Rebuilt Title Car Insurance: What You Need to Know

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When it comes to purchasing a used car, you may come across vehicles with a “rebuilt” title. This term might seem confusing at first, but it’s crucial to understand what it means, especially when it comes to insuring such a vehicle. This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of rebuilt title car insurance, providing you with all the information you need to make informed decisions.

Understanding Rebuilt Titles

A rebuilt title is issued when a car has been damaged to the extent that it’s considered a total loss by an insurance company. This typically means the cost of repairs would exceed the vehicle’s value. However, if the car has been repaired and inspected to meet specific safety standards, it can legally return to the road with a rebuilt title.

Rebuilt vs. Salvage Titles

It’s important to distinguish between a rebuilt and a salvage title. Both indicate that a vehicle has suffered significant damage. The key difference lies in the state of repair. A salvage title car remains in its damaged state, while a rebuilt title car has been restored and deemed roadworthy.

Insuring a Rebuilt Title Car

Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to insure a car with a rebuilt title. However, the process can be more challenging than insuring a car with a clean title. Many insurance companies may only offer liability coverage for such vehicles, considering them high-risk.

Finding the Right Insurance for Your Rebuilt Title Car

Not all insurance companies offer policies for rebuilt title cars. Companies like State Farm and Geico provide full-coverage insurance for these vehicles, while others like Progressive, Allstate, and Mercury may only offer limited coverage. It’s crucial to shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal.

The Cost of Insuring a Rebuilt Title Car

Insuring a car with a rebuilt title can often be more expensive than insuring a car with a clean title. This is primarily due to the inherent risks associated with rebuilt title cars. These vehicles have previously sustained significant damage, which required extensive repairs to make them roadworthy again. As a result, they are considered high-risk by insurance companies, which is reflected in higher premiums.

For instance, a 2023 study by the Insurance Information Institute found that the average annual insurance premium for a car with a clean title was around $1,500, while the average for a rebuilt title car was closer to $2,000. This represents a significant increase in cost, highlighting the financial implications of insuring a rebuilt title car.

However, the cost of insuring a rebuilt title car can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the age, make, and model of the vehicle, as well as the driver’s previous driving records. For example, a driver with a clean record might pay less for insurance than a driver with multiple traffic violations, even if both are insuring the same rebuilt title car.

The Risks Associated with Rebuilt Title Cars

While a rebuilt title car can be a good deal, it’s important to understand the potential risks. These cars were once deemed a total loss, which means they were significantly damaged. Even though they have been repaired and inspected, there’s always a chance that some issues were missed or that the car could have ongoing problems.

For example, a car that was rebuilt after a flood might have hidden water damage that wasn’t addressed during the repair process. This could lead to electrical issues down the line, resulting in costly repairs and potential safety hazards.

Another risk is that of future accidents. If a rebuilt title car is involved in another accident, the insurance payout may not be as high as you’d expect. This is because the car’s value is often lower than that of a similar model with a clean title. In fact, some insurance companies might only pay out 80% of the car’s market value in the event of a total loss.

Tips for Buying a Rebuilt Title Car

If you’re considering buying a car with a rebuilt title, there are several things you should do to protect yourself. First, always have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. They can check for any hidden damage or shoddy repair work. This could save you from buying a car that will end up costing you more in repairs down the line.

Second, be sure to research the car’s history. You’ll want to know what kind of damage the car sustained and who repaired it. This information can give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of potential problems and repair costs. For example, if the car was repaired by a reputable shop, you might feel more confident in its reliability.

Finally, be sure to shop around for insurance before you buy. As mentioned earlier, not all insurance companies offer policies for rebuilt title cars, and the rates can vary significantly. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three different companies to ensure you’re getting the best rate.


In conclusion, while insuring a car with a rebuilt title can be more complex and potentially more expensive, it’s certainly possible. By doing your due diligence and shopping around, you can find an insurance policy that fits your needs and budget. Despite the challenges, many people find that the savings they get from buying a rebuilt title car outweigh the potential downsides.