IAA Secrets: Using Loss Type to Find the Best Salvage Vehicle


Salvagebid is an Insurance Auto Auction (IAA) broker that offers a huge online inventory of new, used, and salvage vehicles. Salvagebid gives members the chance to bid on IAA vehicles and make purchases, no dealer license required. 

To buy a viable salvage vehicle from IAA, it’s important to know the main loss types to avoid buying a non-repairable vehicle. There are collision, fire, flood, and other loss types you can find in the listing’s description on Salvagebid.

Below, you’ll find a detailed review of each title in order to find the best deals and minimize potential issues. No matter what type of loss is listed, the condition of the vehicle or the status of the title may have changed since it was checked into the lot.  Remember, just because one type of damage is listed doesn’t mean there aren’t other types of damage to the vehicle. You should always inspect a vehicle yourself or hire a licensed inspector to perform an evaluation for you, so that you know what you are bidding on.  For more details on these issues, please refer to our Terms and Conditions.


This is a standard loss type for vehicles that got into an accident. The majority of collision-titled vehicles are owned by insurance companies. Collision damage can be front end, rear end, front and rear, right side, left side, or a combination of these. These cars can have minor damage or can have sustained major damage and have been deemed a total loss by an insurance company. Often, damage is easy to see on the photos, but as with all vehicles from an auction, there may be hidden damage. Note that while photos of the vehicle are taken from many angles, not all damage may be captured in the photos.  


Usually, a vehicle is marked with interior burn when it caught fire from the inside, typically from an electrical malfunction. Exterior burn means the vehicle was damaged by fire mostly from the outside and there is a chance that its mechanical components are not damaged. Total burn means a car was fully engulfed, and during transportation can end up falling into pieces. Engine burn is typically the result of a fuel system failure which is not necessarily critical. An engine, or its damaged components, can be replaced and the vehicle can be restored to driving condition.


When a vehicle was stolen from the owner and was recovered after the insurance payout is made, an insurance company is obligated to take possession of the vehicle. This is how these vehicles get to an IAA yard. Often, the best salvage vehicles can be found under the theft loss type. Still, you should be very attentive when seeing a seemingly perfect vehicle for cheap. These listings may have additional damage after the theft or may have had components and critical parts stripped from them.

Water/ Flood

This can be a very tricky category, as flooded vehicles often look good but are damaged inside. Even if a flood vehicle is repairable, the water damage can still have negative impact years later and the parts can start to rust. The worst case here is saltwater damage. Since salt is very corrosive, the vehicle’s interior and mechanical components are under serious threat. Flood vehicles are hard to visually separate from others, yet another reason we always recommend conducting an inspection before placing a bid on a vehicle. 


This is the most interesting loss type you can find on IAA. It can be a piece of cake for attentive buyers, but a disaster for those who don’t thoroughly research the vehicle. 

Remarketing division

The Remarketing Division of IAA focuses on vehicles that have high mileage and light damage. It can be safer to buy cars from well-known corporations such as fleet companies, rental car companies, financial institutions, and both retail and wholesale dealers. 

Sometimes, individual dealers buy salvage cars from online auctions and resell them under the Remarketing Division title. One way to see through this trick is to look and see if the seller is specified.  An unspecified seller is a warning to investigate further. Vehicles in this category warrant further inspection as often they are sold in good aesthetic condition but are non-repairable and can be a waste of money and time.

Lease/ Rental

This loss type means it is a vehicle that got to the auction yard after being leased or as a former rental. As we noted above, it’s important to pay attention to a seller’s name. We only recommend considering these vehicles if the seller looks reliable. 


A vehicle will be listed under repossession if it is taken by an insurance company for non-payment of services or a missed installment. These cars are often clear and drivable, but as always, we recommend inspecting these vehicles. 

Buy from Salvagebid

You can search for salvage vehicles with any of these loss types right now on Salvagebid and find the vehicle that best suits your needs. Just create an account and win your dream vehicle. Good luck and read the titles!

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