You Can Insure A Salvage Title Car, But It May Be Difficult


Let’s get one thing out of the way – the definition of a “salvage” title will vary by state. We’ve written about this in our previous articles on whether or not you can get an extended warranty on a salvage title car, and how to get a salvage title the right way.

As we’ve previously written in our article on the right way to get a salvage title:

There are 3 main terms that get talked about in regards to repairing a vehicle that has been totaled by insurance. They are:

  • Salvage Certificate (can also be called a junk title, scrap title, etc)
  • Salvage Title
  • Rebuilt/Rebuilt Salvage Title

Depending on the state you live in, there may be different terms, but rest assured they are talking about the same thing as we are here.

A salvage certificate is what you’re given after your car has been totaled. This is basically the government saying “okay, your car is totaled, now get out of my face”. You can’t do much of anything with a salvage certificate. You can’t drive considering that you can’t register your car.

A salvage title is sometimes the same thing as a salvage certificate, sometimes not depending on where you live. Sorry, I know how confusing this is. In some states, a salvage title is not considered road worthy, and requires you to rebuild the car prior to registering and titling.

A rebuilt title is your salvage car’s final form, so to speak. You get one of these bad boys after you’ve completely repaired all the damage to your car. You also need to go through the inspection process, which may require you to submit for separate saftey and security inspections.

So as we said in the title, yes you can get insurance on a salvage title car in the states where you are legally authorized to drive a salvage title car. You can also get insurance on a rebuilt title, which is often confused with a salvage title.

The Difference Between A Salvage Title & A Rebuilt Title

In each of the 50 states, a “salvage” vehicle is any vehicle that has been deemed a total loss by the owner’s insurance company after sustaining major damage often in a major car accident.

A “salvage title or salvage certificate” replaces the clean title. A clean title is a title all vehicles that haven’t had significant damage, a major defect, or an altered odemeter are designated as.

Salvage titles aren’t always given to vehicles that are totalted. Depending on the state you live in, and the way your vehicle is damaged it may be marked with another title brand.

Here are the top 5 most common:

1: Salvage Title Brand

A salvage title can also be issued by states after a vehicle suffers major damage, and the cost to repair it is over a certain percent of the car’s fair market value. It can be anywhere between 60-90% of your vehicle’s total value.

2: Lemon Title Brand

A lemon title brand is given to cars that have excessive mechanical problems. If a car has malfunctioned several times, and in doing so has made it unsafe, the state will step in and brand the title a lemon.

According to the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, all 50 states have a form of a New Car Lemon Law, while only 6 states have a Used Car Lemon Law.

The 6 Used Car Lemon Law States are:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

However, the definitions of a lemon vary from state to state, so check with your local DMV for a clearer picture.

3: Water Damage Title Brand

If your vehicle is totaled because of flooding or a similar natural disaster (like a hurricane), it will be marked with a water damage title brand.

4: Odometer Rollback Title Brand

If your odometer is found to be every altered or tampered with, your car is issues a sal

Resetting the odometer is a Federal crime, which will land the reset car with a Odometer Rollback Brand.

5: Hail Damage Title Brand

Hail is responsible for over $1 billion in property damage annually, including up to 60% of severe weather insurance claims.

Hail is tricky because it usually damages the car’s body, not the mechanical parts. For insurance companies, this almost always means an expensive repair, which makes it easier to simply write the car off. Not all states will write off hail damage separately – some will just declare it salvaged.

The Problem With Getting Insurance For A Salvage Title Car

To be clear – in most states, you can’t drive a car with a salvage title. When people ask how to get insurance with a salvage title, what they really mean is how to get insurance with a rebuilt title.

If you try to get insurance with a salvage title, you’ll be denied. The exception to that is if the state you’re in does not issue rebuilt titles, and instead considers a salvage title to be a road worthy title.

Again, check your local salvage title/rebuilt title laws to confirm if this is the case.

As we previously described, a rebuilt/rebuilt salvage title is a vehicle that’s been declared a total loss by the insurance company or by the owner, and has been completely rebuilt in order to get back on the road.

But, to get on the road in most states, you need insurance.

Getting insurance with a rebuilt title is possible – but we’ll be honest with you, it’s not going to be easy.

Insurance companies love profit, and rebuilt vehicles generally are not profit centers. There are more things that can go wrong on rebuilt vehicles, so some insurance companies don’t cover them.

If you need insurance for your rebuilt title car, you should also be prepared to pay more for your premium. Again, this is because the risk of insuring a rebuilt car is much greater than one with a clean title – at least overall.

Yes, your particular rebuilt car may not have any issues, but the insurance company doesn’t know that.

That’s why most insurance companies will offer you a liability policy, but won’t offer you full coverage.

According to there are carriers that will issue full coverage policies for rebuilt vehicles. While 60% of those who bought a salvage title car were only able to buy state minimum liability coverage, 37% reported they successfully purchased full coverage policies, so, liability along with comprehensive and collision; 3% were unable to find coverage.

However, all is not lost.

A liability policy covers the damage your car does to others, while a full coverage policy includes damage done to your car.

In many states, having personal liability coverage is the minimum to get back on the road, including here in Florida.

With that being said, check the list below to see which companies can cover your car.

What Car Insurance Companies Cover Salvage Titles?

These car insurance companies below all cover rebuilt/salvage titles, although their prices may vary. We reccomend you get a quote from each company to get the best rate.

Car Insurance CompanyOffers Liability Insurance Coverage For Rebuilt/ Salvage VehiclesOffers Comprehensive Insurance For Rebuilt/Salvage Vehicles
The HartfordYesSituational
21st CenturyYesSituational
Progressive YesSituational
Safeco YesNo
Insurance NavyYesSituational
General InsuranceYesSituational

If you need help finding insurance for your rebuilt vehicle, give our insurance comparison tool a shot. It’s been able to save some people up to 20-30% on their rebuilt vehicle insurance.

Bigger companies such as State Farm, and Geico do not currently insure cars with salvage or rebuilt titles, although this may change.

Be Aware, It’s Going To Be More Expensive To Get Insurance On A Salvage/Rebuild Title

Getting insurance on a salvage/rebuilt title is going to be more expensive by nature. Based on our internal estimates, your policy can be anywhere between 20-60% more expensive then the same level of coverage when compared to a clean title.

You also may not be able to qualify for certain policies, espectially comprehensive (also known as full coverage). Liability coverage should be no issue however.

It’s a good idea to shop around for multiple rate quotes, which you can do by using our rate comparison tool. Just click below and enter your info to get quotes from 15+ different insurers instantly.

About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.