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Rebuilt Title Car: Roadworthy, But Can You Insure It?

Jason Metz

Cars that have rebuilt titles have usually been previously deemed a "total loss." While plenty of insurance companies sell coverage for cars with rebuilt titles, it's important to know that some insurance companies will not offer coverage or may offer only limited coverage such as liability. Here's what you need to know.

What is a rebuilt title?

It's important to know the difference between a salvage and rebuilt title:

  • A salvage title is typically given when the cost to repair a car is more than a certain percentage of a car's actual cash value (ACV). This is often between 75% and 80% of the ACV. In most cases, a car with a salvage title is not safe to drive and must be repaired and pass a state salvage inspection before it can get a "rebuilt title." This title brand might have different names such as rebuilt salvage title, revived salvage or rebuilt vehicle.
  • A rebuilt title typically means that the car has been repaired and restored to meet state safety requirements. While these requirements vary from state to state, generally the car needs to be repaired to its pre-accident condition and inspected by a state-approved salvage inspection station to verify that it's ready for road use. If the car passes inspection, it typically receives a rebuilt title.

Can I insure a car with a rebuilt title?

Because many auto insurance companies consider cars that have been previously declared a total loss as risky, insuring a rebuilt title car can be tricky.

  • Some companies will offer auto insurance coverage, others won't.
  • Some will offer only state-required coverage, such as liability insurance, but not optional types like collision and comprehensive insurance.

If you're considering buying a car with a rebuilt title, it's a good idea to compare car insurance companies to find the best prices and coverage types.