How to Insure a Rebuilt Title Car

Buying a ‘new to you’ car can be a very expensive venture, especially once you start factoring in all the other associated costs, such as insurances, taxes, and gas. Sometimes when you look for used cars you see them listed as rebuilt title. So we will discuss what that means and how to insure one of the vehicles.


The great news is that when you buy a rebuilt car you will benefit from it being heavily discounted in comparison to that of a non-rebuilt (or ‘clean’) variety. So it is worth consideration, but also being mindful that although the vehicle may cost less, there may be additional increased premiums to consider elsewhere. 


So let’s start by understanding a little more around the title terminology and what all of this actually means. When shopping around you’ll see some cars have a ‘salvage’ title and other a ‘rebuilt’ title.

What Is A Salvage Title?

A salvage title is the terminology used and applied when a vehicle has been damaged and the insurance company decided it was not worth the cost to repair and insurance company considered it a total loss. 


In these instances the vehicle has usually been involved in a serious incident and the insurance company have decided that the cost of repair not worth it based on the vehicles value and will then take possession of this vehicle. This is usually based on whether of not the cost of repair exceeds a certain percentage of the total vehicle value.  


As most insurance companies have no reason to keep hold of these vehicle they then sell them on other companies to be repaid or rebuilt. When looking at a salvage vehicle it is important to understand that they are categorized based on the level of damage inflicted to the car. For info on the risks of buying salvage title cars, read this.

Differences Between Salvage and Rebuilt Titles?

So, in short a salvage title is the name applied to car that the insurance company has written off, following an incident. At this stage no repair work has been carried out. 


A rebuilt title is name applied to a vehicle that was once salvage, that has had the relevant worked completed. This title informs the buyer that the vehicle was damaged previously but is now road worthy again, a full repair has been carried out and it passes all required checks.


There is an obligation that whenever a car was ‘written off’ by an insurance company and has been repaid to a road worthy state that this title is applied and noted in relation to the vehicle, This is to make the buyer aware of the vehicles past life. 


The majority of rebuilt cars will be repaired to near factory standards, however this isn’t always the case. If you are considering buying a rebuilt vehicle it is worth getting your own inspection of the vehicle carried out, as the level of testing required to make the car legal once more can around basic functionality and ensuring the parts all work as expected.


By enlisting a qualified mechanic to look it over you will be able to understand with more certainty if there are any outstanding issues or if the vehicle is ready to go. 


How to Insure a Rebuilt Title Car

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. discovered by David Freiburger on Roadkill in a Colorado junkyard.

Can You Get Insurance For Rebuilt Cars

If you have bought a rebuilt title car for sale and the title is listed as “rebuilt”, it is now legally deemed safe to be driven on the roads once more. It is important to note, like any car, insurance is then required and the vehicle must be registered. 


The vehicle itself will still qualify for insurance but as it has been ‘rebuilt’, insurance companies can view them as being less reliable. For this reason not all insurance company will offer cover, and there is the potential that insurance premiums will be higher to reflect the vehicles history and extent of mechanic work carried out. 


Like all insurance companies they do then to specialize towards target audiences. So keep this in mind and shop around. There will be companies out there that will offer a more competitive premium for rebuilt vehicles than others.  


You’ll find the majority of insurance companies that will offer insures to rebuilt cars will include a liability policy and it isn’t as common for full coverage policy to be offered. A liability policy, in short means that if you are involved in a collision for example, the insurance company would pay out for the damages to the other vehicle. They will not cover the cost of repair to your vehicle if it is damaged by a 3rd party. This you would need to claim through them.

How To Get Insurance For A Rebuilt Vehicle

The level of coverage you require will influence how easily available this insurance is to come by. As noted some insurance companies will not insure any rebuilt vehicle even if it is a liability policy. 


Secondly, it is vital that you shop around to find a competitive quote. This advice is the same when insuring any vehicle. No one wants to get ripped off. But, sometime when insuring a rebuilt car a surcharge can be applied with one company but not another, so spending some time comparing a minimum of three or more insurance companies can pay off. 


Once you’ve found an insurer you will usually have a few additional tasks outstanding in order to complete the purchase and be insured. 


Listed below are 3 fairly standard requirements attached to getting insurance for a rebuilt car. Of course, please note this can change from insurer to insurer and only thwy will be able to accurately state the full requirements they need. 

  1. A Certified Mechanic’s Statement. This document is generated upon repair of the vehicle stating that car is now is in a good working order. 
  2. Photos and/or videos of the car. Depending on the level of insurance you are requesting, usually determines if these extra images are required. In the majority of cases if you are requesting a full coverage policy, the insurance company will want to see pictures of the vehicle. This then allows them to refer and compare to the image if you were to ever make a claim in relation to any new damage that has been obtained. 
  3. The car’s original repair quote. When you complete on a purchase of a rebuilt car, you should be provided with the original repaid estimate, listing the original damage and any improvements that have been made to the car.

What Should I Expect from a Rebuilt Title Inspection?

If you still have a salvage title and need to get a rebuilt title, you may be wondering how the heck is this gonna go. The video below is a great explanation of the experience of taking a vehicle from a salvage to a rebuilt title.