Owning a classic car brings its share of responsibilities, and one of the most important is finding the right insurance policy for it. While the market for classic car insurance is smaller than that for the typical car, there are a handful of insurers that specialize in these vehicles. However, before you begin your search, you’ll need to take into account what type of vehicle you own, its age, whether you want to drive it, and how much you expect it to appreciate before selecting a policy. Once you know what kind of plan you want you can choose the one best suited to your needs.
Do You Have to Have Insurance on a Classic Car?
It's not necessary to insure your classic car if you intend to keep it in storage. However, if you plan on driving it at all, you’ll require insurance to operate it. Even if you don’t plan on taking your car to shows or for a quick spin to show off, taking out an adequate insurance policy is still a good idea because it can protect the value of your investment.
How Old Does a Car Have to Be to Qualify for Classic Insurance?
Each insurance company determines minimum age for vehicles they insure, so there’s not necessarily a threshold for when a car can qualify for classic insurance. Most states say that a car must be either 15 to 25 years old before it qualifies for classic insurance, but special dispensations may be available depending on your circumstances. A car that meets one of these age limits will meet the minimum age that qualify for most classic car policies. A handful of insurers forego the minimum age entirely, meaning you can ensure a new vehicle if you choose.
Classic Car Insurance Restrictions
Every insurance company will have its own criteria to determine whether they will cover your car, but you’ll find a few common factors each may take into consideration. For one, most insurers require the policy holder to be the age of majority and won’t cover teenagers or people with poor driving records. They will likely want the policy holder to have at least ten years of driving experience along with a proven driving record without any major accidents. In addition, you’ll likely have to maintain your driving record or you may face higher rates or be disqualified from your policy.
If you are insuring a classic car, it’s unlikely your policy will allow you to use it in your daily life. The company will see it as an asset instead of a working vehicle, so you may face mileage restrictions on it. You’ll need to have another car to use for transportation or will need to find a more expensive policy that allows you to drive your classic car as much as you need. Most insurers will also want to make sure that policyholders can store their car in a garage to protect it from damage or theft.
Is It Cheaper to Insure a Classic Car?
Depending on your insurer, car, and what you plan to do with it, Progressive.com reports it can be 40% cheaper to insure a classic car than a typical vehicle. If you don’t plan on driving it, you automatically save the car from danger on the road, which could drive down your premiums. These plans often include mileage limits, which restrict your use of the vehicle but still allow you to travel to car shows or go for a Sunday cruise. Some plans also include emergency roadside assistance, reimbursement for hotel costs if you can’t make it to a show, and even bail money if you get into some trouble on the road.
It’s important to choose an insurance plan that covers the full value of your vehicle and accounts for appreciation, and not just its cash value. If you wish to cover your vehicle for its stated value, or what you claim it is worth without proof, you could face high premiums and deductibles. However, you can avoid these if you insure your vehicle for its agreed value, which you and your insurer can set together. In order to keep your policy in line with the appreciating value of your car, you may want to opt for a plan that includes an inflation guard, which automatically increases its agreed value.
Classic Car Insurance Companies List
- American Modern
- State Farm
- American Collectors Insurance
What Is the Best Collector Car Insurance?
Not all collector cars are classics, but they nonetheless require special insurance to protect or operate. American Modern offers some of the best coverage available, with plans offering 1,000, 3,000, 6,000, or unlimited annual mileage. It also offers $2,000 in coverage for hard-to-find spare parts, which is 4 times the amount of all competitors except Hagerty, which only offers $750. American Modern also includes a 2% quarterly inflation guard along with a host of other benefits such as no minimum age for qualified drivers and health coverage for any trips you make.
While American Modern is generally the best reviewed overall, other companies offer plans which might be better tailored to your specific needs. Valuepenguin.com reports that Hagerty is ideal for drivers with cars that are being restored, while Safeco has the best plans for drivers who wish to regularly drive their cars as their main vehicle. Other plans from providers such as J.C. Taylor or State Farm may offer leaner coverage at prices which work better for your budget. You’ll want to choose the plan best suited to your needs, which may not necessarily be the “best” plan overall.
Collector Car Insurance Companies List
- American Modern
- American Collectors Insurance
- State Farm
- J.C. Taylor
Classic cars are completely different beasts compared to family cars and require totally different insurance policies. Unlike with a regular car, you’ll need to protect the value of an appreciating asset with a value far higher than that you originally purchased it for. However, you may also need some mileage to drive it to shows or coverage to help pay for spare parts which may be hard to find. The right insurance policy could be just what you need to protect your car from any sort of danger or loss, allowing you to enjoy all that it has to offer while it appreciates for a future sale.