So if you are a classic car neighbor of mine, I want to make sure you are insured properly. Your cars are special, and so is your insurance. Here are some basic tips for insuring your collector car:
1. See if you qualify for a lower insurance rate.
Many insurance companies understand that insuring a classic or collectible car is a good risk. If you own a classic car, they know that you are extremely careful with it. It’s your “baby,” and they get that.
So you can get a lower rate. Often a much lower rate.
But you need to meet several criteria. Normally, you must be an experienced driver with a relatively clean driving record. The vehicle must be within certain age categories, and generally in good condition.
Most importantly, almost all insurance companies want to make sure that you aren’t using your collectible car as your primary vehicle.
2. Make sure your car is properly appraised.
There’s good news (and bad news) about the term “Agreed Value.”
Specialty auto insurance that covers your collector car is different than normal auto insurance. It doesn’t pay a claim based on current actual cash value (ACV). If your car is damaged or destroyed, you can get reimbursed for its full value with a collector car policy. No depreciation.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the full value of your car needs to be agreed upon in advance at the time you buy the policy. That’s what they mean by “agreed value.”
Your car may increase in value over time. But if you don’t adjust your policy to reflect the increased value, you may end up short at claim time.
Make sure you get an appraisal from a certified appraiser, and compare it to the insured amount in your policy.
3. Know the restrictions.
You can get a lower rate with classic car insurance. But there are some restrictions. Mileage limits is the most common- most policies limit the miles driven per year to a certain low number. Check your policy.
Also, some policies can be very specific about things like race track events, off-road events and even how they cover unattended vehicles at car shows. Sometimes there are rules on garaging, and reasons for driving, as well as alarm systems- we’ve seen these and more in some policies.
4. Talk with an experienced agent.
Policies can be very different when it comes to insuring classic or collector cars. I recommend sitting down face to face with a local insurance agent and discussing your current policy. Your agent is trained to understand and explain the finer points of collector car insurance.
And maybe you can explain the finer points of your “baby” to your agent. I’m sure they would enjoy that.
Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates helping clients with insurance needs for personal, commercial and business insurance. Bruce can be reached at 707-931-0186, firstname.lastname@example.org