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Classic Car Insurance Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

You’ve finally snagged the classic Corvette you’ve been lusting after since high school, and now that you’ve got that shiny baby parked in your garage, you want to do everything you can to protect it.   But when it comes to insurance, getting coverage for a classic vehicle can be a bit confusing.  First of all, your insurance company might not be familiar with insuring classic vehicles – and if they’re confused about it, well, so are you. 

Whether your classic baby is a 1920’s Ford Model A, a 1950s Cadillac or a 1970s Muscle Car, the first thing to determine is how you’re going to use the vehicle.  If you’re going to keep it garaged most of the time and just take it out for an occasional spin around the block, you probably will qualify for specialty insurance. If you’re going to take it to classic car shows, you’ll want to insure it in the event it gets damaged in the process.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, most people get the wrong insurance policy for their classic vehicle. That means that they not only have inadequate coverage, they end up paying more than they would for a specialty policy. While it seems odd that insurance coverage for a rare vehicle would cost less than one for the average car, the truth of the matter is that classic cars are cared for in a way that would make the family sedan blush with embarrassment.  In a word, they’re pampered.  After all, how often do you see a classic Cadillac in cherry condition parked at the mall where someone could smash into it? And you’re not going to take your pampered classic ride out on the highway in a snowstorm with cars and trucks skidding and sliding around and risk having it end up in a ditch, are you?

On the other hand, the average car has to ferry you around in all kinds of conditions (like rain, sleet, snow, bumper to bumper traffic and crowded mall parking lots), putting it at greater risk and driving up the cost to insure it.  The other main difference is that classic vehicles appreciate in value over time if they’re well cared for, whereas a regular vehicle depreciates significantly every year that it’s driven.

Insurers like Heacock Classic Car Insurance, specialize in coverage for specialty automobiles. In order to qualify for their insurance, you have to meet certain criteria.  First of all, you must have at least ten years of driving experience and you must have a fully insured ‘regular use vehicle’ that’s less than fifteen years old.  The specialty vehicle must only be used in special situations, not for commuting to work or school or around town on errands. It also must be stored in a locked garage and must be in excellent condition, showing what they call ‘pride of ownership’.  In other words, they want to know that you value the vehicle enough to keep it in tip-top shape and protect it from damage.  That’s how they’re able to insure extremely valuable vehicles for less than what you’d pay for the regular car or truck.

There are many specialized insurance companies that insure classic vehicles and many standard insurers do, also.  They base the replacement value of your vehicle on your assessment, as well as the sale price of similar vehicles at classic car auctions and through private collector sales.  In the unlucky event that your car is destroyed, you’ll get the amount agreed upon and stated on your policy. Repair estimates will be assessed by specialty car restorers in the event that the vehicle is damaged.

If you’ve just purchased a collector car and want to know where to go for insurance, contact a car club and ask members where they get theirs insured.  That’s usually a surefire way to get recommendations for reputable insurers to take the worry out of specialty car ownership.