Classic cars are the epitome of cool for a lot of people. These folks buy their dream car and join enthusiast clubs, taking their wheels for drives with friends on the weekends or even entering car shows and competing for prizes.
For others, their obsession is more solitary. They wouldn’t dream of putting more than a few miles on the car, and they have a special storage space because a simple garage just isn’t good enough for their baby.
Regardless of the type of classic car owner you may be – or long to be – you’re going to want to insure your vehicle. But classic car insurance doesn’t work in quite the same way that your standard auto policy does. Sure, you’ll need liability and comprehensive coverages, just like with a standard policy, but that’s about where the similarities end. In general, it’s more expensive than your standard automobile policy. That’s because these policies most often provide guaranteed coverage for an agreed upon value.
Let’s take a look at how this works.
For example, let’s say you buy a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso (currently auctioning for an average price just shy of $1 million, lucky you). This car is pretty much always going to be more expensive to insure than that 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air you could’ve bought at auction for closer to $60,000. That’s because most classic, antique and specialty vehicle policies provide guaranteed replacement costs in the event of a total loss. So, if that Ferrari goes up in flames when your garage burns down? You'd get a check just shy of $1 million.
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Getting these policies isn’t as simple as logging onto the website of the company that insures your family sedan, and adding your fancy antique car, though. A lot of standard auto insurers won’t provide an online quote for automobiles that were built before 1981. For that, you’re going to want to call your agent or broker about your specific vehicle. Chances are they have the kind of specialty coverage you need, so you may even be able to swing a multi-car discount. If not, you’ll probably want to talk to a specialty insurer.
Hagerty Insurance in Traverse City, Michigan, for example, is one of the oldest and best-known collector and classic car insurance companies in the country. Their “guaranteed” value coverage is available directly to consumers or as an underwriter through multiple, standard insurers. These policies, as we mentioned earlier, provide an agreed upon value for your vehicle, and, should there be a total loss, you will receive that amount. Period. “No depreciation. No messing around. No hassle,” Hagerty says on its website.
These kinds of specialty coverages also allow for original replacement parts in the event they are needed, can provide for emergency roadside assistance and even allow for occasional use like weekend drives, classic car events, etc., with no fixed mileage restrictions. That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use your vehicle for things like commuting to and from work or school, however.
How much do these policies ultimately cost?
Well, it depends on your specific vehicle and how it’s used. Is it deemed a classic car or an antique? What is its estimated value? How is it stored?, Has it been modified? How often and where do you drive it? In general, however, they’re going to be more expensive than a standard auto policy. But, like your everyday vehicle, chances are if you can afford to buy it in the first place, you can probably afford to insure it.
Your best bet is to contact your agent or broker, or a specialty insurer like Hagerty, to determine just how much your policy will cost.