Classic Car Insurance

Classic car insurance differs from regular car insurance in a variety of aspects, including price, eligibility, special coverage types, and even unique benefits that make owning a classic a much more enjoyable and delightful experience. In fact, the physical structures and resulting needs of vintage vehicles are widely different from the structural characteristics and demands of modern cars, and insurance companies are well aware of these discrepancies and offer services that are customized and oriented toward meeting the individual needs and demands of each vehicle type. Before jumping into the specifics of classic car insurance and learning about all the exciting benefits that come with vintage car ownership, it is important to first define and understand what the concept of vintage car insurance entails and what are the eligibility requirements for a car to qualify for classic car insurance.

 Classic Car Insurance: What is It and How is It Different from Regular Insurance?

The most remarkable difference between classic and regular car insurance is the concept of agreed value coverage. In summary, agreed value coverage is a policy where the car owner and the insurer together agree on the value of the to-be-insured car, and the vehicle is guaranteed to be insured for that agreed fixed amount in the event of a claim. In other words, if your classic gem ever gets stolen, your insurance company will reimburse the total amount that you both agreed upon at the beginning of the policy, when determining the value of your car based on an appraisal. This is remarkably different from regular car insurance where the value of the vehicle is determined by the market average, based on comparable models and repair pricing estimates. Another outstanding feature of vintage car insurance is that, as time goes on, the maximum payout on the agreed value policy does not decrease. This means that you will never get less than what you agreed upon when initially signing the agreement, which is very different from modern car insurance plans wherein, as the car depreciates in value over time, the maximum payout is likely to decrease as well based on the decision of the insurance company. According to CarEdge.com, for example, “A Volkswagen Jetta will depreciate 43% after 5 years,” implying a subsequent reduction in maximum payout by the insurance company in case of a claim. Not only do most vintage cars not depreciate in value, but they may even gain value over time, giving you the opportunity to negotiate and adjust the maximum payout accordingly based on a newly agreed, increased value of your car.

Eligibility Requirements for Classic Cars

There are four main determinants that make a vehicle qualify for classic car insurance:

  • The car is at least 25 to 30 years old (the exact age for eligibility to be determined by the unique requirements of the individual insurance company),
  • It is exotic or has a highly special attribute that makes it stand out among all the other cars,
  • It has some level of customization and falls into the realm of modified vehicles,
  • It is a modern muscle car.

Even though your car does not have to meet all of these requirements to classify as a classic, it has to fall into at least one of these categories. Along with these four main determinants, there are several other factors that may potentially impact the eligibility of your car. For example, the condition of your vehicle may significantly impact the insurer’s decision, as better condition often translates into lower forecasted cost for the insurer, thereby increasing your chances of obtaining classic car insurance. The level of cleanliness and security of the storage facility also plays an important role in the decision-making process, as fully-enclosed storage amenities often connote better overall condition for the car and increase the likelihood of qualifying the vehicle for vintage car insurance. Other factors such as low mileage (e.g. no more than 7,500 miles per year) or some sort of proof that the car has not been used for daily commuting or racing may also improve your chances, however such specifications vary from insurer to insurer and may be neglected based on your unique circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements for the Driver

Not only does your vehicle have to meet some specific criteria to be qualified for classic car insurance, but so do you as the owner of the vehicle, as some special behaviors may give rise to possible risks and potentially increase the cost for the insurer. Even though the below-mentioned requirements are not universal and are subject to change based on the insurance company, most insurers follow these common principles to eliminate any unnecessary risks. Namely, the owner has to:

  • Show proof of ownership and use of other vehicle that s/he drives for daily commuting purposes (which would also imply that the classic vehicle is not used on a daily basis and therefore has low mileage),
  • Have at least 5 years of driving experience and a clean driving record (making the vehicle less susceptible to damage), 
  • Be exempt from moving violations within the previous 3 years (the number of at-fault accidents should, ideally, not exceed one),
  • Give consent not to take part in car racing events,
  • Be of a rather mature age (not below 25 years old). 

Fascinating Benefits of Vintage Car Ownership

After determining that your car is eligible for classic car insurance, it is now time to explore the wide range of benefits that come with vintage car ownership and insurance. We had the chance to hint at some of these astonishing perks when breaking down the concept of agreed value coverage, however there is far more to vintage car insurance that is equally as exciting and important! Many classic car insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage for all situations that require roadside assistance, ranging from tire and wheel road hazard coverage to emergency medical assistance. When towing, most vintage car insurers use flatbed tow trucks solely in order to avoid any harm to the vehicle in the form of wear or tear, something very considerate and thoughtful that is, unfortunately, not always implemented by regular car insurers. Along with roadside assistance, classic car insurers also provide coverage for spare parts such as tires or valves in the event of damage or theft of the mentioned and other impacted gear. Moreover, if your car is ever stolen or damaged beyond repair, you can take a cash payment from the insurance company without even having to use it for car replacement or repair purposes. 

Additionally, there are other benefits associated specifically with participation in auto shows, such as providing medical reimbursement for anyone who gets injured at a show featuring your car. Moreover, you as the owner are not required to be physically present at the show to benefit from auto show reimbursement services, whether they involve medical coverage for the people injured or replacement of auto gear damaged during the event. Finally, it is essential to mention that the people working at classic car insurance companies are highly specialized and well-informed about the peculiarities and demands of a classic car and master the skills and techniques to provide the best possible solutions tailored to your specific needs in the shortest possible time. 

Now that you are fully equipped with all the necessary knowledge about vintage car insurance, it is time to decide on a plan and choose the insurance type that will best meet your individual goals and demands. If you feel uncertain about the nuances and subtleties among different collectible types, are still confused about terms such as vintage vs. classic vs. antique vs. old cars and how these differences might impact the effectiveness of a given insurance plan, then we highly encourage you to check out our detailed guide to help you navigate through the vast realm of collectibles and make a well-informed decision that best suits your needs! 

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