In talking to people who are timid about purchasing a classic car, I’ve found most non-collectors are concerned about excessive insurance premiums. No one likes the idea of adding a car to their insurance policy. Another expense added, and on something you may never need. Honestly, I hope this will be your case, but in my experience, proper collector car insurance can be a game changer.
Some time ago, a fellow enthusiast recommended I get a quote from a classic car insurer instead of going through my regular insurance company. I was hesitant at first – it can seem like you’re paying extra for no reason. But I made the switch 13 years ago and have not only benefitted from better, more complete coverage for my classics, but also have received such professional and courteous service I would never do it any other way.
My policies cover an agreed value for repair or replacement and my premiums reflect that. For the unfamiliar, most auto insurance policies are rated by the insurance company based on their aggregated information about cars. They come up with a replacement value based on things like age and mileage. This is fairly automated and if you just plug in “1975” for the age of a car, it’s not going to be valued very highly. Classic cars need to be manually rated for insurance, because they actually go up in value, rather than down like a new car. Therefore, every year, I review the insured values of my classics and compare the values to what is trending on similar cars in the market, and then make any appropriate adjustments to my coverage in order to feel safe if I have a loss.
Additionally, my classic car insurer has a fast and responsive roadside assistance program to make sure my vehicle and I can be moved to a safe location if I have a breakdown. Regrettably, I’ve had to put this service to the test on more than one occasion, and I’ve been so grateful to have this coverage when I needed it. The cars are always moved gently and with respect as the valued pieces they are, and not a broken down jalopy.
Another thing many specialty insurance providers will include or have available is special publications or clubs for their members. These are often informative and very entertaining, with contributors who are knowledgable and generally well-known in the classic car world.
And lastly, something of great importance to me, my provider has excellent community involvement. The company works hard to engage younger generations and help develop new classic car enthusiasts, who are the future of this fun and rewarding hobby.
An insurance provider which shares your interests as well as protects your interests makes for a great consumer/business match. You can certainly find nominally cheaper insurance for your classic cars, but remember – you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to insurance. For me, knowing I have coverage that will cover my losses if something happens to part of my collection, is priceless.
My new book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, is available at Amazon! 10% of the net sales go to Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, a wonderful organization we are thrilled to support. If you’ve read and loved the book, please consider leaving an honest review. Reviews are the #1 way other enthusiasts find the book.
Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.