PIFC Explains Insurers’ Role for Salvaged Vehicles

February 11, 2002

The California Senate Insurance Committee recently convened a hearing with member companies of the Personal Insurance Federation of California (PIFC) to discuss how auto insures are complying fully with state vehicle code laws dealing with total loss salvage vehicles.

Senator Jackie Speier, chairperson of the Senate Insurance Committee, called the hearing to gather information from insurance companies to help committee members decide if the current system of selling salvage vehicles sufficiently protects insureds as well as consumers who ultimately buy these vehicles after they have been repaired. PIFC insurance company members from State Farm Insurance Companies, Farmers Insurance Group and 21st Century Insurance Companies testified that they write insurance on approximately 50 percent of all automobiles in the state and follow the letter of the law when it comes to salvage vehicles.

The insurance companies are responsible to report any vehicle deemed a total loss salvage to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days. Additionally, the insurer is liable to notify the owner of the vehicle his or her responsibility to comply with the California laws regarding salvaged vehicles.

California Vehicle Code 11515 states that any salvaged vehicle must be issued a salvage certificate by the DMV that affirms the vehicle in question has been declared a total loss salvage vehicle. The certificate and all of its pertaining information must be disclosed to any potential buyers of the vehicle.

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