What is Classic Car Insurance and How Does It Work?


If you own an antique car or classic truck, you need a classic car insurance policy. Vintage cars are an investment and have unique insurance coverage needs and claim status. You need the right classic auto insurance to repair or replace the car in the event of an auto claim. Standard auto insurance policies rarely cover the full value of a classic car.

How Does Classic Insurance Differ?

A standard classic automobile Leland West Insurance policy issued by an independent agent of a typical independent insurance agency covers the “Actual Cash Value” (ACV) of the vehicle. You will only receive the original cost minus the amount of depreciation of your current vehicle. Since, the ACV of your vehicle depreciates yearly, Insurance policies will not pay the full price of your collector vehicle, even if that vehicle is totaled, thanks to depreciation.

Classic car insurance coverage, however, operates under a different assumption of value. Rather than depreciating the vehicle on a fixed schedule and calling that its value, the actual market value of the vehicle is considered with respect to paying for your loss. You and the insurer set an agreed value for your antique car, which matches its true current market value. If the vehicle is totaled, you receive the agreed-upon amount. The value paid out is calculated using classic car price guides, the rarity of the vehicle, auction results and other sources. Some insurers require an appraisal at your expense, while others do not.

Classic insurance should be re-evaluated periodically. Usually this is done every year at policy renewal but in special cases where values are increasing strongly you may want to do it every few months. Classic autos and specialized collectibles, including sports cars, race cars, hot rods, muscle cars and motorcycles are likely to experience an increase in value. You will want to work with the insurer to raise the value of your policy if you believe there has been car appreciation (or in leaner years, to lower the value if it has decreased to save yourself some insurance premium dollars)

Does Your Car Qualify?

Insurers have various insurance products and coverage options that govern an online quote and what is and is not considered an eligible car. Vehicles must typically meet the following guidelines to qualify for collector car insurance:

• It must be a vehicle that, by its nature, is widely considered special, exotic or collectible

• It cannot be your primary vehicle, and cannot be used like a daily driver for errands, commuting etc.

• There may be a maximum number of miles you can drive the vehicle each year (this varies by state, but is generally around 7,500 miles).

All classic car insurance policies have additional underwriting rules. Common across them all: Drivers must have a good driving record. Also universal: you must to park your classic car in a garage or other shelter to protect it from the elements … and prying eyes. If your car has been damaged or is in poor condition, it is likely not be eligible for insurance.

How Does It Work?

Getting a classic car insurance quote is very similar to getting a standard car insurance quote, but there are some differences. Each policy is usually valid for 12 months. The policy covers physical damage from collision or other-than-collision causes, liability, uninsured motorists, medical payments, and. There are a number of small additions typically given away with such policies as well. These include roadside assistance, coverage for original replacement parts, travel reimbursement, which pays if your car breaks down and you need to stay in a hotel while the vehicle is being fixed. If your vehicle is damaged but not a total loss, since your classic insurer is accustomed to the much more involved repair process associated with a rare classic or exotic, you will be expected to take the vehicle to the shop of your own choosing for repair, and the insurance company will be much more understanding about the costs associated with bringing the car back to its former original glory.

Protect Your Investment

If you have a classic car, make certain you have the correct antique auto insurance for it. If you don’t and the vehicle is damaged, you may find that your insurance doesn’t cover what you have invested.

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