works with salvaged cars declared a total loss by other companies.

Can you get insurance on a salvage title?

Not all insurance companies will cover a salvaged car. Insurance companies that don’t take salvage titles consider these vehicles higher risk for several reasons:

  • Safety issues may be unreported or undiscovered, making the vehicle dangerous to drive
  • The value of salvaged cars is difficult to assess
  • It’s hard to differentiate between damage done during an accident and damage that already existed

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to insure, and you shouldn’t let this stop you from buying car insurance for a salvaged car. Because it can be challenging to find the right salvage title insurance, you should be prepared to shop around.

You’ll run into companies that just don’t cover salvaged titles for any reason. More commonly, you’ll find companies that will insure a salvaged car but add a surcharge to the policy.

So, if you were wondering is insurance more expensive for a salvage car, the answer is yes. On average, the surcharge is a 20% increase on car insurance rates for a salvaged car.

The nature of salvaged titles means that they have to be considered on an individual basis. Insurance companies will want to comb over your car to make sure it’s safe.

Since there is no one-size-fits-all policy for a salvage title, it isn’t easy to get a general price estimate on any policy.

In general, however, you should expect to pay higher premiums than you would with a “clean” car. This is because salvaged vehicles are on average 5 to 10% less valuable than their clean counterparts.

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What is a salvaged title?

Salvaged titles are given to cars that have been declared a complete loss by an insurance company. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been irreparably damaged. More often than not, the damage is not that severe.

When an insurance company declares a car a total loss, they’re saying that the cost of repairing the vehicle is more than the car is worth. At that point, it’s cheaper for the company to pay the insured the car’s total price and let them pick something new.

Each of the car insurance companies that cover salvage titles has its own threshold for what counts as a total loss.

The number also varies based on state law, but in general, when repair estimates reach 60%-90% of the car’s total value, it’s declared a total loss.

Insurance companies claim a car once it’s been declared a total loss. While the policyholder is shopping for a new car, the company sells the totaled car to a mechanic. The insurance company recoups some of its losses, and the mechanic can fix up the car for resale.

What are the different types of car titles?

There are three types of titles a car can have: clean, salvage, and rebuilt. Vehicles that haven’t been declared a total loss have clean titles. Most cars available for purchase have clean titles.

Salvaged titles are for cars that were declared a total loss. When a car has a salvaged title, it is not legal to drive on public roads. Any honest insurance company will not offer coverage to a car with a salvage title.

Salvaged cars can be declared a total loss for several reasons. The most common type of damage is from collisions, but it can also come from fire, floods, extreme weather, vandalism, or theft.

A rebuilt title is given to salvaged cars that have been repaired of whatever damage caused them to be a total loss. Once the damage has been repaired and the vehicle has been inspected, a rebuilt title is issued.

A simple way to check which type of title your car has is to look at the color. Clean labels are typically blue, rebuilt are orange, and salvaged are green. However, some states have different colors, so make sure to check where you live.

While insurance companies won’t insure a car with a salvaged title, insurance companies that accept rebuilt titles will work with you.

There’s no need to worry about remembering which title to ask an agent about, however. The terms are often used interchangeably, and your agent will make sure you have everything you need.

How do you get insurance for a salvage title?

When you’re ready to get insurance for a salvaged car, you might think that contacting an agent is the first step. There is, however, a list of things you should make sure to have first.

Get an Original Repair Estimate

The first thing you should be ready to give the agent helping you is an original repair estimate. This should have been offered to you when you bought your car as part of the sale paperwork.

If you don’t have it, try to request a copy from the seller.

The repair estimate will tell your future insurance provider what sort of damage your car sustained.

Take Pictures of Your Car

The next thing you’ll need is a picture inventory of your car, inside and out. You’ll want to capture the state of your car, which includes the body, the inside, and the engines.

Some companies will want you to provide a video tour of your car as well.

The company will keep your photographic evidence on file in case you ever make a claim. They will compare your claim to the damage they can see in the photos.

Get a Mechanic’s Certified Statement

Last, you should obtain a certified mechanic’s statement. This statement certifies that a qualified mechanic has inspected your car and found no unreported or undiscovered damage.

The statement will give an insurance company more confidence that your car is worth covering.

After you have these items, you’ll be ready to contact an insurance agent.

How to Find Insurance for a Salvage Title

Getting insurance for a salvage title can feel like more trouble than it’s worth at times, but if you make sure you have the proper documents, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

When you’re ready to find the best car insurance company that offers insurance for salvage titles, it’s good to get help. If you’re ready to get started, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to begin looking at quotes.

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