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Truck was stolen, then recovered. Insurance Company is saying I can't buy back truck for salvage value.

by Terry

On December 26, 2009 my truck was stolen. Two days later it was recovered, minus my custom rims and tires, and stereo.

Now Farmer's has my truck at a dealer auction yard, while they investigate the theft.

Farmer's informed me that they would total my truck, but I could not buy it back at salvage price because it was stolen.

I live in Arkansas and there is no law stating the insured party can not buy their vehicle back at salvage price.

My truck was paid for, and I have the title. After their investigation is complete, can I legally force them to sell my truck to me at salvage price. Or can I go to the auction yard and retrieve my truck, if I do not accept a check from Farmer's?


Hello Terry,

You have an interesting situation here. Legally, you are the owner of this truck (if there is no lien holder and you have not signed your title). You can get the truck out of there if you want, but will have to pay storage fees.

You cannot buy the truck back because it was stolen? What?

We have never heard of that. Something does not smell right here. Some adjusters / yard owners want you to NOT buy vehicles back because they can pay the insurance auction value (very low), and the have a perfectly good vehicle (if the damage to the car is only wheels and stereo, it can be very cheaply fixed).

The can “clean” the title by making the state inspect the car, and then turn around and sell it again.

This is a complex process and really walks the line between legality and illegality.

This could be happening in your situation. The insurance adjuster (not the insurance company per se) and/or yard owners want you to give up the truck so they can make money from it.

Most state laws regarding “Salvage” are not as clear as we would them to see. Look for “salvage” requirements and salvage rights in your state.

Contact a local lawyer to find out more about the process. Also, contact the department of insurance and ask for insurance claims.

Those folks at the department of insurance (or insurance commissioner) will be able to outline to you if you can retain your salvage even in the case of a theft. If you cannot, they will be able to tell you why (an actual state code or law).

I hope this helps.

See more about total losses here:

Good Luck,

Comments for Truck was stolen, then recovered. Insurance Company is saying I can't buy back truck for salvage value.

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Apr 30, 2012
stolen car
by: Anonymous

Hello I need a little help.. I recently purchased a car and found it was stolen. The police came and took the car after I put new aftermatket rims on it and some little things. I did a bunch of research and found the original owner. He told me that the insurance company gave him a check for the total loss. Is there anyway I can somehow get this car back without an auction ? If not I'm out of money and a car I traded for it. Any help would be appreciated thank you.

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