Salvage Title Auto Insurance

Salvage title auto insurance may be hard to find due to the car's history. Liability insurance for a salvage car is easier to get, but only some insurers will sell full coverage. If your salvaged car is totaled, an insurer will probably only pay out 60 to 80% of its market value.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2021

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Food for thought

  • Auto insurance for salvage cars may be expensive and hard to find.
  • A vehicle that has been deemed “totaled” by an insurer, can be rebuilt and re-titled.
  • Changing a salvage title to a clean title is considered fraud.

Can you get salvage title car insurance? You should be able to get liability coverage for your car which is mandated by your state.

But, can I get full coverage on a car with a salvage title? Actually, most insurers won’t let you buy full coverage salvage title auto insurance. If they do, there are caveats. For something that has been rebuilt and can no longer have the same safety ratings applied, they aren’t likely to take the chance.

Does Geico insure salvage title cars, or what about how to buy auto insurance from Progressive for a salvage title? We can help. Enter your ZIP code above to get FREE quotes from multiple insurers for your salvage car.

Is it more expensive to insure a salvage title?

First off, is insurance more expensive for salvage cars? It’s likely to be more expensive and difficult to find. When it comes to a salvage title, car insurance companies can be hesitant.

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Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements by State for Salvage Cars

No matter what else, you have to carry the state minimum requirements for liability car insurance to legally drive. The table below shows these requirements for each state.

Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StateInsurance required Minimum liability limits
ALBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AKBI & PD Liab50/100/25
AZBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ARBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CABI & PD Liab15/30/5
COBI & PD Liab25/50/15
CTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DEBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
DCBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FLPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GABI & PD Liab25/50/25
HIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IDBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ILBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
INBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IABI & PD Liab20/40/15
KSBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LABI & PD Liab15/30/25
MEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MABI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MNBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MSBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MOBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MTBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NVBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NHFR only25/50/25
NJBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
NMBI & PD Liab25/50/10
NYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
NCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
NDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OHBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OKBI & PD Liab25/50/25
ORBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PABI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
RIBI & PD Liab25/50/25
SCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
SDBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TNBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TXBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UTBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VABI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WABI & PD Liab25/50/10
WVBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WIBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WYBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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When you’re looking at these numbers, they can be a little confusing. If you’re insuring a salvage title car in California, the state’s requirements, for example, mean you have to have both bodily injury and property damage liability. California’s required 15/30/5 insurance means you must have:

  • $15,000 for any one person injured in one accident
  • $30,000 in coverage for all people injured in one accident
  • $5,000 for property damage

If you’re getting insurance for a restored title in AZ, the requirements are the same except that 15/30/10 requires $10,000 in property damage coverage. Each state is unique. Salvage title car insurance in Texas will be different, as well as other states.

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A Car’s Title Affects Its Value

This table goes over the differences between salvage, clean, and rebuilt titles.

Types of Vehicle Titles and Their Details
TITLE TYPECOLOR OF TITLEISSUING FACTORSPROSCONS
SALVAGE TITLEBlueIssued for vehicles whose damages exceed the value of the vehicleUsually very cheap to purchaseNo insurance available, can't be driven legally, and repairs can be costly
CLEAN TITLEGreenIssued for new or used vehicles with little to no damageNo damage or repairs to deal withMost expensive upfront cost
REBUILT TITLEOrangeIssued for vehicles that were salvaged but have been repaired and passed an inspectionCheaper than a new or used car to purchaseCan be driven legally but can be hard to find more than liability insurance
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Once a vehicle has been totaled out by an insurer, it can be rebuilt and re-titled. But the industry typically estimates that salvage vehicles deduct 20 to 40 percent of their Kelley Blue Book value over a clean title.

What does that mean for your auto insurance?

If you do find an insurer who is willing to sell full coverage car insurance for your salvage car and you get into a wreck, the insurance payout on a salvage title car may be only 60 to 80 percent of the market value of the vehicle. Salvage title car insurance claim settlement can be more complex.

This video from Donut Media goes over salvage titles.

Though you might save on the salvage car on the front end, you might end up paying for it in the end.

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How To Get a Salvage Title Cleared

Can you clear your salvaged car and get a clean title for it? The answer to that is no. But you might be able to fix it and get a rebuilt title which opens up a lot of options for you.

But changing a salvage title to a clean title is considered to be fraud.  CarFax defines title washing as fraudulently changing a title’s status so that the history of the car is wiped out. This leads to previously totaled-out cars being given a clean title.

But totaled cars can be less structurally sound from prior collisions, and it’s dangerous to give it a clean title which a new owner may think is OK. If it was involved in a crash and rebuilt, some parts may not be as strong as they once were.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System tracks five factors that help reduce “title washing.” These are:

  1. The current state of the title and its last date
  2. The brand history
  3. The odometer reading of the vehicle
  4. Totaled out loss history
  5. Salvage History

These steps help prevent title washing which happens to 57,000 vehicles every year, according to GovInfo.

So, is it bad to buy salvage title cars? You can still get your car insured, but it’s important to remain honest or else you could be facing charges for automobile fraud.

What car insurance companies cover salvage titles? It’s harder, but there are still options out there with Geico being the major contender. Will Farm Bureau insure a rebuilt title, or what about salvage title insurance with Geico? These questions can only be answered by the company directly, as it depends on the circumstances.

If you’re looking for the best coverage for your salvage car, we are here for you. Enter your ZIP code below to get FREE quotes from multiple insurers today.

References: 

  1. https://www.kbb.com/company/faq/values/
  2. https://www.carfax.com/press/resources/what-is-title-washing
  3. https://vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/
  4. https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CHRG-109hhrg27254/context

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