Classic Car Insurance

Ford Model T

For insurance purposes, the term vintage car includes a wide range of vehicles, not just the 1930 Model A Ford roadster that first comes to mind. World War II Jeeps, early fire engines, two-wheelers such as antique motorcycles and scooters, old farm vehicles such as trucks, tractors, and trailers, even high quality replicas all belong to this group. Also very popular are the 1960s and 1970s muscle cars with big 440 gas-guzzling engines. The primary determining factors are, it must be at least 25 years old and for private use only.

The cost of your monthly premiums will depend on many factors. Classic car insurance is one field where it truly pays to shop around, as the differences in quotes can be quite surprising.

Coverage Amount

As there is no Blue Book to cover autos older than 25 years, the value of such a vintage car must be agreed upon by both the underwriter and the policy holder in advance. Truly rare and expensive cars, such as a 1937 Mercedes 540K, can be worth millions of dollars and should be insured appropriately. It’s also important to remember that most vintage cars don’t depreciate as new ones do, but instead appreciate, so their insurance should rise each year to cover that rising value.

Spend some time reading your policy and make certain there is provision for adequately covering increasing value from the restoration process, as well. You may have bought a rusty World War II Jeep for a few thousand dollars, but by the time it’s fully restored to show condition it could be worth ten times that amount. Your classic car insurance should reflect that change.

Because of the unique features of classic car insurance, make sure you are dealing with an experienced agent. Here are some points to discuss and consider before you buy.

Safety in storage can be a critical factor in classic car insurance. Often insurance conditions demand storage within a completely enclosed facility, kept locked at all times. For some truly expensive collector’s cars, it’s also necessary to have a full alarm system installed on the storage facility to guard against fire and burglary.

Coverage Limitations

Generally speaking, classic car insurance allows vehicles to be driven to club events, parades, organized rallies, and limited regular driving, usually between 2,500 and 5,000 miles per year. While common sense tells us that it’s far too risky to drive a million dollar auto in everyday traffic, the actual terms still need to be clearly stated in the policy.

Many classic car insurance companies require that a driver’s record show no serious moving violations such as speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs within a certain number of years. Some also require a minimum of five years of regular driving experience. The insurer has the right to examine the records of all household drivers who will have access to the antique auto. These drivers are further required to have a regular vehicle for everyday driving with a standard policy as mandated by applicable state law.

Your classic car insurance policy should allow you the freedom to choose where to have your vintage auto repaired in the event of a claim. Facilities that specialize in this type of repair may charge more but can provide better quality work done by experienced mechanics with the necessary equipment. For instance, many mechanics have never worked on the carbureted fuel systems which are quite common on older vehicles.

Additional Coverages

You may be fortunate enough to have the original toolkit, jack, and spare that came with your vintage car when it was new. If so, these items are valuable, too, and certainly worth coverage against loss.

Many vintage owners belong to clubs, entering their prized antiques in parades and vintage car shows as well as organizing them for other enthusiasts. It is possible to have liability coverage up to $1,000,000 for you and the club during authorized events without the need for a separate policy. This protects the club members should a participant or spectator suffer injury during such an event.

Regardless of what you drive, standard liability coverage should always be in place. If you should cause serious injury to another person, that isn’t going to change whether you drove a 2002 Ford Escort or an original 1965 Mustang. But be sure that regardless of how many vehicles you may own, you are paying for liability for just one of them. After all, you can only drive one car at a time.