Insurance Buy-Backs In Used Car Market
An Insurance buy-back concept is very important for understanding when shopping for used vehicles. Many have heard about total loss vehicles which later get a Salvage Title and then get fixed and re-titled with a Rebuilt Title. The Salvage / Rebuilt title branding pointing to the total loss history remains on the title for good to warn potential buyers that the vehicle was totaled out.
Not all buyers know that an insurance buyback is another way to sell you a rebuilt salvage with a clean title - and that's legal. An insurance buy-back means that the car was totaled after an accident but it never was owned by the insurance company. Instead, it was offered back to the owner and its salvage cost plus other deductibles stated in the contract and deducted from the settlement value. And the owner who is very loyal and affectionate to his old vehicle or for some reason, decides to keep the vehicle and repair it. Sometimes, simply becuase the owner finds it beneficial. Sometimes, because the vehicle appraisal and loss and repair estimate are very subjective and vary from bodyshop to bodyshop so the car owner may have grounds to disagree with the low estimated value of the damaged vehilce.
In this case it is the owner why becomes fully responsible for its repairing up to roadworthy condition and having it inspected by a highway patrol or other state authority in charge. An insurance buy-back sometimes may be not assigned a salvage title because it was not owned by the insurance company. And then neither the title nor history will display a Salvage Brand. Howerver, you may still find an ' + 'total loss' record on the VIN history report and so be informed of the damage that took place.
The current state of the car, its safety and performance depend on the seller's conscience and the qualification of the mechanic who repaired or rebuilt it. A good example when a buyback may const you....life is a case when airbags were not re-charged properly after deployment in an accident. The owner is not obliged to fix airbags by the law in most states and they often prefer to skip that procedure because it is expensive. And even though the law in many states obliges the seller to disclose missing airbags when selling the vehicle many don't conform to that law. The result may be dramatic to the buyer, literally.
How to Avoid an Insurance Buy-Back?
Check VIN history to reveal the truth about the car's past. If the report shows that the car was in a severe accident with an airbag deployment or frame damage and yet retained a clean title, that could happen because of the insurance buy back program or due to title washing. You may search for another car in this case or ask a trusted expert to inspect the car to make sure the repair was done properly and the car is safe and airbags are installed and working.