What You Need to Know About Car Insurance and Your Classic Car
Congratulations! As the owner of a classic car you’ve now stepped into the wide, wonderful world of classic car ownership and a huge community of car lovers who share the same appreciation for a car that has both power and history as you do. Now you get to expand your horizons even farther into the world of classic cars by beginning your quest for classic car insurance.
When you insure your classic car you’re going to have two choices:
1) Purchasing a policy through a standard car insurance carrier. Yes, you can save yourself some time and effort and simply add your classic car onto your regular car insurance policy-you know, the same one you use to protect the commuter car that takes you to and from the job you used to help you buy and restore your classic car in the first place! Over 50% of classic cars today are covered by standard carriers.
There are some pros and cons to purchasing a policy for your classic car through a standard car insurance provider. It certainly makes it easier to keep track of your payments and policy terms if you have all of your vehicles under one roof, so to speak. It also allows you to enjoy a multi-car discount on all of your vehicles and unrestricted use of your classic car.
The down side of standard car insurance coverage comes in the form of the sixteen year old driver with a squeaky new license who needs more coverage than you do. Car insurance companies design their policies with daily drivers in mind, not collectors. As a result, you may end up paying more for coverage you neither want, nor need.
2) Purchasing collector’s car insurance. If your classic car is more than fifteen to twenty years old (depending on the make, model and what state you live in) and used solely as a pleasure vehicle you may prefer to insure it under a collector’s insurance policy. Collector’s insurance is available nationwide and is generally less expensive than a standard policy, both because most of the vehicles these companies insure are at a low risk for filing a claim and because drivers have the option to customize their coverage to meet their specific needs.
Some drivers find that collector’s insurance requires them to jump through what they perceive to be unnecessary hoops. For example, to purchase a car insurance policy through a specialized provider it is usually required that you have a valid driver’s license and a good driving record extending back at least ten years. They will also require you to have a passenger car for each licensed driver in your family to prevent your classic car from becoming a primary mode of transportation, have a garage that your car calls home a majority of the time, and restrict your use of your classic car to the occasional pleasure drive and/or classic car show. All of these steps are designed to minimize your need to file a claim before approving your insurance.
Although this information is usually just submitted on a piece of paper prior to being approved, it’s not unheard of for a car insurance carrier to audit a high value or extremely rare classic car prior to approving coverage.
The choice to insure your car with a standard carrier or a specialized provider is entirely up to you, and should be made with your particular needs in mind. What’s important is that you ensure that your new baby is insured with a car insurance policy that takes care of her as well as you do yourself.