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Motorcycles and other vehicles receive a salvage title when significant damage occurs. This document shows it has been declared to be a total loss.

A total loss happens when fixing a motorcycle or car exceeds its value or comes close to it. The insurance company makes this determination, and then the state issues the salvage title.

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Flooding, vandalism, theft, and any other damage that meets this definition can qualify the vehicle for a salvage title. Once issued, the motorcycle or car cannot be driven on a public road until it is repaired and passes an inspection.

Salvage Title vs. Junk Title

A salvage title indicates that the damage meets, exceeds, or is close to the current market value of the motorcycle or vehicle. You can repair it if desired and have a state official inspect the work.

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If it passes inspection, you’ll have the salvage title replaced with a rebuilt title. That document allows you to drive it on public roads again.

A junk title indicates that a motorcycle or vehicle is beyond repair. These cars and bikes are typically used for spare parts.

Risks of Purchasing a Salvage Title Motorcycle

The primary risk to consider is safety. Anything with a salvage title has damage, even if it cannot be seen. Most collisions compromise the frame of the vehicle or motorcycle to create this issue.

When everything works, you might still have corrosion or mold to manage in the vehicle. Fixing these problems can be costly. Here is a great guide if you want to repurchase it from your insurance company.

If you decide to repair a salvage title bike or car, insurers typically charge more for policies because of the various risks involved in its operation.

Ask sellers if the motorcycle or vehicle has a clean title. It is up to you to verify this information. Purchasing a history report from AutoCheck, CARFAX, or CycleTrader can shine a light on potential problems.

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Author

Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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