Do you dream of making heads turn as you cruise around town in a beautifully restored vintage roadster? Have your eye on a classic convertible that brings back fond memories of your high school days? Whether you’re planning to buy a sporty 1960’s classic or a rare vintage vehicle that was produced more than 100 years ago, you’ll need to find the right insurance to cover your unique dream car.
A car you can appreciate
Unlike modern cars, restored classic cars actually appreciate in value as they grow older. That’s exactly why you shouldn’t cover one of these unique vehicles with standard car insurance.
If you total your daily driver, your car insurance company pays you only the actual cash value (ACV) of the car. When insurers calculate this amount, they include the car’s depreciation in the formula. Because new cars are worth a little less every year, you rarely receive the full amount that you paid for the car.
Because classic or antique cars increase in value each year, you’ll need to cover it with special collector car insurance. Such a policy will cover the full value of your vehicle if it is totaled.
Defining a classic
The first step to finding the right insurance policy for your special car is determining if it actually falls into one of the collector car categories. While car enthusiasts sometimes disagree about the precise category years, here’s how these cars are typically defined:
- Veteran or Antique cars were manufactured before 1903.
- Vintage cars were manufactured between 1903 and 1933.
- Classic cars are often a source of controversy among car collectors. Some say classics are vehicles manufactured before 1973 while others say they are at least 20 years old.
If your dream car falls into one of these categories, you should definitely try to cover it with a collector auto insurance policy.
Of course, you’ll have to prove that your collector car meets a certain set of standards before an insurance company will agree to cover it under a collector car policy. Every insurer has a different list of prerequisites, but here are some of the most common requirements:
- Your vehicle must be at least 19 years old and in good or restored condition.
- The car must be stored in a fully enclosed and locked building.
- You must mainly use the car for exhibitions, car shows and other such activities. It should not be your primary mode of transportation.
Many car enthusiasts are surprised to learn that collector auto insurance is relatively inexpensive. One reason the coverage is so affordable is because most insurance companies limit the number of miles you can drive your car each year—usually between 1,000 and 5,000 miles. After all, the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to have an accident.
Depending on your state and the insurance company you choose, your coverage options will vary. This is why it’s so important to do your homework and discuss all your options with a professional insurance agent.
Once you chose a policy, be careful to complete all the insurance paperwork as accurately as possible. One small mistake could lead to delayed payment or even denied claims if your car is damaged.