Insuring a Salvage Title Vehicle: What You Need to Know

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

When you’re in the market for a used car, you may come across vehicles with a salvage title. These are cars that have been declared a total loss by an insurance company due to damage from an accident, natural disaster, or other issues. While some people avoid these cars because of their history, others see them as a bargain and choose to purchase them. But if you do decide to buy a vehicle with a salvage title, there are important things you need to know about insuring it.

What is a Salvage Title?

A salvage title is issued for vehicles that have sustained significant damage from an accident or other event and have been deemed too costly to repair by the insurance company. Typically, this means that the cost of repairing the car exceeds its actual value before the damage occurred.

Once given a salvage title, a vehicle cannot legally operate on public roads until state authorities have repaired and inspected it. Depending on where you live, there may also be additional requirements for registering and insuring such vehicles.

Can I Insure My Salvage Titled Vehicle?

Yes, you can insure your salvage titled vehicle! However, getting coverage may not be as straightforward as it is with regular cars.

Many insurance companies view salvage-title cars as high-risk since they pose greater chances of being involved in accidents again and coming up against more costly repairs. As such, insurers often set higher premiums when compared to those given out to normal roadworthy counterparts.

How Much Will It Cost?

As mentioned earlier, salvage-title vehicles often demand higher premiums than roadworthy ones. However, the amount charged may differ among different insurers depending on their internal risk assessment procedures.

For example, it is common practice for many auto insurers to offer quotes based on factors like driving history (claims filed over time), vehicle type, model/make/age, and overall credit score. Among all these factors, vehicle make/model and age have the most substantial influence on the final premium charged.

It’s important to note that because of the higher risk involved, you may not be able to get comprehensive coverage on a salvaged titled car. Comprehensive insurance covers incidents such as theft or damage caused by weather events or animals, and is often included in regular auto policies. Insurers may also place limits on certain aspects of your coverage in order for them to stay profitable if claims arise. Moreover, some restrictions might exist based upon physical location details when it comes down to credit terms, policy length/type will widely vary depending upon which state or country you are driving/insuring your vehicle. This reason alone makes shopping around mandatory in order to obtain insurance policies with specific clauses.

What Factors Should I Consider Before Purchasing a Salvage Title Vehicle?

Before considering buying a salvage titled vehicle, there are some factors one needs to consider carefully:


Most times, salvage-title cars are sold at lower prices than their counterparts. On average, these cars sell between 30%-50% percent less than similarly aged models. However, the cost of repairing these types of vehicles can quickly skyrocket, leaving owners stranded between deciding whether to fix theirs and recouping their initial purchase price.


In almost all cases where salvage-titled come into play, safety should always remain paramount. It’s therefore imperative for any prospective buyer to carry out thorough inspection checks personally or via third-party technicians proficient in mechanical engineering such as ASE certified mechanics. These inspections should check components like brakes, wheels, and suspension systems. Those operating without allowing assessments done making it more difficult securing optimum liability protection. Consequently, this could lead insurers outrightly rejecting requests for insurance quote due to unattractive long term risks.

Resale Value

Though resale value shouldn’t be the topmost priority while looking at salvage-title vehicles, a quick assessment beforehand might go a long way. There really isn’t much hindrance if you plan to drive your car until the wheels fall out. However, if you plan on trading-in or selling your salvage title vehicle and upgrade eventually, the money lost in its purchase may linger on.


In conclusion, insuring a salvage titled vehicle is very much possible just like it would be with any other car. There isn’t really an absolute right or wrong way of looking at them, it all depends on personal preferences, budget constraints. With that being said, having adequate knowledge about insuring these types of vehicles can never hurt as they are almost always higher-risk than their counterparts.


Q: Can I get insurance for a salvage title vehicle? A: Yes, it is possible to insure a salvage title vehicle. However, the coverage options and premiums may differ from that of regular vehicles since there is greater risk involved in insuring a salvaged car.

Q: What kind of coverage can I expect for my salvage titled car? A: In general, you can expect to have liability and collision coverage on your salvage title vehicle. However, comprehensive (sometimes called “full coverage”) insurance may not be available for such cars. The specific type of coverage depends on factors like the condition of the car and state laws.

Q: How does having a salvaged title affect my insurance rates? A: Getting insurance for a salvage titled-car will likely cost more than insuring an undamaged one. Since auto insurers see more risk when covering these kinds of cars, they usually charge higher premiums as compared to regular cars. Factors affecting rates include damage extent and whether or not repairs were made by ASE-certified mechanics using OEM parts or just basic collision repair shops.