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Used Car Salvage Titles

Used car salvage titles come with a good bit of confusion for many buyers. Buying and insuring them both can cause trouble because of this confusion; having a clear understanding of used cars that have been salvaged is very important to older driver safety. This is not to say that you shouldn’t buy a used car with a salvage title. It just means you need to know what you are getting into as a buyer.

Auto Salvage Titles Explained

A used car that has a salvage title is one that has been previously damaged at some point following a collision, fire, flood, or some other circumstance that led to vehicular damage. To end up with a salvage title, a car usually has to sustain damage equivalent to a certain percentage of the car’s value, a percentage that can vary by state. The specific requirements for this branding does differ, but basically cars that have been rebuilt have to be labeled as salvaged so that any potential buyer is aware that this work has been done and that at one point there was damage to the vehicle.

Insuring a Salvaged Vehicle

There are complications to getting a car insurance policy for a used car with a salvage title for different reasons. One of them is the different standards that individual states have governing this term and its application to specific autos. Another is the simple fact that “salvaged” could mean so many different things, and buyers as well as insurers could have trouble really coming up with an accurate assessment of replacement value to base premiums on. If a car has been wrecked, if it was at one time stolen, or if any of the other applicable loss events has happened to it in the past, it could end up with this indefinite label, something that can be helpful to buyers but also tough to work through in insuring the car.

The fact that different states have their own standards can make things hard. And actually, there are plenty of auto insurance companies that don’t want anything to do with salvaged cars. Owners of these vehicles sometimes find that they have a very hard time finding a provider to insure the autos at all. One of the reasons is that in many cases, blue book companies don’t provide specific values for salvaged cars, owing to the fact that previous damage could vary in so many different ways, so it’s tough to come to a reasonable price for collision insurance, for example.

Insurance Premiums for Salvaged Cars

One way that insurers end up dealing with these things is to simply treat the car as if it had a clean title when figuring premiums. The trouble with this strategy for consumers is that their payouts on claims may still be based on a reduced assessment of the market value of the car, stemming from that salvage title. So you could end up paying for more coverage than you are really getting. It is very important to pay attention to this danger and try to make sure you get a fair bargain for your policy.

To make sure this is the case, agree to a replacement or market value for the vehicle and get it in writing before signing on to a policy. It is good to check this value against the blue book value of that same car with a clean title to make sure what you are getting really reflects the used car salvaged title that you are working with as an owner. Use our free quote form to find affordable coverage in your local area.


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