Can I buy Insurance for My Classic Car
If you own a classic car like a 1965 Ford Mustang or a 1955 Chevrolet Cameo, you’re probably going to want classic car insurance. Traditional auto insurance policies are generally insufficient for classic vehicles—and it’s all about a car’s value. Classic cars often rise in value over time, while regular cars depreciate.
Classic car insurance isn’t limited to old roadsters, antique pickup trucks and vintage muscle cars. What qualifies as a “classic car” varies by car insurance company, which might include “modern classics” and even replicas of classic cars.
If you’re a classic car owner, collector, enthusiast or hobbyist, or you’re restoring a classic car for weekend pleasure cruising, here’s what to know about classic car insurance.
What Is a “Classic Car”?
The definition of a “classic car” will inevitably change depending on who you ask.
While the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) defines a classic car as an automobile manufactured from 1915 to 1948, some folks might use the term “classic car” as a catchall phrase to refer to vintage, antique, collector and other types of cars, even if they were manufactured after 1948, such as a 1961 Jaguar E-Type.
Your car insurance company most likely won’t rely on the CCCA definition of a classic car. Instead, definitions of what constitutes a classic car or other types of cars will depend on your insurance company. For example, here’s how these types of cars are defined on a State Farm insurance policy:
· Classic automobile: A motor vehicle that is 10 or more years old and is a rarity or of historic interest, which has been restored, maintained or preserved by classic automobile hobbyists.
· Antique automobile: A motor vehicle that is 25 or more years old and has been restored, maintained or preserved by antique automobile hobbyists.
· Replica: A reproduction of an antique or classic automobile. A motor vehicle 25 or more years old is considered an antique.
For comparison, we reviewed a policy from The Hartford. Here’s how The Hartford defined classic and antique cars:
· Classic automobile: A motor vehicle that is 10 or more years old and may be used on a regular basis. Its value is significantly higher than the average value of other motor vehicles of the same make and model year.
· Antique automobile: A motor vehicle that is 25 or more years old and is maintained primarily for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades and other functions of public interest, and occasionally used for other purposes.
Some car insurance companies have a few more terms to throw your way. For example, Hagerty’s website says classic car insurance might include modified and newer vehicles, sometimes called “modern classics” or “future classics.”
The bottom line is that the definition of a classic car and other types of cars will vary by insurance company. It’s a good idea to discuss your specific car with your insurance agent to find out what type of coverage your vehicle needs.
What Types of Cars are Covered by Classic Car Insurance?
Classic car insurance can cover a wide range of vehicles, depending on the insurance company. Here are some types of vehicles that might be eligible for classic car insurance:
· Classic cars
· Classic military vehicles
· Classic tractors
· Kit cars and replicas
· Military vehicles
· Modified vehicles, like hot rods, tuners and lowriders
· Motorcycles and scooters
· Muscle cars
· Race cars
· Restorations in process
· Retired commercial vehicles, like fire trucks
· 1980 and newer collector vehicles
Cars Excluded for Classic Car Insurance
While classic car insurance covers a wide range of cars, how you use your vehicle is generally a key factor car insurance companies use to determine coverage. Classic car insurance often requires “limited use.” This generally means you’ll drive the car only for certain activities, such as exhibitions, parades and classic car club activities.
A classic car insurance policy might allow you to occasionally use the car for other activities, like pleasure drives. But if you’re using it on a regular basis, like commuting to work, it most likely won’t be covered by a classic car insurance policy.
For example, generally Hagerty won’t insure a classic car if it’s used in one of the following ways, regardless of its age:
· Daily use vehicles
· Off-road or recreational vehicles
· Commercial use vehicles
Some insurance companies, like Nationwide, might require you to have a regular use vehicle for daily driving if you want your classic car to qualify for classic car insurance.
Some classic car insurance policies might have storage requirements. For example, you may have to store the car in an enclosed, locked garage or storage facility to be eligible for coverage. Hagerty, for example, might consider other storage options OK, like carports, driveways, parking garages and car hauling trailers.
What Does Classic Car Insurance Cover?
Classic car insurance typically offers coverage types similar to a personal auto insurance policy:
· Liability auto insurance. Liability car insurance pays for damage and injuries you cause to others. It also pays for a legal defense in case you are sued after a car accident that you caused. This coverage type is required in most states if you plan to drive your vehicle on public roads.
· Collision and comprehensive insurance. Together, collision and comprehensive insurance cover a wide range of problems, such as car accident damage to your own car, auto theft, vandalism, collisions with animals, fire, flood, hail, falling objects and riots.
· Uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage pays for your medical bills if someone without insurance crashes into you. Some states require uninsured motorist coverage. In some states, it can also cover car damage caused by an uninsured driver.
In addition to the standard coverage types, classic car insurance typically has some optional coverage types that you can tailor to your needs:
· Cherished salvage coverage. If your classic vehicle is totaled by a problem that’s covered by the policy (like a car accident or flood), you’ll have the right to keep the salvaged car and still get a payout from the car insurance company (minus your deductible).
· Spare parts and automotive tools coverage. This covers spare parts and personal tools used to maintain or restore your classic car. Some auto insurance companies might cover spare parts even if they are not intended for the vehicle on the policy.
· Vehicle under construction coverage. If you’re restoring a classic car, this provides periodic increases to coverage. For example, with Progressive Classic Car by Hagerty, you’ll get an additional 10% in coverage (up to $25,000) to keep pace with restoration work.
· Disabled vehicle coverage. This insurance type might include coverage for roadside assistance, which typically pays for towing and delivery of items like fuel or oil. You might also be able to include trip interruption insurance, which covers the cost of transportation, lodging and meals if your car breaks down outside a certain distance of your home.
· Automobilia coverage. This coverage pays for certain collectible items, such as hood ornaments, vintage license plates, gas pumps and station displays, automotive literature and other types of items.
Roadside Assistance Insurance for Classic Cars
If your classic car breaks down, roadside assistance insurance can be invaluable. This coverage helps with a host of problems, like a tow truck for mechanical breakdowns, flat tires, locksmiths if you are locked out, and fuel delivery if you run out of gas.
You can typically add roadside assistance insurance as an optional coverage, depending on your auto insurance company. You can also get this coverage through credit card companies and auto clubs like AAA.
For example, Hagerty Drivers Club members have access to a roadside assistance mobile app powered by Agero Swoop. From the app, you can request service with GPS location confirmation and get a complimentary or discounted Lyft ride if your car is temporarily out of commission.
Since February 2020, nearly 86% of service events called into Hagerty Drivers Club required a tow.
What If My Classic Car Is Totaled?
If your classic car is totaled by a problem covered by the policy, like a car accident, fire or flood, you can file a claim with the car insurance company. Because classic cars typically do not depreciate in value like a regular car, you want to be aware of your payout options.
· Agreed value is the amount you and your car insurance company agree on in advance for the value of the vehicle. This is the amount the insurance company will pay if your car is totaled (minus the deductible amount). You might base the agreed value on appraisals, photos and other documentation. If your car appreciates in value, you can change the agreed value amount at the time of policy renewals.
· Stated value is the amount that is “stated” when you take out your classic car insurance policy. You’ll tell your insurer what the car is worth (with documentation for support) and your car will be insured for that amount. However, if your car is totaled, your car insurance company can choose to pay you either the stated value or the actual cash value of the vehicle, whichever is less.
If you own a classic or collector vehicle that maintains or increases in value, agreed value is the better choice. You’ll have a guarantee that you can recoup your financial loss if the car is totaled.
Who Offers Classic Car Insurance?
It’s a good idea to compare coverage options and prices from several companies to find the best policy. Here are some providers:
· American Family
· American Modern
· The Hartford
· Liberty Mutual
· State Farm
Which Collector Vehicles Will Gain Value?
Hagerty makes an annual list highlighting the collector vehicles that are expected to take off in value over the next 12 months. Its 2022 Bull Market list features vehicles built between 1963 and 2012. The list includes sports, luxury and muscle cars and a handful of SUVs:
· 1965-70 Cadillac DeVille ($28,800 excellent condition starting price)
· 1969-74 Ferrari 246 Dino ($365,800)
· 1983-97 Land Rover Defender ($61,400)
· 1979-85 Mazda RX-7 ($17,600)
· 1963-67 Mercedes-Benz 230SL ($80,500)
· 1966-67 Pontiac GTO ($100,200)
· 1992-95 Porsche 968 ($38,000)
· 1985-95 Suzuki Samurai ($10,200)
· 2008-12 Tesla Roadster Sport ($97,100)
· 1975-93 Volvo 245 ($15,800)
If you’re fortunate enough to snag one of these cars, you may want to get classic car insurance, which is often offered for new collector vehicles. Be aware of certain usage restrictions, depending on your insurance company.
For example, Hagerty won’t insure daily use vehicles and off-road vehicles. So if you’re commuting to work in your Land Rover Defender on the weekdays and off-roading on the weekends, you probably won’t be able to get classic car insurance.
Bottom line: If you buy a future classic, speak with your insurance agent and discuss how you plan to use it. You may need a traditional car insurance policy.