UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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Just like you need to insure yourself against accidents or illness, you also need to insure your cars. When it comes to a classic car, however, standard vehicle insurance won’t cut it.
Whether it is a vintage car, truck, motorcycle, or some other type of rare vehicle, you will need a special type of collector car insurance. Keep reading to get all the facts you need to properly protect your one-of-a-kind ride.
What is Classic Car Insurance?
With classic car insurance, an insurance company will cover a vintage vehicle for a specific value agreed on by the owner as well as the insurance company. Typically, when a new car is driven off the lot, it loses some of its resale value immediately.
However, as antique cars age, they become more valuable and are considered commodities. That being said, an understanding of your antique car’s value becomes important. There are valuation tools that can help give an accurate estimate of the vehicle’s value such as NADA Guidelines and Hagerty.
Classic cars are generally more valuable, and can incur more expensive repairs than other vehicles, so having specialized insurance is a necessity.
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This is because vintage car parts are usually less common and so are mechanics that are able to work with them. Typically, vintage car coverage can be purchased from commonly known insurance providers such as Geico or Progressive, but can also be purchased from specialized insurance agencies.
Types of Collector Car Insurance
Vintage vehicles are categorized differently. The first step towards insuring your collector car is understanding what type of category your vehicle falls under. Classifications vary from state to state, but here is a generalized guide to particular classifications:
- Classic Cars: According to the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA), this classification includes vehicles that are American or foreign built, ranging from the years of 1915 to 1948, produced in limited quantities, and priced higher when new. CCCA also provides (and updates) a full list of approved classics according to their guidelines. Example: 1923 Ford Model T
- Antique Cars: According to the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), antique cars are 25 years or older. In some states, the age required to be considered an antique varies from 20 years and up. Example: 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
- Modified Cars: Cars in this class are loosely defined as being “substantially altered from their original condition in a way that can impact the value in positive or negative ways.” These alterations can include engine, body, chassis or interior modifications. Example: 1960 Jeep with an added roll-cage and wench.
- Kit Cars & Replicas: Cars in this class are broadly defined as being made up of multiple manufacturer parts that are at least 25 years old. Example: 1955 Mustang with a 1960 Camaro Engine and a 1980 Chevelle Bumper.
Classic Car Insurance Eligibility, Coverage, & Cost
In the same way that standard car insurance has stipulations, antique car insurance companies have particular requirements, coverage limitations/inclusions, and costs associated as well.
There are requirements that differ from standard insurance that are important to understand:
- Ownership: You must be able to prove possession of a classic, antique, modified or kit/replica vehicle that is in good shape.
- Clean driving record: You cannot have more than one at-fault accident or moving violation.
- Age: You need to be 25 years of age or older.
- Storage: The vehicle must be stored in a secure, fully-enclosed garage, carport, or storage center.
- Ownership of another car: If you own another vehicle, it must be used as part of your daily commute or considered your primary means of transportation.
- Consent: The vehicle must be used for normal driving (no off-roading, or race tracks).
Similar to traditional auto insurance, most terms are for twelve months and cover categories like liability, uninsured/underinsured vehicles, comprehensive, medical payments, and collision, as well as coverage specific to rare cars such as:
- Traveling Coverage: If your vehicle breaks down while traveling, this coverage can reimburse you for hotel/motels, rental vehicles, and food needed due to vehicle issues.
- Coverage for Spare Parts: Some owners keep spare parts inside the vehicle in case of an emergency. If agreed upon with the insurance company, this coverage insures the spare parts in case of theft or damage.
- Roadside Assistance: This includes services such as: towing, flat-tire, locksmith, fuel delivery, extrication/winching, battery jump-start services, as well as any minor mechanical repairs or adjustments that can make the automobile road-ready.
- No Attendance Required: In the case that your car is being shown at an auto show without you being physically present, this coverage fully protects your vehicle.
- Auto Show Medical Reimbursement: At a show, vehicles are often demoed for curious individuals; this coverage protects owners in case of an injury.
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Classic car insurance typically costs considerably less than traditional auto insurance, due to three important differences:
- Vintage vehicles are expected to be driven less than typical vehicles. Coverage providers require owners to have a second mode of transportation.
- Classic cars often have higher standards of maintenance because of their value and availability. These include routine cleanings, the way the cars are stored, etc.
- Antique automobiles are driven more carefully. Typically you won’t see a Model T peeling out at a stop-light, or testing their e-brake in the snow.
Commonly, factors associated with traditional car insurance (such as driving history, age, gender, etc.) are also included in consideration for classic car coverage, but there are even more factors that come into play when determining classic car insurance rates.
The best way to get a direct numerical answer is to provide some of your information in order to get quotes from multiple insurance companies tailored to you and your vehicle.
After several quotes are received, compare rates and make your decision based on which coverage and price fit your needs best.