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Salvage Shock: After renewing car insurance N.S. family finds out car is uninsurable

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia — Two years ago, Lisa Burnie’s daughter purchased her first vehicle. It was a 2009 Hyundai Elantra, which she bought from O’Regan’s Direct Wholesale in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to CBC. 

However, just two weeks ago when Burnie was looking to renew her daughter’s insurance she received some shocking news. 

She found out the car was deemed salvaged in 2019, which means it is uninsurable. 

“When the insurance guy got back to me, he said CAA had come back with this car as branded salvaged,” Burnie told CBC. “CAA now considers it a risk and liability to have on the road because it’s not safe.”

Her daughter had been driving the car since 2019. 

“I was kind of shocked when I found this out and I was wondering why this was not disclosed,” said Burnie. “The thought that my daughter could have been driving down the road and had an accident, all these thoughts just started running through my head.”

Burnie contacted the dealership and they said they were unaware that the vehicle was deemed salvage because the paperwork said otherwise. 

After looking into the history of the vehicle, they learned the car was declared salvage in Ontario four years ago.”

“Apparently the vehicle was clean everywhere but Ontario,” said Duane Rudge, vice-president of used car operations at O’Regan’s. “We run a wholesale, as-is lot and I can tell you Nova Scotia does not deem that vehicle as salvaged.”

O’Regan’s refunded the full price of the vehicle, $2,300 plus tax. 

The whole experience, however, made Burnie feel very concerned about the way the system works. 

“All I can say is buyer beware,” said Burnie. “My daughter and I have been looking for a new car for the last two weeks and every vehicle we are looking at we are doing our homework.”

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