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What you need to know about classic car insurance

Older man and child cleaning a black classic car

If you’re a car lover buying a sporty roadster that’s not only retro, but also in mint condition, you probably know its value to the nearest dollar. You care more than most car owners about every ding or scratch, and want to make sure your investment is properly valued and worry-free.

Because of this, classic car insurance is a little different from the insurance that covers the vehicle you use every day. That’s why it pays to spend some extra time making sure a classic car insurance policy includes all the fine points you need. Two things that make them different from an insurance perspective are that classic cars are driven less frequently than regular-use cars, and are usually securely stored.

Here are some of the common insurance specifications to understand when choosing classic car insurance.

What is a classic car?

The categories of classic car and collector car are often lumped together. While insurance carriers might have different classic car definitions, figure that a classic car would be at least 10 years old, while an antique car would be a minimum of 25 years old. Collector cars might also be modern, including those with modifications and even replicas of antique cars. A vintage tractor or military vehicle can even be classified as a classic car and qualify for this type of insurance. Click here for more information on when a car is considered a classic.

What does a classic car insurance company require?

A classic car insurance carrier may require that an insured classic car meet certain conditions to qualify for specific coverage. For example, the car might need to be stored in a locked garage rather than left in the driveway. It would need to be driven as a hobby vehicle rather than a daily use car, meaning you should drive it primarily in parades or club activities and bringing it to car shows, though occasional pleasure drives are sometimes allowed. The insurance carrier may require proof that you have another car to use as your primary auto.

In order to be considered a classic car, the insurance carrier may require that the vehicle is in good condition and close to the original factory specifications. Sometimes a classic car insurance carrier asks for an appraisal or market value along with a photo.

Does coverage include depreciation of value?

A classic car should hold its value, which is one reason that this type of specialized classic car insurance exists. If there’s a claim, the last thing you want is a payout on what the carrier says is a depreciated value on a 30-year-old car, which may happen with traditional car insurance. Before getting auto coverage, find out the carrier’s depreciation policy. For classic car insurance, the company might offer what’s called a set value coverage, where a policy is issued with a stated car value. That value stays the same unless the car rises in value and the policy reflects that.

Is there a mileage limit for classic cars?

Not all classic cars are driven for pleasure. Some are just exhibited in car shows, stored or driven in parades. Figure out how you’re going to use your classic car to make sure the mileage allowed by the insurance carrier works for your needs. An insurance carrier may offer a no fixed mileage limit, with the caveat that the classic car is not the daily driving car. If it’s a daily use car a different car insurance policy may be needed, even if it’s a classic or collectible car.

Does the classic car insurance policy give a choice of repair shops?

When getting a traditional car repaired after an auto claim, insurance companies sometimes offer options. With a classic car, going to the right shop makes a huge difference. Some auto repair shops know specialty cars better than others. Find out if the classic car insurance carrier allows a choice of specialist auto shops, which can cost more than traditional repair shops.

Is there a deductible?

Some classic car policies offer a zero deductible policy, and some make it standard. Find out when inquiring about a policy.

Classic car owners should enjoy their car and should be covered when the unexpected happens. Classic car insurance protects your unique vehicles and can give you peace of mind knowing that your classic car is safe and protected.

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