What is Classic Car Insurance?

classic car insurance

If you’re one of those individuals who fell in love with the cars of yesteryear and your joy is in restoring them, showing them at car shows, or just tooling around the countryside, you’re regular personal auto coverage will not protect your “baby” like Classic Car Insurance can.

 

If you add your beautifully restored 57 Chevy onto your personal auto policy, the physical damage coverage will fall way short if repairing or replacing your car if it’s stolen, damaged, or a total loss.

 

There are just a few things that classic car owners should do and live by to make sure that “baby” locked up in the garage will live a complete and wonderful life:

  1. Never use cheap parts or cheap oil in your car
  2. Never let your teenage kids drive your car (or even touch it)
  3. Never insure your classic car with under a traditional personal auto policy

 

The difference between Classic Car and Conventional Car Insurance

 

Any vehicle you insure under a conventional personal auto policy is insured for the vehicle’s “actual cash value.” This means if your car is totaled or stolen, the insurance company would pay the “new cost” of your car minus depreciation.

For example, if you purchased a 2019 Hyundai Sonata Limited with the standard options, you’ll probably pay in the neighborhood of $28,000. If, however, your car was totaled two years from now, your insurance company would probably offer you about $17,000 to replace it. It’s also important to note that your 2019 Hyundai must have been in good condition with less than 25,000 miles on it at the time of your claim.

With classic or antique car insurance, your vehicle is insured for an “agreed value” which is typically based on an appraisal, a valuation guide like the Old Cars Report Price Guide, or what the insurance company typically insured your make and model for, whichever is higher.

 

Does Classic Car Insurance Cost More than Personal Auto Insurance?

 

Because of various qualifying rules when you purchase classic car insurance, your actual cost of insurance is typically less than what you’d pay for a conventional car insurance policy. Here are the qualifications that must be met when you purchase classic car insurance:

  • Limited Use of Your Classic Vehicle – Your classic car insurer will require proof that you have another insured vehicle in your household that is your primary vehicle. This assures the company that your classic car risk exposure is greatly reduced because your classic car is not the primary vehicle in your household and thus greatly reducing your rates. If, however, you plan to drive your classic car as a primary vehicle, some companies allow this but your rates will be significantly higher as a result.
  • Locked Storage Requirements – Most classic car policies will require you to store your classic car under lock and key. This can be done in a locked garage at home or a locked garage at a storage facility.
  • Driving History – If you intend to qualify for classic car insurance with the lowest rates, be prepared for the insurance company to check your driving record going back at least 5 years. If you have multiple speeding or careless driving offenses or one or more serious offenses, you’ll likely not qualify for coverage.

Your classic car insurance cost, similar to conventional car insurance, will depend on the appraised or agreed value of your vehicle, and the underwriting information about you and any other drivers you plan to list on your policy.

 

What does Classic Car Insurance Cover?

 

Like conventional car insurance, your classic car insurance policy is a package of coverages that offers comprehensive protection for your liability exposure and protection of your vehicle. Just like conventional car insurance, your policy will include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, med pay, and comprehensive and collision coverage.

Additional coverages that are optional and typically not available with conventional car insurance policies are:

  • Coverage for spare parts – Most people that own classic cars or show cars regularly attend events where they can show off their pride and joy to the public. In most cases, the vehicle owner will bring spare parts and special tools to these shows.
  • Emergency Roadside Service – If you drive your classic car to an event and have a breakdown or accident, your insurance will pay for a flatbed tow truck rather than on-hook towing.
  • Travel Expense Reimbursement – If you are traveling to an event that involves displaying your classic car and because of a breakdown, you need to stay over for a day or two, your classic car will reimburse you for your food and lodging.
  • Car Show Medical Coverage – If while displaying your vehicle at a car show and a third party gets hurt in or near your vehicle, your policy’s medical payments coverage will pay the medical expenses.

 

What kinds of vehicles qualify for Classic Car Insurance?

 

Vehicles that qualify for coverage under a classic car policy typically fall in the following categories:

  • Antique vehicles – 25 or more years old
  • Hotrods and vehicles that have been modified to improve performance and handling
  • Exotic and luxury cars that would not be covered appropriately under a conventional policy
  • Muscle cars that have enhanced horsepower
  • Classic truck and vans
  • Vintage military vehicles, light trucks, and vans

 

Which Insurance Companies offer Classic Car Insurance?

 

Since the “classic car” market is very diverse (hotrods, antiques, exotic, military, and kit cars) the vehicle(s) you need to be insured will typically depend on which insurance company can best meet your needs. Here is a list of the most popular classic car insurers and the types of vehicles they will insure:

Classic/AntiqueLuxury/ExoticHotrodsKit CarsSportcarsMilitaryAntique Motorcycle
AMERICAN MODERNYESYESYESYESYESYES
AMERICAN COLLECTORSYESYESYESNONOYES
GRUNDYYESYESYESYESNONO
HAGERTYYESYESNOYESYESYES
J.C. TAYLORYESYESYESYESYESYES
SAFECOYESYESNONONONO