Classic car insurance
Image: Joel Bez, 2008
Classic car owners understandably have a great amount of pride in their possessions. But while they might spend many hours restoring and maintaining their cars, many don't pay any attention when it comes to insuring them. Here are some of the basics on insuring classic cars.
What is a classic car?
Insurers vary according to their definitions of a classic car. In general, cars built between 15 and 25 years ago are considered "classic," while those older than 25 years are considered "antique." Make sure an insurance company considers your vehicle a classic before signing on the dotted line.
What does classic car insurance actually cover?
The amount of protection varies according to the policy. Comprehensive coverage is typically the same for a classic car as it is for a modern car but with a few extra restrictions.
Insurance policies often limit how many miles per year you can drive your classic vehicle. Many insurers also put restrictions on who can drive the vehicle.
Some policies put mandates on classic car storage. Because these cars frequently attract the attention of vandals and car thieves, many insurers require you to fit your car with approved security devices and store it in a locked garage.
Many insurance companies also offer insurance coverage for replacement parts. These policies are worth looking into if you have a valuable classic vehicle or you want any replacements to be truly authentic.
What should I do before getting insurance quotes?
Before obtaining price quotes for classic car insurance, there are several determinations you have to make. Will you be driving your classic automobile all year long or will it be just a "show and shine" car that you only drive on special occasions or during club events?
The mileage is one of the most important considerations when shopping around for insurance policies. While some insurers limit your driving miles to 2,500 per year to get special classic car rates, other companies place no limits on your mileage but still restrict you from driving your classic car as basic transportation, such as to and from work every day.
Note the appraised value of your classic car. This is very important since insurance companies can't use pre-assigned values for classic cars in the same way as they do for newer models. In addition, classic cars typically appreciate in value over the years rather than depreciate like the regular-use vehicles do.
Make sure that you get the "true value" of the car rather than the "market value." You'll likely have to pay slightly higher premiums, but you will have the peace of mind from knowing that the insurance company will pay out your vehicle's full worth if it has to be written off.
Snap good, clear pictures of both the inside and outside of your car. Make a note of any modifications you have made that change your car from a stock vehicle. Insurance companies often require riders for engine modifications such as adding a turbo or a supercharger.
How much does classic car insurance cost?
The good news is that insurance premiums on classic cars are frequently less expensive than for newer models because the classics are driven less often than regular-use, modern vehicles and tend to be better maintained. Because of those two factors, insurance companies receive fewer claims on classic automobile policies.
Numerous specialist insurers cater to those wanting to cover classic cars, but several mainstream providers also offer coverage. As with any other type of auto insurance, prices vary widely. Shop around to find the best price for the level of coverage that works for you.
When shopping around for classic car insurance, don't just buy the first policy that you find. Inexpensive insurance is out there for those of you want coverage for your ClassicCar.com and classics.