Classic cars differ from traditional cars in that they are older model cars that still possess a high value due to the amount of money the owner spends to keep this old car in top form. Many classic cars are considered to be collector’s items which are not kept for daily driving usage. Still, because of their value, classic car owners want to have these cars insured. Car insurance companies that insure classic cars, recognize the difference between these cars and traditional cars and offer policies and terms that cater to these differences.
- What is Classic Car Insurance?
- What Is The Difference Between Classic Car Insurance and Traditional Car Insurance?
- Companies That Insure Classic Cars
What is Classic Car Insurance?
Classic car insurance is insurance that provides coverage for classic, antique, and collector cars. Classic car insurance companies have specific criteria that vehicles must meet to be classified as a classic car to be eligible for this type of insurance. Most classic cars are at least 25 years old. Other factors which go into determining whether a vehicle qualifies as a classic car include whether the vehicle is a common or rare vehicle and how much money the owner has invested into its restoration. Classic car insurance protects the qualifying vehicle and the owner financially should the vehicle sustain damage or cause damage to another vehicle; however, classic car insurance policies bear some significant differences from traditional car insurance policies.
What Is The Difference Between Classic Car Insurance and Traditional Car Insurance?
The primary difference between classic car insurance policies and traditional car insurance policies is that classic and collector cars are insured for Agreed Value. This means that the owner of the vehicle and the insurance company agree on the value of the vehicle at the beginning of the policy. The Agreed Value is the amount that the classic car insurance company will pay out in the event of a total loss. Traditional cars, on the other hand, are insured for their fair market value, often found in Kelly Blue Book. The reason for this difference is that classic cars still possess a significant amount of value due to the amount of money that the owner spends to keep them in top form. However, due to the age of these vehicles, traditional car insurance companies often deem them to have no comprehensive or collision value. Thus, a traditional auto insurance policy would not protect classic cars adequately.
Another significant difference between classic car insurance policies and traditional auto insurance policies is that classic cars are collectors’ items that are not meant to be driven on a daily basis and classic car insurance policies reflect this. Classic Car Insurance policies often have low mileage limits as well as limits on the usage of the vehicle. Most classic car insurance policies limit usage to occasional pleasure driving and driving in car shows and parades. Since these vehicles cannot be used as your daily driver, many of the demographic factors that affect regular car insurance rates are less significant to classic car insurance policies which tend to be significantly cheaper as a result.
Additionally, to qualify for a classic car insurance policy, your vehicle often has to be stored in an enclosed secure garage when not in operation. In fact, almost every classic car insurance company will include a garaging requirement as a pre-qualifier.
Moreover, since owning a classic car is considered to be a luxury instead of a daily use vehicle, most classic car insurance companies have very stringent driving record requirements for you to obtain a policy. They often require that you have no more than one moving violation or at-fault accident in the past three to five years. Very few classic car insurance companies will allow more than two.
Companies That Insure Classic Cars
There are a number of car insurance companies that insure classic and vintage automobiles. Some car insurers that insure classic cars are the following:
- American Collectors Insurance: Best for human touch and offering the most extensive TLC (Towing and Labor for Collectors) plan.
- American Modern: Best for insuring the most inclusive list of vehicles.
- Classic Collectors Insurance: Its unique feature is Drive-to-Work coverage
- Condon Skelly Collector Car Insurance: Its unique features are no mileage or seasonal limits and low rates
- Grundy Worldwide Inc. Insurance: Its unique feature is to insure cars of any age as long as it meets certain requirements.
- Heacock Classic Insurance: Its unique feature is the most extensive list of Event and Show coverage options; best for classic motor sports events.
- Hagerty: Its unique feature is no fixed mileage limit for occasionally driving your classic car. The company also underwrites policy for classic cars through Progressive
- Leland-West Insurance: Its unique feature is unused miles rollover to the following year
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American Collectors Insurance
American Collectors Insurance has been in business since 1976 and is a subsidiary of Assurant. The company offers three mileage plans including a 2500, 5000, and a Freedom Tier which allows for occasional general use plus up to 7500 annual miles. Its policies also include inflation protection up to 6% for no additional premium. Moreover, the company offers restoration coverage.
One standout feature of this classic car insurance company is that it offers a ‘real person’ guarantee which guarantees that its policyholders will get to speak to a real person if they call during business hours. Furthermore, the company offers a TLC plan which is more extensive than other classic car insurance companies and covers things such as nonrefundable hotel fees and car show fees if you are forced to miss a show due to mechanical breakdown or accident. American Collectors Insurance also offers bail bond and legal defense coverage with its platinum plan.
The primary drawback to American Collectors Insurance is that its rates are slightly higher than its competitors, and that its coverage options vary from state to state with Agreed Value coverage not being offered in three states.
American Modern was founded in 1965 and is backed by Geico. The company offers flexible mileage options, the largest spare parts coverage, and inflation guard. The company’s rates are reasonable but higher than low rate competitors. The company also has broad usage allowances and flexible payment options.
One standout feature of American Modern is that the company has one of the most inclusive lists of vehicles that it will insure in the industry. American Modern will insure muscle cars, classic cars, antiques, exotics, street rods, customs, kit cars, Cobra replicas, race cars, trucks, special editions, motorcycles, military vehicles, tractors, fire engines, and restorations in progress. Furthermore, the company does not have a minimum age limit for vehicles. Moreover, the company offers many other insurance options that other classic car insurance companies do not such as insurance for ATVs, UTVs, golf carts, snowmobiles, boats, personal watercrafts, small yachts, dirt bikes, scooters, trike conversions, commercial auto insurance rental insurance, landlord insurance, insurance for vacant property, vacation homes, mobile homes, and hard to insure homes.
The main drawbacks to American Modern are that the company’s rates are higher than some of its competitors and that its coverage is not available in all states.
This company is backed by GEICO. There are a variety of policy plans that a classic car owner can choose from which include flexible mileage plans. Furthermore, this company offers something known as inflation guard which scales your policy to match the increase in value of your car. Moreover, this company offers more spare parts coverage than any other classic car insurance company. In addition, American Modern has a very flexible definition of what constitutes a classic car.
Classic Collectors Insurance
Classic Collectors Insurance has been in business since 1992 and offers insurance in 31 states. It is a subsidiary of Infinity Insurance. The company insures a variety of vehicles including antiques, exotics, muscle cars, street rods, tractors, military vehicles, and more.
One unique feature of Classic Collectors Insurance is that it offers a Drive-to-Work coverage plan that allows policyholders to drive their insured vehicle to work or school for up to 30 days during the policy period. Driving to work or school is generally restricted with most classic car insurance companies, even those which offer unlimited mileage plans, as this does not fall into the category of pleasure driving.
A drawback to this classic car insurance company is that you cannot get an instant quote over the internet, nor can you file a claim over the internet.
Condon Skelly Collector Car Insurance
Condon Skelly has been in business since 1967 and is run by collectors. This company does not have either mileage or seasonal limits in its policies. The company insures three categories of vehicles including Classic/ Collector Cars which are 15 to 20 years old, Antique Cars and Trucks which are at least 25 years old and in their original condition, and Specialty Vehicles which include brand new exotics, modified street rods, and muscle cars as well as vintage fire trucks, tractors, and military vehicles. Furthermore, the company’s rates tend to be lower than many of its competitors.
The primary unique feature about Condon Skelly, in addition to its low rates, is that the company does not include mileage or seasonal limits in any of its policies. Thus, you do not have to spend more for an unlimited mileage policy with this company.
One drawback of this company is that it does not offer coverage in Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, and New Hampshire.
Grundy Worldwide Inc. Insurance
Grundy Worldwide Inc. Insurance is a classic and collector car insurance company that has been in business since 1947. Grundy’s classic car insurance policies do not have mileage limits. The company also offers inflation guard; for a total loss you can get up to 150% of the total insured amount if your car has increased in value.
One standout feature of this company is that Grundy will insure a car of any age so long as it meets certain requirements. Furthermore, Grundy allows policyholders to combine all of their vehicles, even daily drivers, under one policy through its Motor Vehicle Program. The company will insure all of these vehicles for Agreed Value. Moreover, in addition to classic and collector car insurance, Grundy also offers homeowners insurance, insurance for classic boats, personal access liability, special collections insurance, and commercial insurance programs for classic car dealers, museums, and more.
The primary drawback to Grundy is that policyholders must pay their annual premium up front and you must have a nearly clean driving record to obtain a policy.
Hagerty is a car insurance company specializing in classic cars. They have been in business since 1991 and their expertise is in valuing and providing insurance coverage for collector and classic vehicles. Hagerty offers lower premiums than the traditional car insurance company mainly because Hagerty does not insure daily use vehicles. Another benefit of Hagerty’s classic car insurance is that it does not have a fixed mileage limit for occasionally driving your classic car. Furthermore, Hagerty will cover your car at its guaranteed value. If the car is totaled, you are entitled to the full amount without any depreciation.
Progressive’s customers can obtain classic car insurance through Hagerty which works with Progressive to offer classic car insurance.
The Hartford is also a good car insurance company for insuring your classic cars. This company promises that it will not drop your coverage as long as you continue to have a valid driver’s license. Furthermore, it offers round the clock claims service and roadside assistance for your classic car. This company has two classifications. It considers antique auto to be cars that are at least 25 years old and they are driven infrequently. The company defines classic cars as cars that are at least 10 years old and the owner has invested a significant amount of money fixing the car up to increase its value.
Heacock Classic Insurance
Heacock Classic Insurance began in 1989 and now offers classic car insurance in 48 states. The company’s lead underwriter is American Modern Insurance Group and the company also works with Infinity Insurance. The company insures collector cars, classic and antique cars, modern collector cars, muscle cars and hot rods, exotic and sports cars, tribute and replica cars, and vintage race cars.
One standout feature of this company is that it offers an extensive list of Event and Show coverage options for motorsports events making it the go-to insurance company for classic motor sports events. Furthermore, the company insures vintage race cars with its storage, transit, and padlock (STP) policy to protect your race car until its tires hit the track.
One drawback of this company is that Heacock’s requirement that its policyholders have a clean driving record is more stringent than with some other classic car insurance companies.
Northeast Classic Car Insurance
This classic car insurance company offers options for coverage allowing the owner to drive the car between 1,000 to 6,000 miles a year.
This classic car insurance company allows you to insure your classic car with no deductible. You can also select a classic car insurance policy with unlimited mileage from this company which will still insure your car for an agreed upon value.
Leland-West is a classic and collector car insurance company that was founded in 1981 for the Porsche Club of America. The company is in a partnership with AXA Art and New York-based AXA Insurance Company, an insurance industry leader with over $112 billion in revenue worldwide. Leland-West offers unlimited, limited, and flexible mileage plans with competitive rates that are lower than many of its competitors.
One unique feature about Leland-West is that if you buy a policy with a set number of miles and you do not use all of your miles in a year, these miles rollover to your next year of coverage. Your unused miles do not expire at the end of the policy year with this company.
One drawback to Leland West is that the company has not been insuring a variety of different model vehicles for a long period of time. Furthermore, this company is often not mentioned in articles which discuss classic car companies, leading one to assume that it is not an industry leader in this area. The company also does not provide insurance in Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington D.C.
SafeCo may be the best auto insurance company for people who wish to drive their classic car as a regular vehicle. This is because this company allows up to 10,000 miles a year. This company is, however, known for having a more exclusive list of vehicles that it will insure as classic cars.
State Farm is a well-known car insurance company with a great deal of financial strength that insures classic and antique cars which have been restored.
A Final Word
Classic car owners love their classic cars and often have spent a lot of money restoring them to prime condition. They should obtain car insurance through a company that understands that to protect their investment. Classic car insurance is often cheaper due to the limited usage of these vehicles. Furthermore, classic car insurance companies insure them for an agreed upon value.
There are a number of different classic car insurance companies from which a classic car owner can choose. If you want to go with a big company with excellent financial strength you can choose either GEICO or State Farm. Furthermore, GEICO backs American Modern which does not have a minimum age limit for vehicles and will insure almost any vehicle that vaguely fits into the classic and collector car category. Progressive, on the other hand, works with Hagerty to provide a great classic car insurance experience. SafeCo actually allows classic car owners to drive their cars as if they are their primary vehicles. American Collectors Insurance offers a real person guarantee and TLC plans. Condon Skelly has low rates and no mileage or seasonal limits in their policies. Classic Collectors Insurance offers a Drive-to-Work Coverage plan to allow you to drive your vehicle to work or school for up to 30 days each policy period. Heacock offers extensive coverage options for motorsports events as well as insurance for vintage race cars. Grundy offers a variety of other types of collector insurance as well as a Motor Vehicle Program which allows you to insure all of your vehicle through Grundy for agreed value, even daily drivers. Finally, Leland-West offers rollover miles, something that most classic car insurance companies do not offer. Thus, if you want to get insurance for your classic car, you should shop around for the features and coverage you want.