Such vehicles are usually cheap to buy. That is one of the reasons why people are attracted to them. However, motorists should be aware of a few facts before spending money on them and getting salvage car insurance. Some of rebuilt automobiles may have had only cosmetic damages with little or no effect on engines. On the other hand, some repair shops seek after these automobiles and let the trainee mechanics work on them before selling it off. It is luck of the draw purchasing a car that has once been totaled.
What Is a Salvage Title?
A car is a total loss when an insurer decides to pay its open market value instead of getting it repaired following an accident. After DMV is notified that the vehicle has been totaled, it issues a warning to any potential buyers of its totaled history by separating their status.
Such vehicles can be repaired and a new registration document may be issued for it with a designation that says “rebuilt salvage” auto. Roughly, 2.5 million vehicles are totaled every year and 1.5 million of them return to the roads after being rebuilt, according to Consumer Federation of America.
Is It Hard to Get Insurance on a Rebuilt Title?
General advice would be that you stay away from them, unless you know what you are doing. Many underwriters aren’t keen on covering something that has gone through serious destruction. But you may know enough about cars to avoid the pitfalls and get a real bargain. So, getting it protected would be the next hurdle to pass even if you managed to find a reliable auto on the cheap. It is not easy to find coverage because there are several problems with them. Here are some of those concerns about the vehicles and issues with salvaged auto insurance.
– Problems with Repairs: The problem is that it is hard to know what was the real damage and trust the work done. If they are not fixed properly they increase the chance of an accident or serious injuries to drivers and passengers. The California Highway Alliance reckons that about 5% of cars with rebuilt title have dummy or suspect airbags that won’t work in an accident. It is a serious worry to think that mechanics do just enough to pass the inspection to re-register.
– Previously Damaged Parts: Insurers are concerned that they may have to pay more than usual for repairs if these vehicles are involved in another crash. Previously damaged parts will give in quite easily unless they have been changed with equally durable ones. Then there is the risk of insurance fraud involving these vehicles. They may be deliberately covered and crashed with the full knowledge that they were no good in the first place.
– Difficulty in Valuations: It is difficult to value them for comprehensive and collision. Even the Kelley Blue Book don’t provide valuation for them. Usually, they are about 50% of similar autos with clean titles. That is how much you should expect to get if you ever make a claim and that is what you should spend on them. If this is the case, you don’t have much to lose and you may be justified to take the risk, especially when you don’t have money.
People like to drive nice cars with recognizable brands and even it means they can only get them with a concerning history they are happy to have them once in life. That is one of the reasons why people take chances with them.
– Insurance for Salvaged Title Automobiles: Probably, you should keep in mind that the first task will be to find a policy. So, keep this in mind that you may need to pay a bit more on premiums than usual.
If you are only looking to buy liability only cover, you probably will be able to find a few companies who have no problem with an auto that was once written off since they are not protecting it. Some will not be interested in any case. Others will not offer comprehensive and collision coverage anyway.
You may have to accept that you will not have many carriers rushing to offer quotes. Your options will be limited to handful of them. This doesn’t mean that you cannot find a cheap policy from a reputable name but you need to shop harder.