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Answered 2008-03-05 19:25:50

Salvage vehicle value is highly subjective but if the car was properly reconstructed and is roadworthy it is worth roughly 60% of a comparable clean titled car. Go to to get an idea of the car's value. If it's salvage but not roadworthy, maybe 25% of the value of a comparable clean titled car.


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can be done by insurance company at time it is totaled out by them

If you wreck your vehicle, the insurance company pays you off and you give them the title for the vehicle. The insurance company then turns around and sends the vehicle to an auction (usually for dealers and wholesalers only) and sell it. Most of the time a salvage company will buy the car for parts and the insurance company can recoup some of their money.

Answer: Salvage titles come from the insurance companies. Once an insurance company "totals" a vehicle, it becomes "salvaged". Take the ID number to your insurance company and have them run it to see if it is "insurable", best & quickest way and its free.

Either the cars owner or the insurance company who paid for the totaled vehicle

it just means that said vehicle has been damaged and an insurance company has considered it to be damaged beyond its value. if it is a "rebuilt" salvage title then it can be used as any other vehicle on the road, it just may effect the cost of insurance.

As of 2013, the best way to determine if the department of motor vehicles has issued a salvage title for a vehicle is on the title it will state that it is a salvage title. A salvage title is a note that states that the vehicle has been damaged or deemed a total loss.

I assume that you are referring to an automobile policy where the vehicle was a total loss. The insurance company will pay you the actual cash value of the vehicle but in order to do this title of the vehicle passes to the insurance company which gives them ownership of the vehicle. Some companies will allow you to keep the vehicle but will deduct a negotiated value for the salvage. I highly recommend that you educate yourself about the requirements in your State in dealing with a totalled vehicle. Most States will require the vehicle to be repaired and inspected in order to register the vehicle for road use after which you would receive a salvage title. If you want to use the parts only then these requirements don't pertain to your vehicle.

In the U.S., Auto Insurance companies do not salvage a vehicle. If the vehicle claim is paid out as a total loss it is sold or auctioned off to a salvage or a junk yard. The junk yard may crush the vehicle for scrap metal value or salvage parts from the vehicle or even to re-title the car on a salvage title but this is totally up to the salvage yard or whomever the yard then re-sells the vehicle too.

They will probably run a "carfax" or similar title search on the vehicle prior to insuring it. If they don't ask you the question, "Is this a salvage vehicle?" you don't have to volunteer the information. If something were to happen to the vehicle and it became a total loss you could face fraud charges if you claimed more than you paid for the vehicle in an insurance claim.

In terms of motor vehicle insurance, when an insurance company writes a vehicle off, they have a dedicated salvage agent, who will give them back a certain percentage of its market value (pre-incident) for every damaged vehicle sold to them. If the cost to repair the vehicle is greater than its market value minus the percentage the insurance company receives, it is known as a constructive total loss (category D), as it is more economic for the insurance company to write the vehicle off than repair it. Equation: Cost to repair > Pre accident value - Salvage percentage return = Constructive write off


I know of no insurance company in any U.S. sate that will give you full coverage on a salvaged vehicle.

If your car is deemed a total loss, the insurance company will only pay up the value of the vehicle. They will have nothing to do with the repairs. If the vehicle is worth $5,000 and the damage is $8,000, you are going to pay $3,000 out of your own pocket. Once the insurance company pays you that $5,000, they are out of the picture. Just be prepared for a 'salvage' fee to be deducted from your settlement by the insurance company. That is what they would have gotten for your vehicle if you had surrendered it to them.

Yes and no. Insurance companies, as a general rule, will not provide full coverage insurance for vehicles with salvage titles they will however provide liability only insurance.

You must turn in keys and title to the insurance company once they have paid you for the loss - regardless of the condition of the vehicle. It is your choice to accept or not the settlement.

The repair cost, has to be more expensive than the insurance company believes the car is worth.

Any vehicle, whether a total loss or not, has a value. A totaled vehicle, of course, has a significantly lesser value (assuming the actual total loss has already been settled with the vehicle owner). This value can be anywhere from 5 - 25% of the pre-loss value of the vehicle. If you decide to keep a totaled vehicle after settling with an insurance carrier, they can legally remove the salvage value from your settlement. It shouldn't be much, and you can request that they actually get a salvage quote from a salvage yard. The idea behind this is that you can't legally profit from a loss. In your case, if your totaled vehicle has a salvage value, and you're keeping the vehicle, the insurance carrier must deduct that salvage value. Otherwise, you will get a full settlement, and still retain a vehicle with some value. But...try working with the carrier on what that salvage amount is going to be. Sometimes they'll adjust it to get the loss settled, since you never "really" know what the salvage value is going to be until the vehicle is sold at a salvage yard auction.

A rebuilt salvage title is issued when a vehicle has been declared a total loss. When that happens, the original title is "retired", and the salvage may be sold--often by an insurance company that paid the owner and acquired the salvage. As a way of recovering some of what it paid, the salvage will be sold by the insurer. The buyer of it may then repair the vehicle to make it road-worthy. The repaired vehicle is then issued a rebuilt salvage title in order to be "legalized" and used as a vehicle. The fact that it has a rebuilt salvage title will generally reduce the value of the car, because any buyer will know that the vehicle has at one time been totaled.

You can get company vehicle insurance at

Unless you're the company owner, you generally don't need to provide insurance for a company vehicle.

its when 70% of a vehicle has either been damaged or wrecked, and insurance has classified it as a total loss. in some rare cases the salvage title could be issued to a stolen vehicle

most insurance companies will insure a vehicle with a salvage title. As long as it is state certified.

The cost for insurance will be determined by the location of the vehicle as well as the type of vehicle.

Typically the value is 20% of the vehicle's value without salvage.

The insurance company is required to pay the actual cash value (normally) of the vehicle prior to the loss. Get prepared to document what your vehicle is worth with a salvage instead of a clean title. Don't expect to get more for the vehicle than you piad for it. Don't expect much at all if the salvage title was given after another insurance company already totaled the vehicle. Honestly - unless this was specifically addressed when you tried to buy comprehensive cover on a salavaged title vehicle, you are going down the road to a "bad faith" claim against an insurance company. (Arguement being - insured was charged full comprehensive rate for the vehicle in question based on value of a clean title, then when a covered total loss is presented, company pays value on a different basis) Check with a lawyer. If at all possible, try to address this when placing coverage, not at the time of a loss. Mark Walters, ARM AAI

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