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antique car insurance

For those who cherish the nostalgia and craftsmanship of vintage automobiles, antique car insurance is an essential consideration to protect your prized possession. Unlike standard auto insurance, policies for antique vehicles are tailored to address these automotive treasures’ unique needs and characteristics. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or have recently acquired a classic gem, understanding the nuances of antique car insurance can help you make informed decisions about coverage.

This guide is designed to navigate the intricacies of insuring your vintage vehicle, from identifying factors that affect insurance costs to selecting the right provider. We’ll explore the various types of coverage available, the claim process specific to antique cars, and tips to help you save on premiums.

Additionally, we’ll delve into the requirements that define a car as an antique for insurance purposes and how coverage needs may differ based on the type of classic car you own. Join us as we journey through the world of antique car insurance, ensuring that your automotive piece of history is safeguarded for the road ahead.

Understanding Antique Car Insurance

antique car insuranceAntique car insurance, or classic car insurance, is a specialized type of auto insurance designed to cover vehicles that qualify as antique or classic. Unlike regular car insurance, which is based on the premise that a car’s value depreciates over time, antique car insurance recognizes that these vehicles often appreciate in value, particularly if they are well-maintained or restored.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) generally considers a car a classic if it’s 25 to 30 years old. However, definitions can vary among insurance companies and even states. Some insurers may also consider cars that are less than 25 years old but have been significantly modified to add value or create a unique model as classics.

Antique car insurance differs from regular auto insurance in several key ways. For instance, while standard policies take age, mileage, and depreciation into account when determining a car’s worth, antique car insurance covers the vehicle for an amount that’s agreed upon by the owner and the insurer. This is particularly important because a classic car’s value can increase over time, especially if it has been customized or restored.

Moreover, antique car insurance also helps pay for specialized repairs or restoration if your classic car is damaged. These costs are often significantly higher than repairing a regular car. It can also help pay to replace classic parts like wheels and engine components, which can be challenging to find.

Another unique aspect of antique car insurance is the vehicle usage guidelines. Classic cars are often driven less frequently than regular cars, primarily used for exhibitions, club activities, parades, and other functions of public interest. This limited usage is one of the reasons why antique car insurance premiums are generally lower than regular auto insurance premiums.

How much is antique car insurance

Antique car insurance, classic or collector car insurance, is typically much less expensive than standard auto insurance. The cost for a classic car policy can range from approximately $200 to $600 annually, depending on various factors such as the vehicle’s value, how it is used, and where it is stored. In contrast, regular car insurance usually costs over $1,000 per year.

The lower cost of antique car insurance is mainly due to the nature of how classic cars are used and maintained. Insurers assume that classic cars are driven less frequently, are well-maintained, and are often stored securely, which reduces the risk of claims. Additionally, classic car insurance policies often reflect the car’s agreed value, the amount agreed upon by the owner and the insurer, rather than its depreciated cash value.

To get the most accurate cost for antique car insurance, it’s best to get a quote from an insurance provider specializing in classic car coverage, as rates can vary based on the specific details of the vehicle and the owner’s circumstances.

Factors Affecting Antique Car Insurance Costs

Several factors, including age, influence the cost of antique car insurance, the vehicle’s make, its current market value, usage habits, storage conditions, and the owner’s credit score.

**Age and Make of the Vehicle**

The age and make of the vehicle can significantly impact the cost of antique car insurance. Generally, older cars are cheaper to insure, but this depends more on the car’s make and model than its age. The rarity and historical significance of the vehicle can also affect its insurance cost.

**Current Market Value**

The current market value of the classic car plays a significant role in determining insurance costs. Unlike regular-use vehicles, classic cars appreciate over time rather than depreciate. Therefore, insurance providers often reimburse drivers with an agreed value in the event of an accident. This agreed value considers the car’s value over time, the market interest in the vehicle, and the professional appraisal of the vehicle.

**Usage Habits**

The frequency and manner in which the classic car is used can also affect insurance costs. For instance, using a classic car as a daily driver increases vehicle wear and tear, reducing its future resale value. Moreover, classic car insurance often includes usage restrictions, such as annual mileage limits.

**Storage Conditions**

Where and how the vehicle is stored can influence insurance costs. Insurers may charge lower premiums if the vehicle is stored in a secure, enclosed space, as this reduces the risk of theft or damage.

**Credit Score**

The owner’s credit score can also impact the cost of antique car insurance. Insurers often use credit scores to indicate how likely a person is to file a claim. Therefore, a higher credit score could potentially lead to lower insurance premiums.

Coverage options available for classic cars

Antique car insurance offers specialized coverage options tailored to the unique needs of classic car owners. These coverages include agreed value coverage, spare parts coverage, and others that cater to the specific circumstances of owning and maintaining an antique car.

Classic car insurance typically includes several standard coverage options and some unique ones that cater to the specific needs of classic cars. Here are some of the coverage options available for classic cars:

**Bodily Injury Liability**: Bodily Injury Liability is a type of car insurance coverage that pays for the costs associated with injuries to the other party in a car accident for which you were at fault. This can include medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. It also covers legal expenses if the classic car driver is sued. This coverage is mandatory in most U.S. states.

**Property Damage Liability**: Property Damage Liability coverage pays for damage to another person’s property resulting from a car accident for which you were at fault. This can include damage to other vehicles, buildings, or objects like signs, sidewalks, and fire hydrants. Similar to Bodily Injury Liability, this coverage is typically required by law.

**Collision**: Collision coverage pays for damage to your classic car resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is essential for classic cars, as they can be expensive to repair or replace. Collision coverage is usually optional unless a car loan or lease requires it.

**Comprehensive**: Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your classic car caused by events other than a collision. This can include environmental damage (like hail or flood), theft, or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage is also typically optional unless a car loan or lease is required. It’s crucial for classic cars, which may be targeted for theft or more susceptible to certain types of damage.

**Personal Injury Protection (PIP)**: Personal Injury Protection, also known as no-fault insurance, covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs if you or your passengers are injured in an auto accident, regardless of who’s at fault. PIP is required in some states as part of “no-fault auto insurance” laws. Even if PIP is optional coverage in your state, it can still be a valuable part of a car insurance policy.

In addition to these standard coverage options, classic car insurance also offers several specialized coverages:

**Auto Show Coverage**: Auto Show Coverage is insurance that protects you in a collision while driving to an event such as a car show. This coverage is essential for classic car owners who frequently participate in auto shows and similar events. It ensures that any damage to the classic car incurred during transit to these events is covered, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

**Tiered Mileage Plans**: Tiered Mileage Plans are insurance coverage options based on the miles you drive your classic car each year. These plans are customizable to match your driving habits. For instance, you can choose a plan that covers up to 2,500, 5,000, or 7,500 miles per year. This type of plan is beneficial for classic car owners as these vehicles are often driven less frequently than regular cars. By choosing a plan that aligns with your driving habits, you can ensure you’re not overpaying for coverage you don’t need.

**Trip Reimbursement Coverage**: Trip Reimbursement Coverage, also known as trip interruption coverage, reimburses you for the cost of a rental car, food, and lodging if your classic car breaks down while on a trip. This coverage is beneficial for classic car owners who travel long distances for car shows or other events. If your classic car breaks down more than 50 miles from your home, you can be reimbursed for expenses incurred for up to 5 days. This coverage provides an extra layer of financial protection, ensuring a breakdown doesn’t lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses.

**Agreed Value Coverage**

Agreed value coverage is a form of insurance where the insurer and the policyholder agree on the vehicle’s value at the start of the policy. This agreed value is the amount that will be paid out in the event of a total loss, with no depreciation applied. This type of coverage is particularly suitable for antique cars, which often appreciate over time, unlike regular vehicles that depreciate.

**Spare Parts Coverage**

Spare parts coverage is another type of coverage that is particularly relevant for antique car owners. This coverage protects spare parts that are intended for the insured collector vehicle. Given the rarity and specific nature of antique car parts, this coverage can be crucial in the event of damage or loss. Some policies may already include a certain amount of coverage for spare parts, but policyholders can increase this limit for an extra premium if desired.

Cost Comparison

Antique car insurance, classic or collector car insurance, is typically less expensive than standard auto insurance. This is primarily due to antique cars’ unique characteristics and usage patterns.

**Limited Usage**

Antique cars are often used less frequently than regular cars, which reduces the risk of accidents and thus lowers insurance costs. These vehicles are typically not used for daily commuting or regular transportation but for special occasions, exhibitions, or car shows. This limited usage significantly reduces their exposure to potential accidents and lowers insurance premiums.

**Secure Storage**

Antique cars are usually stored securely when not in use, which reduces the risk of theft or damage. Insurance companies often require policyholders to have dedicated indoor storage for their classic cars, which minimizes risk and contributes to lower insurance costs.

**Agreed Value Policies**

Unlike standard auto insurance, which typically covers a car’s actual cash value (factoring in depreciation), antique car insurance policies often use an “agreed-upon value.” This value, agreed upon by the insurer and the policyholder at the start of the policy, considers the appreciated price that the specific car would fetch at a collector’s auction. As antique cars often appreciate value over time, this policy can provide more appropriate coverage and contribute to lower premiums.

**Careful Ownership**

Owners of antique cars tend to be more careful with their vehicles than regular drivers. These cars are often meticulously maintained and driven carefully, reducing the likelihood of claims and contributing to lower insurance costs.

Despite these factors contributing to lower insurance costs, the specific cost of antique car insurance can still vary based on several factors. These include the vehicle’s value, the car’s age and condition, the state where the vehicle is stored, and the coverage options chosen by the policyholder.

In general, the cost for a classic car policy can range from approximately $200 to $600 annually, although it can be higher for very high-value cars. In contrast, standard car insurance typically costs over $1,000 per year. Therefore, despite the high value of antique cars, their insurance is often cheaper due to their unique usage patterns, secure storage, agreed-value policies, and careful ownership.

Insurance for Different Types of Antique Cars

The insurance needs and costs for different types of antique cars can vary significantly based on the type of vehicle, its value, and how it’s used.

**Muscle Cars and Hot Rods**

Insurance for muscle cars and hot rods often includes agreed-value coverage, which pays out the agreed-upon value of the vehicle in the event of a total loss. These policies may also have coverage for spare parts and the option to choose your own repair shop. The insurance cost for these vehicles can vary based on factors such as the car’s value, modifications, and usage.

**Vintage Military Vehicles**

Insurance for vintage military vehicles typically includes Guaranteed Value™ coverage, which covers the full amount the car is worth without depreciation. These policies may also include collision, theft, and comprehensive coverage. To qualify for this type of insurance, military vehicles must be at least 20 years old, de-militarized, and not used for off-road driving. The insurance cost for these vehicles can vary based on factors such as the vehicle’s value and condition.

**Exotic or Luxury Vehicles**

Insurance for exotic or luxury vehicles can be more expensive due to the high cost of these cars, expensive repairs, and the elevated crash risk associated with high horsepower. These policies often include coverage options similar to those for regular vehicles but may be provided by specialty insurance companies like Hagerty, Grundy Insurance, or PURE Insurance. The insurance cost for these vehicles can be significantly higher than for other types of antique cars, with the annual cost for a new Maserati MC20 estimated at nearly $8,000.

Requirements for Antique Car Insurance

The requirements for a car to be considered an antique or classic for insurance purposes can vary by insurance company but typically include the following:

– **Age**: Most companies consider cars produced in 1979 or earlier as classic cars. However, some insurers may cover younger limited edition vehicles and exotic cars.

– **Condition**: The vehicle should be in good or better condition.

– **Usage**: The vehicle should be used on a limited basis, such as for car shows, exhibitions, or pleasure drives, and not for regular commuting.

– **Storage**: The vehicle should be stored securely, preferably in a garage.

– **Restoration**: The vehicle should be restored and maintained or actively undergoing restoration.

– **Value**: Some insurers require the vehicle to hold a minimum value of $3,500.

It’s important to note that not every vehicle will meet the qualifications of every insurer, and some insurers may not cover certain types of vehicles, such as vintage off-road vehicles. Therefore, shopping around and comparing insurance options from different companies is recommended.

Tips to Save on Antique Car Insurance

**Secure Your Car’s Garage**: Insurance companies want to know that you’re keeping your car safe and secure. This can help reduce the risk of theft or vandalism, potentially lowering your insurance premiums.

**Enhance the Car’s Security and Safety**: Installing additional security features on your car can also help reduce your insurance costs.

**Maintain a Clean Driving Record**: Insurance providers expect you to drive your car infrequently and maintain a clean driving record, which can help lower your insurance premiums.

**Choose a Specialized Insurance Provider**: Choosing an insurance provider specializing in classic car insurance can ensure that your unique needs are met and may result in lower premiums.

**Bundling Policies**: While bundling your classic car insurance with other policies may not always be the best option, it can sometimes result in discounts. It’s worth exploring this option with your insurance provider.

**Agreed Value Policy**: Opting for an agreed value policy can protect you from the depreciation that most cars experience, locking in the value of your car at the time of policy purchase.

Remember, the best way to save on antique car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple companies before purchasing coverage.

Claim Process for Antique Cars

Filing a claim for an antique car can be a bit different from the process for regular cars, primarily due to the unique value and characteristics of these vehicles.

**Report the Accident**: The first step is to report the accident to the local police and your insurance company.

**Damage Appraisal**: It’s crucial to contact a damage appraiser as soon as possible to start the appraisal process. Insurance companies like Hagerty have experts to expedite the claims process and help track down replacement parts if needed.

 **Claim Submission**: You can submit a claim online or by calling your insurance company. Most claims are paid within 15 days; some companies even offer same-day claims for glass damages.

**Agreed Value**: One key difference in the claim process for antique cars is the concept of “agreed value.” This is the value of your collector car, as you and your insurer agreed upon. If your car is totaled, you’ll receive a claim payout equal to your car’s agreed value minus any deductible. This is particularly important for antique cars, which often exceed standard “blue book” values due to their rarity, condition, or historical significance.

Best Antique Car Insurance Providers

**Grundy Insurance**: Grundy Insurance offers unlimited annual mileage and has a customer experience rating 7.9. They are known for their fair rates and accessibility.

**Hagerty Insurance (Progressive)**: Hagerty Insurance also offers unlimited annual mileage and has a customer experience rating 7.8. They have been insuring classic cars for over 30 years and offer guaranteed value and expert claims handling.

**American Collectors Insurance (USAA)**: American Collectors Insurance has an annual mileage limit of $7,500 and a customer experience rating 8.1. They are sold through USAA, one of the nation’s most reputable car insurance companies. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, American Reliable Insurance Company, and American Security Insurance Company underwrite them.

**American Modern Insurance (Geico)**: American Modern Insurance offers unlimited annual mileage and has a customer experience rating 7.5. They are available in all 50 states and have been established since 1965.

**Heacock Classic Insurance**: Heacock Classic Insurance has an annual mileage limit of $6,000 and a customer experience rating 7.9. They are one of the top options for classic car insurance due to their fair rates and experience in the industry.

Each provider offers unique benefits and rates, so shopping around and finding the best fit for your specific needs and vehicle is essential. For example, American Modern offers $2,000 in standard spare parts coverage, which could be beneficial if your antique car requires specific or rare parts. On the other hand, Hagerty Insurance has received positive reviews for its customer service and claims handling.

Remember, the best insurance provider for you will depend on your specific needs, the type of antique car you own, and how often you drive it.