What is collector car insurance?
A collector car insurance policy will cover the value of your vehicle that you and your insurance company agree on. With an agreed or guaranteed value for your car you can be certain that you will be compensated for the full value of your classic car in the event of a loss.
What is considered a collector car?
Most auto insurance providers require that a collector car is at least 25 years old, produced in limited numbers, is of special interest and is not used for every day transportation. Although there are exceptions such as new limited production cars which can sometimes fall into the category of a “collector” right out of the showroom.
Common features of collector car insurance
Insurance for collector cars is not all that different from insurance you would have on your everyday car. Just like traditional auto insurance the legal insurance requirements will depend on which state your car is registered in.
Collector car insurance will generally include the following:
Collision Coverage will cover damage caused during an accident with another vehicle or object.
Other than collision will cover damage caused by any incident other than an impact or crash. For example a fire, vandalism or theft.
Liability Coverage will cover damage to other people or property. This includes bodily injuries or another person’s car or personal property.
Medical Payments will pay for any medical expense you and your passenger incur after an accident no matter who is at fault.
Personal Injury Protection will cover costs associated with bodily injury after a vehicle accident in a no-fault insurance state. Some of these costs include funeral expenses, lost income, child care and additional medical costs.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage will compensate you up to your policy limits for bodily injuries or damage to your property caused by an uninsured motorist or hit and run driver.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage will pay for the costs that are not covered by the insured motorist who is liable for damages to you or property up to your policy limits.
The following are some circumstances that most collector car policies will not cover:
Track Coverage is typically not covered unless the insurance provider offers a separate damage policy for track days. Some specialty car insurance companies do offer a racing policy, which is very costly and the deductible can start at $5,000.
Business use is typically not an option when you are insuring a collector car. If the car will be used for marketing and promotion you may need to insure the car under an every day use insurance policy.
Parts cars and un-restored cars are typically not covered by classic car insurance policies.
Additional Restrictions and Features
During your search for collector car insurance there a few details you should research before you make any decisions.
Multiple car discounts
Coverage for spare parts
Age requirements for drivers
Vehicle transport and long road trips
Coverage for cars being restored
How soon should your classic car be insured?
Your classic or collector car should be insured as soon as the car has been titled in your name. An uninsured car damaged while stored in your home is not going to be protected by your home insurance policy. Race cars are also eligible for collector car insurance if they are registered and driven, stored or being transported when not being raced.
Cars undergoing restoration services should also be insured and it is important to make sure the policy of the shop performing the restoration will also cover the car. As more restoration work is being done the amount of coverage for your car should be adjusted to reflect the increasing value of the car. As the car nears the end of the restoration the value of the vehicle will increase and your insurance policy should reflect this.
When your car is being transported by professional transport companies never rely solely on their insurance policy to cover damages to your car. Typically a professional transporter will cover up to $100,000 in damages and your car is only eligible for this coverage if the damage was not caused by another driver or an act of nature.
What to look for in a collector car insurance provider
Ratings: The collector car insurance provider you choose should have an A.M. best rating of “A-” or better. Insurance companies with this level of rating are financially strong and well managed.
Guaranteed Value or Agreed Value Insurance: In a situation where your classic car becomes a total loss you can be certain that you will be compensated for the total value your car is insured for.
In-House Claims: Look for an insurance company who is equipped with its own claims department.
Choice of Repair Facility: Your insurance provider should leave the decision of which shop will repair your car up to you.
Multi-vehicle discounts: If you own more than one collector car look for company that offers a discount for owning multiple collector cars.
Other considerations before committing to a classic car insurance provider
Does the company specialize in collector cars?
How do they value the car?
Does this company require an appraisal?
Are there any age restrictions?
Are the claims adjusters experienced with collector cars?
My final recommendation when investigating collector car insurance providers is to compare prices with other organizations. Also remember to ask the previously discussed questions and contact top restoration shops to ask if they have any recommendations for collector car insurance companies base on their experiences.
“Insurance Primer” online
Available at www.hagerty.com/lifestyle/pamph_guides_home.aspx