Can You Insure Flood Salvage Cars?
There has been a lot of news coverage regarding flooded vehicles following Hurricane Sandy and lots of questions from consumers regarding whether or not it is safe to invest in a flood salvage car or even if a flood salvage car is insurable. After a major weather disaster such as a hurricane which produces flooding and storm surge activity, there may be thousands of automobiles considered to be totaled by their insurance companies because the cost of repairing the damage caused to them by water exceeds 75% of the automobile’s current market value. Salvage companies often refurbish cars and sell them to individuals with what’s called a salvage title.
The Appeal of Flood Salvage Cars
Since some flood salvage cars can be refurbished to driving condition and can provide a driver with a cheap, usable car for short term use, some individuals look to purchase these kinds of vehicles as a way to save money on transportation. Flood salvage cars are popular among seniors who need a second car to store at their mountain cabin or seashore home, among students on a shoestring budget until they graduate and find full-time employment, as well as hobbyists who enjoy restoring flood salvage cars to their former glory or using their parts in other restoration projects.
Finding Insurance Coverage
Some insurance companies will provide a limited amount of insurance coverage to flood salvage cars, which carry no guarantee of safety and may soon become a quicksand of expenses if further repairs are found to be necessary beyond what the salvage yard did to make the vehicle driveable again. Insurance companies view flood salvage cars as high risk vehicles and will usually only offer individuals liability-only coverage which covers bodily injury, property damage as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage is not available for flood salvage cars, which means that the owner takes full financial responsibility should the car be damaged or destroyed by fire, collision with a falling object, theft or additional acts of nature such as more flooding.
Hiding Salvage Damage
There is an increasing problem after natural disasters such as hurricanes that flood salvage cars are unscrupulously sold using standard rather than salvage titles, meaning that the owner doesn’t realize that they are buying a vehicle that has been refurbished after flooding. Before purchasing any pre-owned vehicle, make certain to review its history by using its vehicle identification number. If you do choose to purchase a vehicle with a salvage title for economic reasons, realize that there are no guarantees that the car will continue to operate in a safe fashion, that you face the risk of subjecting yourself to throwing good money after bad with additional repairs on a vehicle with little to no resale value, and that finding even minimum amounts of liablity insurance coverage may prove to be problematic.
View more auto insurance discounts.