Classic Car Insurance
Classic car insurance (also known as collector car insurance) is a specialty auto insurance policy that collectors get for so-called classic, antique, or exotic cars.
Which cars qualify for classic car insurance?
There’s no reason to get a classic car insurance policy for most cars since it’s designed for antique and classic cars that appreciate in value, unlike cars used everyday that depreciate in value. Yes, we know your 1992 Volvo station wagon plastered in Grateful Dead stickers is a “classic” in your own mind, but not from the insurance industry’s POV.
Since there is no standard definition of a classic, exotic or antique car across insurance companies, different companies will have different sets of rules about which cars qualify for this auto policy.
Here’s some factors that might make you want to consider a classic car insurance policy:
- You might qualify for this coverage if your car is 25 years old or older (though some insurance companies will provide classic car insurance on a car that was manufactured as recently as 10 years ago).
- Your car is an exotic vehicle such as a Lamborghini, Ferrari, McClaren, or some other fancy model that causes pedestrians to stare, applaud, or Instagram your ride.
- The car you want special coverage for has historical value (which means it has value to a classic collector, so this includes muscle cars and hot rods).
- This car isn’t your daily driver or a vehicle used for commuting. Most insurance companies have mileage limits and might even try to prevent daily driving with limits on how much you can use the classic vehicle.
- Some insurers take it one step further, and require you to also own a regular-use vehicle. So a Honda Civic for those grocery store runs, and save the mint-condition El Camino for occasional weekend jaunts.
- You may need to have a great driving record. Auto insurance companies can look back at your record for the past 3 to 5 years for this specialty insurance product; they won’t want to take on the risk of repairing something rare if they think you might crash it.
- You probably won’t be covered for incidents relating to racing the car. Sorry, champ.
- You might be required to get a temperature-controlled indoor storage garage to keep your classic or antique car safe from the elements and from theft.
Auto insurance providers will probably have additional requirements or their own variations of the above. You can expect the insurer to outline their standards and requirements for what qualifies as a classic auto, but make sure to do your research when you get a quote.
What’s the difference between classic car insurance, and regular car insurance?
You might be thinking, why would I even bother with this specialized insurance if it has all of these rules? Isn’t regular auto insurance enough? And while that’s understandable, there are some significant benefits to having a specialty insurance policy for a classic car.
When a regular car is totaled, an adjuster will assess the condition of the car, then determine the actual cash value for it. They may determine the car’s value to be less than you think the car is worth — and even less than how much you still owe on it. But classic cars that are insured using classic car insurance have a predetermined value, known as “agreed value.”
Agreed value is determined using research from a trained classic vehicle insurance agent, as well as data gathered from an appraisal, and even an interview with you. A value is set based on all those factors, which is what would be paid in case of theft, total loss, or anything else that means you need to replace the car due to a covered loss. This also helps protect the car from depreciation in case a claim is made.
Since collectors tend to be extra careful with their precious cars, they are less likely to go on joy rides or put their wheels in danger, so classic car insurance isn’t as risky for insurance companies. That means classic car insurance coverage is usually less expensive—sometimes significantly less—than traditional car insurance. You may also be eligible for a policy with little to no deductible, although some people opt for a larger deductible in order to have a lower premium.
Different insurers will have different benefits when it comes to classic cars, but the two above are pretty standard. Take a look at your policy, and talk with your insurer to get a car insurance quote and more information.
What is included in a classic car insurance policy?
A classic car insurance policy has the same main, foundational coverages as a standard auto policy. There is collision coverage to protect your car if you get into an accident that’s your fault, and liability insurance to cover the person or property damaged during an at-fault accident. There is also comprehensive coverage for thefts and natural disasters, among other things. You can also add roadside assistance to provide towing in the event of a mechanical breakdown.
Classic vehicles may require additional specialized insurance coverage. These will be different for every collectible car, and sometimes you can add these on to your classic car insurance policy. A common add-on coverage that car insurance companies offer is for spare parts, which covers parts not yet installed on a car that you may have in your garage, or at your mechanic’s garage.
You can also purchase coverage that will protect your car at a car show, and even internationally if you take your car to international car shows. Your insurer may offer coverage for cars that are currently being restored and are not being driven as well.
Classic vehicles need the standard coverages, but also the ability to be highly customized to a classic’s unique needs. If you’ve given your car so much TLC already, you’ll probably want to make sure she has the right policy.