Classic cars require specialized insurance coverage that takes into account their unique nature and increased value compared to regular vehicles.
For classic car owners, finding the right insurance policy means understanding the different types of coverage available, researching carriers who specialize in insuring collector vehicles, and utilizing tips to minimize insurance costs while still getting adequate protection.
This guide will explore the key considerations around insuring a classic car so owners can make informed decisions.
What Makes a Car Classic?
Before diving into insurance, it’s important to understand what makes a car “classic” in the eyes of auto insurers.
Definition of a Classic Car
Most insurers define a classic car as one that is over 15 to 20 years old or more, although some set the threshold at 25 years or older. The vehicle also needs to be considered collectible and not just an old used car. Basically, classic cars are older, unique vehicles that enthusiasts prize for their historical significance, aesthetic appeal, or recreational pleasure.
Age Requirements for Classic Car Insurance
Because of their age, classic cars have different insurance needs than daily drivers. Most regular auto insurance companies do not offer specialized protection for older vehicles. To get coverage, the car typically needs to meet classic car age qualifications set by specialty insurers.
Types of Classic Car Coverage
Classic car policies offer similar protections as regular auto insurance but account for the distinct nature of collector vehicles. Here are some key coverage options:
Like regular auto policies, liability coverage is required to drive a classic car legally. It covers injury or damage that the policyholder causes to others when behind the wheel. Liability limits of $100,000/$300,000 are recommended for sufficient protection.
This optional coverage pays for damage to the insured classic car from a collision with an object like another vehicle or tree, regardless of fault. With classic cars being rare and often expensive, collision is important for repairing or replacing the vehicle after an accident.
Comprehensive pays for damage to the classic car from covered events other than collisions, including theft, vandalism, fire, hail, floods, and animal strikes. It’s critical for protecting the vehicle’s value.
Agreed Value Coverage
With an agreed value policy, the insurer pays the amount both parties determined the vehicle was worth in advance in the event of a total loss, rather than depreciated actual cash value. This ensures the classic car owner can restore the vehicle to its previous condition.
Finding Classic Car Insurers
Not every auto insurance company will insure older collectible cars. Here’s how to find one that specializes in classic vehicles:
- Research insurance companies that focus specifically on classic cars like Grundy Insurance, Heacock Classic, or American Modern. Check policy options, discounts, ratings, and reviews.
- Compare quotes from specialty insurers against each other and quotes from regular insurers. Make sure to evaluate coverage as well as cost.
- Look for an insurer that includes protection like agreed value, spare parts, and auto show coverage to properly insure the classic car.
Understanding the Cost of Classic Car Insurance
Insuring a classic or collector vehicle is generally more expensive than a regular car. Some factors that influence premiums include:
- Vehicle value – More valuable classic cars cost more to insure. Stated agreed value policies may have higher premiums.
- Age and condition – Older cars in pristine, original condition often cost more to insure than classics in poorer shape.
- Usage – Mileage and usage impact costs. Policies for vehicles driven regularly cost more than those covering stored collector cars.
- Security features – Insured location, anti-theft devices, alarms, and fire-suppression systems can potentially lower premiums.
- Driving record – Good drivers with clean records get lower rates.
- Claims history – Previous claims, especially at-fault accidents, increase costs.
- Coverage limits – Lower liability limits or higher deductibles reduces premiums.
Some tips for potential savings include consolidating classic cars under one policy, packaging home, and classic car coverage, installing anti-theft devices, maintaining a good driving record, choosing a higher deductible, and insuring the car for less than its full value.
With some research and comparison shopping, classic car owners can find an insurer that provides specialized protection options at the best rate. Understanding what coverage is available and which factors impact premiums allows informed decisions. Protecting a prized vintage vehicle requires finding the right classic car insurance policy tailored to your specific needs and individual car.