If you have a passion for vintage automobiles and are able to indulge it, there is no doubt you also have to protect your investment with the most appropriate insurance. Since the collectible cars market is growing constantly, the rules and conditions of specially tailored insurance policies evolve, too. Here is everything you need to know about getting the best insurance for your collection.
What constitutes a collectible?
Purists will only swear by antique and classic cars from at least half a century ago, but the truth is the car collectors’ scope of interest has grown vastly, as evident in this list by Popular Mechanics. Niches form quickly and special interest in particular brands, models, or even isolated features (e.g. interior, hubcaps, hotrod engines, etc.) crop up regularly. This is also the reason insurance companies have moved away from the “minimum 25 years of age” rule and determine a vehicle’s collectible status on an individual basis instead.
What kind of insurance do I need?
While “Actual Cash Value” insurance is the norm for regular cars, look for Agreed Value insurance for your classic vehicle. This means you state your car’s value and the insurance company accepts that number, along with the responsibility to pay out the appropriate sum should a claim arise. The Agreed Value also does not appreciate over time, unlike all other types of insurance. This guarantees you a full payout in case your vehicle is totalled – but hopefully it never comes to that!
What restrictions are there on classic insurance policies?
Since collectible cars are rare and treasured, most insurance companies expect you cherish them and keep day to day use to an absolute minimum. Restrictions on annual mileage (usually around 2,500 mi) and even on the nature of your trips are common. Some companies will only allow you to take your classic vehicle on the road to display it in a show or a parade. If you would like to enjoy your collectible, however, a growing number of insurers will offer you flexibility on the rules for its recreational usage, as long as you do not take it shopping or do the school car pool with it.
How to choose the right insurance?
We already outlined some of the important criteria which make classic car insurance special. The broad spectrum of auto-collectibles makes each case more or less unique, so make sure to shop around before you settle on a particular offer. Look for a good AV quote from a company which is flexible enough to accommodate your preferred vehicle usage frequency. Last but not least, remember you are buying a service, so research each company’s payout policies, handling of claims, and rates. Gain customer service experiences and test how knowledgeable the staff is about classic cars. After all, this is what should make both sides tick.