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They're trying to "Salvage" my vehicle!?
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They're trying to "Salvage" my vehicle!?

I hope you can give me some advice on this! I live in California. My vehicles interior was vandalized, and while I know exactly who did it, I have no proof, and cannot take them to civil court to recover the repair costs. I have gone to my insurance company, and they say that the damage is worth more than the vehicle, and that they wish to declare it "salvage." I'm not sure what this means, but I am afraid it might give me
problems in the future, if not with my insurance rates, then possibly with registration fees, etc. The vehicle works perfectly and is of course safe to drive, the only damage is superficial and comsmetic; someone took a knife to the interior. I can easily spend $40 on carseat covers.
Can you tell me what kind of consequences I can expect if they declare this vehicle salvage? Also, why they are doing it, and if there is a way to stop it?


tom S
i know here in Indiana if you vehicle has a salvage title it means it was damaged beyond the value of the car and you get a salvage title. it is just to tell people that is was damaged some how past the overall worth of the car, hope this helps.

Before the insurance company makes settlement,and puts the word SALVAGE on your title, see what you can buy the car back for. In Maryland, once the word SALVAGE is put on the title, a new title can not be applied for. This means that if you sell or trade the car, a clear title can not be obtained.

Im guessing you told them " i want to keep it no matter what"

What a vehicle is determined to be a total loss (meaning it cost more to repair then replace).. the insurance company is allowed to keep the vehicle.. since they are paying you the full value of it (if you got to keep it.. youd be in a better situation then before)

If you want to keep it.. you must buy it back from them.. and it will have a salvage title. This is not your choice or their chocie- its a law. ONce a vehicle is deemed totaled it must have a salvage title.

This salvage title will likely cause many problems. For example, your car will now only be worth about 40% what it was before (if you get in another accident and its totalled again.. you will only get 40% its value now)

I suggest you just take the money.. get them the car.. and not deal with the hassles of a salvaged car.

Dave B
I am in the UK so not under the same exact regieme but my car was stolen and suffered a danaged steering ignition lock and cowl smashed door lock, torn seat and the dashboard was stabbed 60 times with a sharp knife.
The repair bill was over £1000 for parts and about 20 hours work the car had cost me and was insured for insured for £2000, the Insurance company wished to "Write it off" but I did a deal and they paid out £1800 and it cost me £ 100 for parts and a weekend to fix. I never bothered to insure for any more than the minimum 3 rd party cover but I had most of what the car cost back in the bank.

The insurance company is saying that it would cost them more to repair the car than it is worth. They will pay you the value of the car and they will take possession of the car and then they will sell it at auction.
If you want to keep the car, then talk to the insurance company and ask them how much they want for the car. You can buy it back from them, most of the time since they won't have to pay the auctioneer his cut. Then you may have a salvage title, but I don't guess that will matter too much to you.
I doubt if it will have any affect on your insurnace at this time, but if it happens again, they will most likely want to drop you. They could say that you are accident prone. Or some other stupid thing. If you like the car, then go that route.

I just hope that the guy that is mad at you will not do it again. Things are getting rough if he's using knives to get to you.
good luck.

Do you owe money on the car still? That is by far the most important issue. Secondly, a car deemed a total loss can be "bought" back from the insurance company. As far as registration goes, you can still register a salvage vehicle. You just need to let the insurance company know that you want to keep your car. They will fill you in on their procedures to keep the veh. The payment you receive for your damages will be what the insurance company determines the ACV (actual cash value) of the vehicle is less the salvage value (the value received if the veh had been sold at auction). And then you get to keep the car. Again, your insurance company lets the "owner retain salvage" regularly. They shouldn't have any problem letting you keep the car.

JT B ford man
Never herd of that before If they salvage your car,see if you can buy it back and fix it I don't know the laws in Cal. but here In Georgia if that happens the insurance would allow money to repair the damage, and my insurance would not go up hope this helps.

Your question is confusing to me.

Generally when the "damage is worth more than the vehicle", that's known as "totalled".

If "salvage" means "salvageable", then they want to fix it rather than pay off the book value of the vehicle (obviously they want to pay the lower of the two costs, right?).

they are trying to save your car so if you would want them to try to save it then let them do that. If you want to do it yourself then just tell them that you will pay for the damages yourself.
if they totaled your car then see how much they will give you if you keep and then see what you will get if they keep it then go around and see how much it would cost to repair it. but salvage means that they are trying to save the car.

Lemar J
if you don't owe money on the car, let them pay you for the car, and then 'buy' it back from them for the same amount they are paying you. This simply means that you can now only insure the car for damages to others. You can never file another claim for damages to the car itself.

You'll get a salvage title. And if the damage isn't as bad as they claim, you can eventually have the interior repaired yourself.

Personally, I'd just withdraw the claim, get the seat covers, and find another insurance agent. And I wouldn't buy comprehensive insurance on it if it is paid for.

If you owe more than the car is worth, definitely withdraw the claim and get another policy from antoher company.

If the car has a salvaged title, you won't be able to get full value in the event of a trade. Also, you wn't be able to get full coverage on it again until you can prove that it has been FULLY restored.

It is up to them. If it is salvaged, the ins. co. will take your vehicle and pay you fair market value for it. You have the option to buy it back for 10% of the salvage price. As far as registration, there should not be a problem. Resale value is deminished, but you bought it back for 10% of what it is worth so who cares. If you choose to buy it back, it will work out very well for you. You will still have your car and enough money to fix it and throw a party in your honor.

I would take the salvage claim to be honest, It means your vehical was "totaled".. so they want to take your vehical and cut you a check for how much its worth. I'm pretty sure another word for this would be "totaled".

And there shouldn't be any consequences enless you have a shitty insurence company, it differs from company to company, but check your agreement, they might have something in there about you only being allowed 3 claims per year (or the like) or 1 totaling per year and "penalties" may be incurred beyond that or... SOMETHING to that effect.

This means that they will declare your car a total loss and only give you the current market value. Call another insurance company and asked them if they insure salvaged vehicles and how?

You can stop it by not filing the claim. If they do not make a payout they will not make it a salvage.

If you take the money, they will own the vehicle but may be willing to sell it back to you. It will have a salvage title at that point. This is they way the insurance company gets some of the money back from settling your claim.

Get proof and file in small claims. You can file a small claims case. If they do not respond you will win on default then have to file for a judgment OR go on one of the TV judge shows. Your culprits may agree to that since they will even get some money out of the pool. There is usually a pool of money to be divided. Any judgment is taken out then the rest split.

the biggest problem I see happening is if you ever try selling the car,without a clean title almost no one will buy it.
a salvage title basically says the car is a big piece of shi*

They will pay you the value of the vehicle. if it is an OLD vehicle, they will "estimate" the value.

It means that they pay you the depreciated value of your car and they get the car you get the cash, you have to think if it's worth it , the hassel to be without a car till you get anothe 1 or jus buy car seat covers, the insurance wants the easy out.

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