UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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How to Insure a Car Without a Clean Title
The vast majority of automobiles out there come with a title which is referred to as a “clean” title – meaning that the car has never been in a serious accident, had its mileage tampered with, or been in any other sort of situation which would make it unsafe to drive.
But not all cars have clean titles. If you’re trying to find insurance on a vehicle that is lacking a clean title, you may find the process difficult and confusing.
But there is hope. Below, you can find out how to get the best deal on the right auto insurance policy for you.
Understanding the Different Types of Car Titles
We’ve already discussed clean titles, which are legal titles associated with a car that is still in good, factory-quality condition and safe to drive on the road.
But there are other types of titles that exist based on the condition of the vehicle they’re attached to.
For starters, there’s such a thing known as a salvage title. When a vehicle gets into a total loss accident, its clean title is wiped away and it is reissued a salvage title.
Cars are usually classified as a total loss if the cost to repair them exceeds the value of the vehicle. The repair costs can be as low as 60 percent, or as high as 100 percent, depending on your state laws and the severity of the damage.
If your insurance provides you with comprehensive, collision, or replacement coverage which helps you get a new vehicle after a total loss accident, they will then take possession of the damaged vehicle and its salvage title.
This title legally allows them to sell the destroyed automobile to salvage yards or rebuilders. What happens to the vehicle next determines whether it is scrapped for parts, or restored and issued a rebuilt title.
Typically, automobiles which are declared to be beyond all hope of repair are issued a non-repairable title and scrapped, if there’s anything worth scrapping.
If a professional rebuilder gets ahold of a salvage vehicle and restores it, it may then qualify for a rebuilt title.
These titles reflect the fact that the car is most likely safe to drive, but at one point in its life cycle, it was so damaged that it was deemed a total loss.
Getting insurance on these vehicles is challenging. Most insurance companies think these vehicles are so risky to insure that you may only be able to find liability only coverage at a fairly expensive rate.
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Insurance for Salvage and Rebuilt Titles
Getting insurance on a salvage title is not possible, because most companies believe that total loss vehicles are too risky to be driven on the road.
It’s only after the car has been rebuilt and successfully issued a rebuilt title that you can hope to drive it around or sell it.
Liability coverage is the easiest to obtain when you’re talking about a vehicle with a rebuilt title. However, you’re more likely to have to pay more for your monthly premium than drivers who own a car with a clean title.
Depending on your insurance company and your state laws, you may also have to purchase higher liability coverage limits in order to drive the vehicle legally. Either way, your monthly premiums for a car with a rebuilt title will be higher than the average driver’s.
While it is relatively easy to purchase liability coverage for a rebuilt title, optional coverage packages (such as collision and comprehensive coverage) are much harder to obtain. This is because your insurance company has almost no way of knowing what damage the rebuilt vehicle has sustained in the past.
Furthermore, the drastic drop in the value of a vehicle with a rebuilt title (up to 40% is some areas) means that if you are lucky enough to find these coverages for your car, your claim payouts will be substantially lower if you ever need repairs.
Tips & Tricks for Getting Rebuilt Salvage Title Auto Insurance
If you’re determined to drive a vehicle with a rebuilt salvage title, then you may need a little extra help finding the right coverage for it.
Most drivers will have to shop around at least a little bit in order to find the right coverage at the right price.
Motorists who need coverage on a rebuilt salvage title car will have to do even more research, comparing even more providers just to find one that will sell a policy to them in the first place. This makes it much harder for them to be able to compare quotes and get a good price.
Although finding coverage for your unique vehicle is difficult, it is not impossible. But you’re going to have to do a little homework in order to increase your chances of finding a company that will offer you coverage. This prep work can also help you get a better deal on your monthly premium.
- For starters, you should find a good, reliable mechanic who’s willing to issue you a certified mechanic’s statement. This piece of paper helps support your claim that the vehicle is safe to drive.
- Take pictures and video of your vehicle. These before images, which show that the body of your vehicle is in good condition, can give you a leg up when you are searching for comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Find a copy of your car’s original repair estimate. This should come along with the vehicle’s rebuilt title. This proves to your prospective insurance company that all necessary repairs have been made and that the car will be safe on the road. They can also give them an idea of how extensive the damage was in the first place. This can work in your favor if, say, the vehicle was only barely damaged enough to qualify as a total loss. Under such circumstances, it’ll be easier to find a company that will offer you a policy in the first place, and give you a fair quote on a monthly premium.
We know how difficult it is to find affordable car insurance policies on a normal vehicle – much less a special needs one, like a car with a rebuilt title. The task is difficult, but far from impossible.
And you can find prospective insurance companies right now who are willing to do business with you. All it takes is a simple five-minute search, and you can get several quotes from leading auto insurance companies in your area.