auto insurance in college station texas

 

Every auto insurance company understands that used cars can be a great bargain if you find the right one. Yet this can be more challenging after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, which has "flooded" the used car market with flood-damaged and repaired vehicles.

If you are interested in purchasing a used vehicle that costs less and can even save you money on your auto insurance policy, beware. Learn how an auto insurance agency can help you detect whether a car has been flood damaged so you make the right purchase.

Meticulous Physical Inspection

With the higher possibility that exists right now of buying a flood-damaged car that has been repaired, buyers must be extremely careful before making a purchase. Learn the signs below to look for that may suggest a vehicle has been repaired or salvaged after it has been totaled by an auto insurance company:

  • Bad Smells - A musty, moldy odor is a prime signal that a vehicle has been water-damaged. Smell the inside after the windows have been rolled up for a while. Feel for dampness in carpets and upholstery. If you smell strong cleaning chemicals, this could be another sign that efforts have been made to mask water damage.  
  • Visual Cues - The most obvious signs of water damage are watermarks inside the car and engine compartment. Other signs that auto insurance agencies suggest you look for include water-damaged upholstery; mud or silt in the upholstery, trunk, engine compartment, spare tire well or cover, or other hard-to-clean areas; leaves and other debris where they normally would not be; rust on common and less-common areas; and condensation in head or tail light fixtures.
  • Do Electrical and Mechanical Components Work? - When inspecting the electrical system and working mechanical parts, auto insurance providers typically recommend working with a reputable mechanic to go over the car and see that all mechanical parts are working. Then all electrical components should be tested and the wiring inspected.

Thorough Vehicle Background Check

While a careful physical inspection of a used car being considered to purchase is important, every auto insurance company knows this does not guarantee that a vehicle has not been flood-damaged. Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), research the title at one of the many title search websites available for public use to learn whether the vehicle has a salvage title.

Take note that even if an auto insurance agency has declared a total loss and sold the vehicle for salvage, some states do not require them to have a salvage title. A flood-damaged vehicle that is sold in another state could wind up with a clean title.

Where to Get More Information

Fortunately, you can get more information about vehicle history from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Auto insurance providers recommend using this system to help used car buyers obtain a more thorough vehicle history that will usually indicate whether a totaled car has had its title “scrubbed” to hide evidence that it was salvaged.

If you are in the market for a good used car in these post-Harvey days, do your homework first. Most auto insurance companies recommend that you start with a thorough inspection and mechanical check, then do a careful background and title check.

Auto insurance providers also warn that a "too-good-to-be-true" price usually is just that. This can be especially significant after a disaster that has resulted in many flood-damaged vehicles being totaled by auto insurance agencies and then sold for salvage. Take your time researching potential purchases so you find a great used car that will last for years to come!

Need Auto Insurance In College Station Texas?

Jones & Associates Is The Auto Insurance Agency To Call!

Call (979) 599-7532!