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What is Classic Car Insurance?

What is Classic Car Insurance

If you’re looking for a starter classic car, or you’ve had your vintage ride for a little while, you need to know what is classic car insurance. You also need to know if you need it. Let’s get you some answers. First, classic car insurance is a specialty insurance that’s specifically designed for older or vintage cars. These cars are typically considered to be classics because they’re at least 10 years old, but normally over 20 years, and may have special features or historical significance.

Classic car insurance policies are different from regular auto insurance policies because they’re tailored to the unique needs of classic car owners. Let’s walk you through the ins and outs of classic car insurance, and help you understand what classic car insurance is and why you may need it.

How does classic car insurance work?

Classic car insurance works a bit differently than regular auto insurance. Basically, when you insure a classic car, you’ll work with your insurance agent to determine the agreed value of the car. This is the amount that you’ll be reimbursed for if something happens to your car (like it gets stolen or wrecked).

Because classic cars can be harder to value than regular cars, the agreed value is a big deal. Once you determine the value of your classic car, you’ll add that to your policy as the agreed value. If something does happen to your car, you’ll file a claim with your insurance company, and the agreed value will be the limit they will pay to repair or replace the vehicle.

Some classic car insurance policies also have restrictions on how often you can drive the car and may require you to keep it in a secure location when it’s not being used.

Are there requirements for buying classic car insurance?

Most classic car insurers will have requirements to be eligible for coverage. Before you can buy a classic car policy, you’ll have to meet the insurer’s requirements, it’s not as simple as having a car of the right age. For instance, our carrier partner Hagerty doesn’t even have rules about how old a classic car has to be. However, just like other carriers, they do care about the following:

  • Vehicle Use: A classic vehicle can’t be your daily driver or commute vehicle.
  • Storage: Your classic car must be stored in a private garage, barn, or storage unit.  
  • Eligible Drivers: Classic car insurance carriers typically want drivers who don’t have serious traffic violations (eg: alcohol-related offenses, reckless driving, major speeding tickets). Like your regular car insurance, these are calculated from the last three years from the date you want coverage to start.
  • Regular-use vehicles and policies: All drivers in your household must have a regular-use vehicle for daily driving, and the classic car insurance applicant must have an in-force regular auto insurance policy

Do I need classic car insurance?

When you have a vintage or collector car, it’s a good idea to buy classic car insurance. First, regular car insurance is designed to cover the actual cash value of your car, which can be a bummer if you’ve got a rare or modified car that’s difficult to value. Because classic car insurance offers an agreed value settlement option, it’s better suited to protecting your vintage car investment. With a classic car policy offered with agreed value, if something happens to your car, you’ll be reimbursed for the full value of the car.

Additionally, classic car insurance often has other perks, like roadside assistance and flexible usage limits. Lastly, if you intend to drive your classic car, you’ll need insurance. Just like your daily driver, when you take it on the road you’re required to have at least the minimum liability insurance.

What does a classic car insurance policy cover?

A big part of answering the question, “what is classic car insurance”, is knowing what it covers. Your classic car policy will work like your regular auto insurance for some things. For instance, it will provide liability insurance, and if selected, it will provide comprehensive and collision coverage, with selected deductibles.

However, in addition to agreed value coverage, a classic car policy differs from your normal auto policy in the optional protection offered. For instance, you can purchase coverage for spare parts and automotive tools, collectible items on your vehicle, as well as the ability to increase limits while your vehicle is under construction.

Another big difference is in the total loss settlement, some carriers — if your vehicle is totaled — allow you to keep your salvaged vintage car but still get your guaranteed value settlement.

How is classic car insurance priced?

Classic car insurance is priced a bit differently than regular car insurance. One of the biggest factors that will impact the premium is the agreed value of the car. Generally, the higher the agreed value of your car, the higher your premium will be. Other factors that can impact the cost of your classic car insurance include the age of the car, the car’s make and model, your driving history, and how you plan on using the car. For example, if you plan on using your car for shows and events only, your premium may be lower than if you plan on driving the car regularly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some classic car insurance policies may have certain restrictions or requirements that can impact the rate. For instance, some policies may require you to store your car in a secure location when it’s not being used or limit how often you should drive your classic car.

The bottom line

If you own a classic car, it’s best to buy a classic car policy. The unique coverages agreed value settlement are better suited to protecting your vintage car than a standard auto insurance policy. It’s true there are a few additional eligibility requirements, but a classic car policy is generally very affordable.

If you’re in the market for coverage, you should consult with an insurance agent who understands the needs of a classic car owner. If you don’t know one, you can contact us, or start a quote online.

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