How do I buy a car back from an insurance company?

My car was considered a total loss by my insurance company, and they took possession of my car and was taken by my insurance company. Is there a way to get my car back?

You may be able to buy your car back from a car insurance company, but it will largely vary depending on individual state laws. If your vehicle has been declared a total loss, some states will not allow you to keep your vehicle.
Some exclusions exist where you may keep your car if:
  • Damage to your car is minor and on the exterior and does not affect the operational safety of the vehicle itself
  • The car is older the 9 model years of age
Otherwise, after a settlement is paid for the loss of a vehicle, the car will be auctioned off or sent to a junkyard to strip for parts. The proceeds of the sale will go to the insurance company.
Many auctions are open to the public, so there is a good chance you can buy the car back there. You can find local auctions by:
  • Checking with your claims agent and see who they normally work with
  • Call a local tow yard for auction locations
  • Check online, many auction sites post what cars they will auction and how much damage they have.
If you can get your car back after it is declared a salvaged vehicle, you will want to fix it up and have it registered with a rebuilt title.
When you are ready for new insurance, use the Jerry app to help you find out more information about the types of insurance available. Jerry will provide you quotes from over 50 top insurance providers, including some companies that will cover rebuilt titles.
Grace Cho
Answered on Nov 10, 2021

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