Salvage title

A salvage title is an automobile title with a notation that the vehicle has been damaged in excess of approximately 70% of its pre-accident market value. The exact percentage depends on the insurance provider and any applicable laws and regulations. This notation gets applied to a title when an insurance company pays a total-loss claim on a vehicle, but then sells the vehicle at an auction center. If the vehicle is kept by its owner through a buy-back program, then the vehicle will retain a clean title. A properly restored vehicle is still safely drivable even if it is technically considered a total loss by an insurance company, particularly with older vehicles where even minor cosmetic damage would cost more to fix than the vehicle's pre-accident market value.

There is no specific formula in most states that specifies when a vehicle is deemed salvage; this is typically decided on a case by case basis. Once the auto is involved in an accident, the insurance company then offers the vehicle back to the owner as an insurance buyback or the car is sold to insurance auction centers, such as IAAI or Copart. With an insurance buyback the owner is responsible for getting the repairs made and having the car inspected by the highway patrol or a state regulated inspection facility. At this point, the car still has a clean title, no matter of the degree of the damage done, because it was never owned by the insurance company. If the auto is not a buyback, it is towed to a salvage auction where it will be sold to an auto recycler or a rebuilder, and given a salvage title. A rebuilder can sell the car as-is or fix the car and resell it as a rebuilt salvage titled car.

Having a "Salvage" or "Junk" title only applies to the United States and Canada. All vehicles imported or exported to other countries will automatically obtain a "Clean" title, even if they have been involved in an accident.

Some companies in the United States, such as Carfax, sell title reports to prospective car buyers which, among other things, reveal these title statuses. The information, however, might be far from being complete because of the inability of these companies to check accident records in 23 states and because not all accidents get reported to the authorities (particularly when there are no injuries). In 2007, Carfax settled a nationwide class-action lawsuit and the company will now include prominent warnings that its reports may not be complete.

Industry standards followed by and noted in print by the National Automobile Dealers Association (N.A.D.A.) Appraisal Guides, Kelley Blue Book Market Report Official Guide, the International Society of Automotive Appraisers (I.S.A.A.) and additional automotive business entities within the United States of America, all devalue a motor vehicle that is in possession of a “Salvage Title”, by 20% - 50% of the normal, fair market retail value of the vehicle without a “Salvage Title”. The percentage variance increases with the younger age of the vehicle at issue and the retail value of that vehicle. Any vehicle that is more than 10 years old carries the 20% minimum devaluation to the fair market value of the vehicle. Once a vehicle is branded with a “salvage or junk” title of ownership, this type of tarnished history stays with the unit, even if the branded title is "washed clean" in another state to be free of the designation “salvage or junk”.

When car shopping, it is important to always inspect a car thoroughly regardless of its title, some vehicles could have been in accidents never reported or involved in a buy back program. But keep in mind that if you buy a salvage title car, the chances of selling it to someone else and recouping your money are very slim. You might save $3,000, $4,000, $5,000. But you will lose that right off the top when you go to sell it. If you buy a salvage title car, you might want to count on keeping it until the wheels fall off. You may also want to check with your Auto Insurance Company to see if they will insure a "Salvage Titled" car and if so, at what additional cost.

Speeding & Your Auto Insurance

You’re in a hurry. You’ve got the pedal to the metal and your favorite song is blasting in the background. Just as you’re counting your blessings, your good mood turns sour. Red lights flash behind you and your pulse begins to quicken. You’ve been caught speeding!

Avoiding speeding tickets and other violations could save you hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on auto insurance rates and make the roads a safer place for everyone.

Read more to find out why keeping your driving record clear of violations can save you money on auto insurance.

Your Driving Record
Not only are fines for speeding tickets and other violations costly, but they can also wreak havoc on your auto insurance premium. Speeding tickets stay on your driving record for several years, and while on your record can increase your auto insurance premium significantly. On top of that, having violations on your driving record can make you ineligible for discounts that help you save more money on auto insurance!

You’ll pay even more for fines and auto insurance coverage should you get cited for a DUI or reckless driving. Fines and court costs for these 2 serious violations will cost you thousands of dollars, could land you in jail, and may make you uninsurable with most auto insurance companies.

Drinking and driving should never go together. Read tips on how to take care of yourself and spot others under the influence in: None for the Road: Be Responsible, Save Lives, Avoid Auto Insurance Increases.

Fast Facts About Tickets & Your Auto Insurance

* Going to traffic school could remove a traffic violation from your record. If you get a speeding ticket be sure to find out if traffic school is an option. Although traffic school might look expensive and time-consuming, clearing the violation from your driving record could save you hundreds of dollars in future auto insurance payments!
* Contesting your traffic ticket in court could improve your chances of getting your ticket dismissed, especially if you attend your hearing and the police officer that issued the ticket doesn’t show. (If the violation never appears on your driving record, your auto insurance premium will not be affected!)
* Getting a ticket outside your home state doesn’t mean your driving record’s in the clear and the news won’t get back to your auto insurance company. These days nearly all states share information about out-of-state driving infractions. Remember, having a speeding ticket on your record means you’ll pay higher auto insurance rates for several years!
* Driving over the speed limit wastes gas and costs you more money. If rising gas prices have you looking for ways to save, read Got Gas? How to Save Money at the Pump.

Safe driving is always in style. Find out ways you can drive more safely and save money on your auto insurance in the Esurance Auto Insurance Learning Center.

Still feel the need for speed? We hope you’ll slow down when you think about the financial consequences, the hassle, and the years of higher auto insurance premiums you’ll have to deal with if you get caught with a lead foot.

Auto insurance now available for speeding tickets? Kind of.

Few things in life ruin a day faster than a speeding ticket. Tickets cost a fortune, and dealing with the local courts to pay the fine can be a pain, too. Terrence Boyd knows how you feel, and he started his own insurance company to ease the pain stemming from just such an experience. For $15.95 per month, Boyd's company will pay up to $1,000 in moving violations and $500 in non-moving violations. The company also features two driver and family plans that cost $24.95 and $29.95, respectively. Individual tickets cannot exceed $350, and felonies, drinking and driving, and reckless driving violations are not covered.

If you think nearly $200 per year is too much to insure yourself against the possibility of a ticket, we're with you. But the business has already gained traction since it started in 2007, as Boyd has accrued 1,700 clients spanning 23 states. Seriously, if you need to insure yourself against getting tickets, you probably won't have your license for long anyway. Besides, there are plenty of radar/laser detectors out there for the price of one year's service. Or, y'know, could just drive the speed limit.

[Source: New York Times]