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Classic Car Insurance

Classic Car Insurance

A classic car is more than just a vehicle. Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars often go into changing a rusted pile of metal back to its fully restored original condition or to a new modified version. Sad to say though, most insurance companies and insurance policies don’t take all of this into account. It’s the insurance adjuster’s job to pay as little as possible on insurance claims. The difference between what an adjuster feels your car is worth and the time and money you put into the vehicle can be devastating. So, how can you protect yourself if you do have an accident or your classic car is stolen?

Don’t rely on the insurance agent

First step is researching insurance policies. Don’t count on an insurance agent being knowledgeable in the needs of this specialized policy. Make sure you understand what is available by comparing multiple companies before you talk to an agent for an insurance quote. I spent many years selling automotive and other insurance policies, let me assure you, these specialized policies don’t come up that often and most agents are not familiar enough with what is available to give good advice.

If you want to go through a local insurance agent you are more likely to be able to find one with sufficient experience in one of the larger cities like Tucson, Scottsdale, Yuma, or Phoenix otherwise one of the specialty insurances companies you find online might be a better choice for to get a free car insurance quote for your classic car.

Be wary if the agent recommends a standard insurance policy with one or two riders (adjustments to the main policy). It is usually best to purchase a specialized policy designed to cover classic, antique, and vintage cars. Specialty policies have unique riders that help you to cover exactly what you need.

For example:

  • Full Market Value – Meaning that the company will cover what they feel the car would sell for. It’s pretty hard to prove what your car is worth after an accident so you often don’t get what you feel the car is worth. Car condition, the amount of stock items in the car (original jack, spare tire, instruments etc) all have additional value but if they are not specified in the policy, you may not end up getting what the car is really worth. Insurance companies have a hard time being fair with new cars, how much more so when working with a classic, antique, and vintage car.

  • Agreed Value Coverage – This one lets you agree to the cars worth when you buy the policy and provides assurance that you will really be covered for your loss. Remember though, unlike new cars, classics rise in value each year (usually). Be sure the policy also increases as the value of the car increases. This may mean reviewing the policy each year.

  • Likely your car is not driven frequently or for long distances. Many policies give discounts for low mileage vehicles. There may also be discounts if you own a “Trailer Queen”, a car that is rarely actually driven and is usually stored in a garage and towed in a covered trailer to the car shows.

  • Wedding Rental Coverage – An interesting idea to put a little cash back in your pocket. Many couples would like to show up, or leave in something a little more original than the standard Limo. However a standard policy is unlikely to cover your car if you are renting it out.

  • Track or Rally coverage – Don’t expect a normal policy to cover you if you take your classic racer on a track or participate in a Rally. Be sure you see it in writing or have a specific rider to cover your car.

  • Modified Coverage – Beefing up your muscle car with the latest modifications is costly and rarely covered, a specific rider is needed to cover expensive Mods.

While there are many different Arizona insurance companies to choose from this list of classic car insurers is a good place to start doing some research, many of which have online forms to help you get a free insurance quote.

Don’t leave the protection of your baby up to chance. Learn what policies are available and decide on what you really need before your step into the insurance office (or at least before you sign the agreement). Be sure you have the right car insurance before you take your classic car to the next Arizona Car Show!