Does a Rebuilt Title Affect Insurance?

Does a Rebuilt Title Affect Insurance

Does a rebuilt title affect insurance? Yes, a rebuilt title affects insurance, and you will find insurance for it. However, it might be difficult, and when you do find one, it will be expensive.

A rebuilt title for insurance is better than a salvage title. Unlike a rebuilt title, you can’t get insurance for a salvage car as it is not roadworthy. When a car is considered a total loss, it’s usually headed for the scrapyard unless it’s repaired to the standard prescribed by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Title. If you want insurance for a car that’s been initially totaled and rebuilt, you will get one, but your insurance choices might be limited.

What Does a Rebuilt Title Mean?

When a car has a rebuilt title, it means it was initially damaged and considered a total loss by an insurance company. However, following inspections, the same car has undergone repairs to the point where it is now state-approved and roadworthy.

California DMV defines it as follows:

A Revived Salvage Vehicle is a vehicle previously reported to DMV as a total loss by the owner or insurance company, but has been rebuilt and restored to operational condition.

If your total loss/salvage vehicle has been revived, you must register the vehicle again to be issued a branded title known as “Rebuilt” or “Rebuilt Salvage”. In some states, you will be given a “Reconstructed” title.

Unlike a salvage title car, a rebuilt title car is safe to drive again. However, you cannot change the title to a clean title. But sometimes, people manage to turn a rebuilt title into a clean title through title washing.

To restore a car with a salvage title, you have to fix it up with a professional repair person. Some states have licensed rebuilders you must use to be able to get it registered again. So, check with your state’s DMV or authorized title agency.

Does Rebuilt Title Affect Insurance?

A rebuilt title affects insurance. On the other hand, you can’t get insurance for a car with a salvage title because it can’t be driven on the road. Cars with rebuilt titles can be insured, but it’s harder than cars with clean titles. Most insurance companies will give you liability insurance for a rebuilt title car, but they might be cautious about offering full coverage insurance.

Generally, it is difficult to determine the exact value of a rebuilt salvage title car. Thus, the insurance company might not know if the damage was from one incident or from multiple incidents. It is even tougher to get extra coverage like collision and comprehensive insurance.

There is also a safety concern. Sometimes, rebuilt salvage title cars can still have problems that were not fixed properly. This could include hidden structural or alignment issues due to the mechanic not doing a thorough job or cutting corners to save money. Insurance companies understand these risks and might expect more claims from rebuilt salvage title cars. Remember, insurance companies are more interested in numbers and try to make as much money as possible.

Is Insurance More Expensive for a Rebuilt Title Car?

Insurance is typically more expensive for a rebuilt title car. So, before you buy a rebuilt title out of state or in your state, or repair one, take this aspect into consideration. Due to its past, a rebuilt car might be pricier to insure. When a car is rebuilt, it could still have problems from the past, and insurance companies may think it is more likely to get into accidents. This could make the insurance cost more for a rebuilt car, thus, making a rebuilt title affect insurance.

What Types of Insurance Can You Get for Rebuilt Title Cars?

If your insurance company agrees to cover a rebuilt title car, you can usually get the basic coverage your state needs. This coverage includes liability insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and medical payment coverage.

But, when it comes to extra coverage like comprehensive or collision insurance, it depends on the insurance company. Some might not offer it because rebuilt cars could have old and new damage that is hard to separate.

Difference Between a Rebuilt and Salvage Title

When a car has a rebuilt or salvage title, it means it got really banged up, so fixing it costs more than buying a new one. The main difference is that a salvage title car hasn’t been fixed, while a rebuilt title car has been repaired.

In simpler terms, a salvage car can’t be legally driven on the roads and can’t be insured. But if you repair a salvaged car, you can get a rebuilt title to show it’s good to go on the road and can be insured.

Before buying a car, check if it has a clean, salvage, or rebuilt title. Usually, you can tell by the title’s color, but colors can differ by state. In most places:

  • Green means it’s a clean title.
  • Blue means it’s a salvage title.
  • Orange means it’s a rebuilt salvage title.

Usually, you cannot buy a salvage car unless you have special permission. But you can buy a rebuilt salvage car from a regular person.

Having a rebuilt salvage title does not mean the car is bad. Many of them are fixed up almost as good as new from the factory.

But figuring out how good the rebuild is can be tricky unless you know a lot about cars. Every state has its own rules for what makes a rebuilt title, so it’s smart to get your own checkup. Some states only look at parts and the basics, so a mechanic can tell you if the car has big issues or is good to go on the road.

Cars with reconditioned or restored titles often have many fixed-up parts, which is normal. As long as these parts are in good shape and nothing important is missing, you should be fine.

How to Get Insurance on a Rebuilt Title

While it is possible, you have to be ready to compare quotes from different insurance companies. Some won’t cover rebuilt salvage title cars, even if you just want liability insurance.

  • Look for options. If you want comprehensive car insurance for your rebuilt salvage car, reach out to different insurance companies and tell them about your vehicle’s history to find out who will provide coverage.
  • Be ready for higher prices. While not all insurance companies will charge extra for rebuilt title cars, some might add a fee of up to 20%.
  • Consider lowering your coverage. Sometimes, it is even smarter to just get liability coverage instead of full coverage because the amount you could get for car damage is less.
  • Understand when to choose a car with a clean title. If the insurance costs for your rebuilt salvage car are higher than the money you saved buying it, it might be a good idea to think about other car options.

After you find an insurance company that covers rebuilt salvage cars, you’ll usually have to share details about your car to get a price estimate and purchase a policy:

  1. Statement from a trusted mechanic. Most insurance companies ask for this to make sure your car is in good shape.
  2. Pictures of your car. If you want full coverage insurance, you will need to take photos of your car, and sometimes videos too. These pictures are like “before” shots that the insurance company can use to check for damage if you ever need to make a claim.
  3. Your car’s first repair estimate. When you buy a rebuilt title car, you should have a document that lists all the damage and fixes done to the car. This is called the original repair estimate. When you provide this estimate to the insurance company, it proves that all the damage has been fixed.

Which Insurance Companies Cover Rebuilt Titles?

State Farm and Geico provide full coverage insurance for rebuilt title cars. Other insurance companies that cover cars with rebuilt titles are:

  1. Progressive
  2. Allstate
  3. Mercury

There might be limitations, such as only offering liability coverage. They may not give you comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays for damage to your rebuilt car.

Getting insurance for a rebuilt title car is not as simple as getting a regular policy. You will likely have to make a phone call to get a price estimate. Whether an insurance company covers your rebuilt car depends on the car’s damage history and the repairs done, and it’s decided case by case.

Frequently Asked Questions

You might be interested in answers to some commonly asked questions, having found the answer to the question, “Does a rebuilt title affect insurance?”

Are rebuilt cars more expensive to insure?

Yes, insurance for rebuilt title cars is often about 20% more expensive because there are bigger risks with these major repairs. But you can make it cheaper by not using the car for commuting or getting a discount if you have multiple policies with the same insurance company.

Can you get full coverage insurance on a rebuilt title?

Yes, you can get full insurance for a rebuilt title car, but not all companies provide it. The amount you might get for car damage could be lower since rebuilt title cars are usually worth less than those with clean titles. Often, it’s more cost-effective to go for liability insurance only for a rebuilt title car.


So, does a rebuilt title affect insurance? Yes, it does. To get insurance for your rebuilt title car, get a mechanic’s approval and find the best insurance quote. Usually, an insurance company will require a mechanic’s statement that the car is roadworthy, especially if you want comprehensive and collision coverage.

Just like regular car insurance, you will have to show your driver’s license and proof of vehicle registration when getting insurance for a rebuilt title car. You might also need to share the vehicle’s VIN, a copy of the rebuilt title, or photos of your car.

Read alsoBuying a Salvage Title Car in California [What to Know]

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