Classic Car Insurance – The Best Way to Protect Your Oldtimers
If you own a car that’s between 25 and 50 years old, you’d probably want to protect it with classic car insurance. Such a policy will make sure you and your vehicle are safe from high costs due to accidents and damages, and you can enjoy the fun ride in your beloved collectible car.
For many people, a classic car is more than just a car – it’s a Holy Grail, pride and passion of every collector’s garage.
Interestingly, drivers express a certain dose of affection toward their classic cars, even though they may have spent more than 25 years inside the garage. The value of such vehicles usually increases as the years pass, which is why their repairment or replacement can cost a fortune.
To avoid paying for such expenses out of your pocket, consider purchasing antique vehicle insurance, which will protect your old car from theft, vandalism and weather conditions that could damage it.
What is Classic Car Insurance?
Classic car insurance is a special policy that protects your collectible or antique vehicle. It usually provides coverage up to the vehicle’s agreed value, which means that you’ll be reimbursed up to an amount you and your classic car insurer agree in advance.
How to Know If Your Car is Classic?
When we say, “classic car,” we all have a certain image on our minds – a classy oldtimer with a retro steering wheel.
However, the real specs of a classic car are a bit different. Namely, all the vehicles older than 25 years are considered classic, while those older than 50 fall under the category of antique cars.
Note that almost every insurance carrier has its own rules that determine whether the car can be classified as classic. They will make their decision based on the car’s age, weight, manufacturing and usage.
If your car doesn’t meet the requirements for a classic vehicle, find an insurance agency that’ll craft the right auto insurance policy for you.
Some famous examples of classic cars would be:
- 1963 Mercedes Benz 300SL
- 1965 Ford Mustang
- 1967 Ford Thunderbird
- 1969 Dodge Charger
- 1980 Chevrolet Corvette
What are the Types of Collector Car Insurance?
Even though most vintage cars are considered collectible, there are various types of vehicles that fall under this particular category.
Each of the types is different in its own way, on which depend the regulations of your insurance policy:
- Classic car insurance: All the vehicles being 19-24 years old, restored, in good working condition and whose average value is greater than the value of the cars of the same make and model, are eligible for classic car insurance.
- Antique car insurance: Antique vehicles can be all the cars that are at least 25 years old and in a good original restored condition. According to some insurers, antique cars are only those that are at least 50 years old.
- Modified car insurance: Modified vehicles are all those that have been significantly altered in their engine, body, chassis, or interior from their original condition. Such changes can have either a good or bad influence on vehicle performance, which determines whether it can be insured or not.
- Replicas and kit cars: Replicas and kit cars are all those vehicles that are at least 24 years old, consist of separately manufactured components, and represent the reproduction of any motor vehicle at least 25 years old.
- Other subcategories: Rare motorsport vehicles, vintage military vehicles, classic motorcycles, antique tractors, and some cars that are under 15 years old but have the potential to increase in value (so-called “exotics”), can be categorized as classic cars as well.
What is Covered with Collector Car Insurance?
Coverages included in collector car insurance policy are similar to those offered by standard auto insurance.
The policy expires typically after a year, and it mostly includes coverages for liability, medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorists. If you find them necessary, you can always add some optional plans to your regular premium.
Here are the basic coverages offered by the best classic car insurance:
- Agreed value: Since the value of classic cars increases over time, most insurers will provide the option of agreed value. That means that you will get the amount you agreed upon with your insurer in case your car is stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
- Roadside assistance: Most standard policies include roadside assistance, which is conducted by towing with a flatbed tow truck to avoid wear and tear while transporting back home or to repair shop.
- Traveling coverage: In case your vehicle breaks down while on vacation, this coverage will reimburse the costs of food, rental car, lodging and personal items.
- Medical reimbursement for Auto Show: In case someone is injured at an exhibit or event featuring your vehicle, the policy will pay for all the medical expenses, no matter if you’re at fault or not. It’s even valid when someone slips and falls while on your exhibition space.
- Bodily injury liability: This coverage will pay for medical expenses, legal, and even funeral costs when you’re considered at fault for other people’s injuries or death.
- Property damage liability: If you cause a collision in which someone’s property or vehicle gets damaged, this coverage will pay for repairment or replacement cost. However, it won’t pay for damages to your vehicle.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: If an uninsured driver causes the accident which affects you and your car, this coverage will pay for medical bills and necessary repairs. It’s the same with drivers whose insurance limits can’t cover the entire damage.
- No attendance required: As the name says, this policy protects your vehicle even when you’re away from it, especially while being displayed at a car show. Coverage is also effective when you let a dealership use your car in an event.
- Spare parts protection: If you have particular backup parts in your car, such as a water pump, this coverage will pay for those parts at the agreed value in case of theft or any damage.
- Personal property coverage: If someone steals your personal belongings or tools from your car, this coverage will compensate for the loss.
- Pet coverage: This plan provides reimbursement for veterinary costs or death benefits in case your cat or dog gets injured or dies in a collision.
- Comprehensive insurance: This type of coverage will help you pay for the costs of your car repairment or replacement in case it’s damaged in an accident that doesn’t include collision. It usually covers the expenses due to fire, theft and vandalism.
- Collision insurance: If your vehicle is damaged in an accident that involves another vehicle or object (tree, fence, mailbox), collision coverage will help you repair or replace your car.
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Am I Eligible for Classic Car Auto Insurance?
To become eligible for classic car insurance, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Limited usage: A classic auto insurance provider will require you to limit your car’s usage to exhibitions, club activities, organized meetings, tours, or even occasional driving for pleasure. If you drive your classic vehicle on a daily basis, you’ll need standard car insurance.
- Secure garage: Insurers prefer that collector cars remain in an enclosed and protected structure when not in use. Such structures may include private garages, storage units, carports, and similar.
- Vehicles for regular use: All the members of a household who have a valid driver’s license must have a car that serves for daily driving in order to get qualified for a classic car policy. Motorcycles and public transport usually don’t fall under the category of daily-use vehicles.
- Clean driving record: Most states refuse to issue an insurance policy to drivers who have had excessive speeding violations, fines for reckless driving, or other severe infractions in the last three years.
As for your car requirements, bear in mind the following factors that your insurer will consider while issuing the policy:
- Age: Your car needs to be at least 25 years old to be regarded as a classic, and 50+ to be categorized as antique. If it’s a newer model, so-called “exotic,” you’ll also have an opportunity to insure it with a classic car policy.
- Condition: Your classic car is expected to be well-maintained in order to be qualified for insurance. If it’s in a bad state, you probably won’t be able to insure it.
- Use: A classic car is not intended to be your daily transportation, but you can use it for occasional drives in most cases. Still, some insurers won’t allow you to run any errands with your collectible nor driving it to work.
- Storage: Make sure your car is kept in a private or local garage. Some insurance carriers will offer you the options of carports or driveways, but your policy is likely to be higher then.
Although classic cars aren’t supposed to be driven on a regular basis, some insurers may offer a special classic car daily driver insurance, which will describe your car as if it was a regular use vehicle. Accordingly, your premium will be higher.
How to Lower Your Classic Car Insurance Cost?
Historic car insurance is usually cheaper than standard auto insurance because it doesn’t include driving regularly.
Classic cars are primarily used for exhibitions and car shows, which is why the chance of filing a claim is significantly lower than with regular car drivers, who are always at risk of accidents and collisions.
Accordingly, your car mustn’t be used as primary transportation, but only for exhibitions, club activities and occasional driving leisure driving.
Even though the premiums are generally affordable, you can still earn some significant discounts that will help you save money – for example:
- Bundle policies: If you already have some insurance policies with the same carrier, make sure you add classic car insurance to them and get a discount.
- Cover more classic vehicles: If you have more than one vehicle, it’s recommended to insure them both with the same company or agency.
- Avoid accidents and violations: Motorists with a clean driving record are considered safer, which is why insurers usually give them a price discount. That said, you can expect a lower premium if you have had no accidents or claims in the last couple of years.
- Safeguard your vehicle with antitheft devices: Vehicles that are equipped with car alarms and antitheft devices are qualified for lower premiums because the chances of hijacking and thefts are less common.
- Go to a defensive driving course: By completing the course for defensive driving, you earn the right to get an insurance discount. Such a course will provide you with skills and techniques on collision prevention, as well as courtesy and cooperation on the road.
- Choose a comprehensive-only policy: If you’re sure that you won’t be using the vehicle for regular driving, a comprehensive-only plan is a right choice for you. Namely, it will protect you from damages that are not in your control (weather, someone else’s fault, etc.), and you won’t need to buy a collision plan. Therefore, your final premium will be less pricey.
What to Have in Mind When Buying an Antique Auto Insurance?
Many insurance companies and agencies offer coverages for classic cars. Still, your research should start from your current insurance provider since the opportunities for benefits and discounts are much diverse that way.
However, if you’re not satisfied with what your current provider offers, you should shop around, request quotes from different insurers and compare the given rates.
Consider the following tips that will help you determine whether you’ve selected the right insurer:
- Confirm the current value of your classic car: It’s vital to know the exact value of your classic vehicle because it can prevent you from being short-changed in case you suffer a total loss. You can take photos, consult industry price resources, or get the car professionally appraised.
- Find a proven insurance agency: You should select an experienced insurance agency with positive reviews and recommendations.
- Understand every part of the policy: Insurance policies can be quite comprehensive, which is why many people struggle with understanding them completely. Still, you should have a clear picture of everything that’s covered with your policy, and you’re advised to ask your carrier about anything that you don’t understand.
- Understand limitations: Check with your provider whether your collectible car can be used only for shows and exhibitions, or you can drive it from time to time as well.
- Protect all that should be protected: Even though your car is safely kept inside your garage, that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged by fire, hurricane, or similar disaster. Therefore, purchase a plan that will protect you from the costs that arise from such conditions.
H&M Insurance Agency – All Coverages In One Place
Your collectible car is probably one of the most precious things you have, which is why you should protect it from damages that consistently happen.
Thanks to the collaboration with the most prominent classic car insurance companies such as Safeco, Nationwide and Travelers, H&M Insurance Agency provides the best custom-tailored policies that meet everyone’s needs.
Give us a call at (619) 296-0005 and find out more about San Diego car insurance options we can offer.