Should I Insure My Classic Car With My Current Company?

A common question classic car owners often ask is if they should use their current auto insurance company to cover their valuable vintage ride. Well, whether you own or plan to own a 1960s or ‘70s muscle car or a ’38 Buick, the answer is pretty much the same – it depends. Going with an auto insurance company that insures your four-door Toyota Camry may not be the wisest choice to protect your super clean 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner. Now, that doesn’t mean they can’t do it. What it does mean, however, is will they insure your vehicle like the classic it is – or treat it like an old car of minimal value.

Unfortunately, it happens. This is why doing your research is so important and where so many classic car owners go wrong. The “classic car” designation differs with each auto insurance company – unless it happens to be a company that specializes in classic cars and only classic cars. The average insurer may take on your valuable pride and joy along with your Toyota Camry at a substantial increase in premiums.

In which case, unknown to you, they might also label it as a “daily driver” and insure it according to what they feel the value is, as opposed to the true full replacement value. As a result, classic car owners are often left to find out following an accident or theft that their insurance company will pay out a sum far less than the car is actually worth.

And, as a matter of policy, insurance companies will almost always pay out what they consider your classic is worth. In other words, by insuring it according to actual cash value, they may use the standard factors, such as age, mileage, condition, normal wear and tear, and depreciation to determine how much to give you if the car is totaled or stolen.

Having your car evaluated by an experienced appraiser in the classic car field can save you from the heartache of discovering you were underinsured and, instead, give you the opportunity to choose coverage with the appropriate pay out of the agreed upon full replacement value. Because determining the actual market price can be difficult and has been known to differ from the actual market value by as much as 50 to 500 percent, coming up with an agreed market value between policyholder and insurer can be a sensitive issue. It’s for that very reason that specialty insurance or classic car insurance is preferred over standard auto insurance.

After all, if a claim is made for a total loss, the goal of most auto insurance companies is to pay the least amount of money as possible, leaving the unsuspecting classic car owner forced to accept a much lesser value than their vehicle is actually worth. And, this is common practice for standard insurance companies.

In the big picture, it’s important to remember that due to the high cost of repairing them, especially because parts can be extremely difficult to find, or replacing an older classic vehicle – it’s important you get a comprehensive vintage car policy through a specialty insurer unless your company also offers this type of coverage. On the positive side, premiums for insuring your classic for its full value are surprisingly low.

One of the main factors for these rates being typically less expensive is that many classic car owners only take their cars out on weekends and keep the mileage relatively low. Therefore, in order to receive the lower rates, the insurance company usually requires that certain guidelines are followed, including a mileage cap that the owner must not exceed on the car.

Classic car or new Camry – make sure the company you choose is right for your vehicle and be sure that you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?

Do you own a classic car and is it insured by a specialty vehicle policy? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.