It could be your dream car. Or it could be the motorcycle or vintage truck that your friends envy. Bottom line is that it’s a classic vintage vehicle and it deserves special attention. After all, if possible you park it safely and securely in your garage while leaving your “everyday” ride in the driveway at the mercy of the elements, or park it in a secure offsite garage. You protect it because it’s special. And that extra care should include special insurance protection that’s available at special collector rates.
Why do you need special insurance? Besides the fact that it’s your dream car, a good reason to purchase a special collector car policy is that often those vehicles don’t meet today’s safety standards which increases not only the percentage of risk, but the type of risk also. For example, if your house burns down taking the classic car with it, will your homeowner’s insurance cover the loss of the vehicle? It might not. Or, should the car be damaged in an accident, most likely the costs to restore or replace parts will be expensive and higher than a regular auto policy would pay out.
What types of vehicles are eligible for collector insurance rates? In general, cars and trucks fall into three categories: antique, vintage and classic. The categories may sound similar but they are different, especially as to the dates of manufacture. The Department of Motor Vehicles (dmv.org) explains the distinctions as follows:
This group represents vehicles that are the oldest of the three categories. The Antique Automobile Club of America says that any vehicle that is 45 years or older is considered an antique. But, opinions on that vary as other groups and organizations don’t consider a vehicle as antique unless it was manufactured prior to 1918.
This generally refers to vehicles manufactured between 1919 and 1930.
Classic is a more restricted category and includes limited-run vehicles or ones considered “exceptional” that date from the late 1920s through to the late 1940s.
The types of vehicles that quality (in addition to antique, classic and vintage) include kit cars, street hot rods, muscle cars, motorsport vehicles, vehicles that are being restored and modern limited models. Insurance for collector vehicles also has different parameters in order to qualify. To help you determine if your vehicle qualifies as a collector, answer the following two questions:
- How often is the vehicle driven? To qualify, it should only be driven periodically and not used as your main vehicle.
- Where is the vehicle kept? It needs to be kept in an enclosed and locked garage.
Your collectible vehicle is anything but ordinary, so don’t settle for ordinary insurance. Look at it this way – your everyday car loses book value every year. Not so for classic cars which hold their value and often appreciate in price over time. Your classic car insurance policy needs to reflect the real value so that you will receive enough funds to cover any damage. Talk with your insurance agent and agree on the value of your collectible vehicle. And make sure the policy also includes collision, liability and comprehensive coverage. Your collectible is valuable – protect it!
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your classic car insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance. We are here to help.