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Hot rod car insurance is a bit different from regular car insurance. It’s a completely different ballgame, so there may be things you don’t know about hot rod auto insurance. Knowing everything that you can about coverage is one way to get the best rates.
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Hot rod enthusiasts don’t think of their vehicles as a hobby. They view it as a way of life. Their vehicles are extensions of their personalities, viewpoints and artistic license that equates to freedom.
Every hot rodder out there wants nothing but the best for the cars they love so much. That means the best insurance coverage as well!
Hot Rods Defined
There are many different definitions of a hot rod, according to Rodster.com. Basically, a hot rod is an older vehicle that has been modified for performance. Such modifications may include chopping off excessive weight from the vehicle by removing the hood or other parts, lowering the vehicle, and souping up the engine.
Other common traits that may be found with vehicles labeled as hot rods are huge engines, custom carburetors, and exhaust systems, unusual additions and bright paint jobs that may or may not include flames. Most hot rod enthusiasts see their modifications as a form of expression that is akin to art.
There are many different venues for displaying and showing off a hot rod. Enthusiasts of these cars travel to festivals, shows, and organized cruises to show off their vehicles. It’s a time for sharing new ideas, debating the merits of one parts supplier over another, and seeing the innovations that other hot rod enthusiasts have come up with. This is also a time for these owners to think about car insurance.
#1: It May Be Cheaper than Regular Insurance
Hot rod car insurance is a type of coverage that is called specialty car insurance. Specialty car insurance is a blanket term meaning that it covers special vehicles. It’s not insurance for your Ford or Chevy that you used to get to work and run errands. Specialty cars other than these vehicles might include classic cars, vintage vehicles or antique cars. However, those particular designations vary as much as the definition of a hot rod.
One point you might not know about this type of insurance is that it can be much cheaper than regular insurance. One of the main reasons why it is cheaper is that most owners do not drive their special cars as every day vehicles. Most enthusiasts are not driving their ‘57 Chevy to get to work every day or their ’30 five-window coupe with the purple flame-job to the grocery store.
The limited use that is common with these cars allows the insurance to be much less expensive. Furthermore, most hot rod owners have put countless hours and a whole lot of money into making their rides exactly the way they want. They are much more likely to drive cautiously and to protect their vehicles from damages whenever possible. They’ve just put too much work and money into them not to.
Companies that offer specialty insurance understand this concept concerning hot rod owners. They understand that the majority drive these cars on a limited basis and that they are more likely to treat their rides with kid gloves. Thus, this insurance can be much cheaper than standard insurance.
#2: There Can be Driving Restrictions
Another point about hot rod insurance that you might not know is that there can be many restrictions.
Specialty car insurance companies impart a lot of restrictions and terms on how and when the owners can operate their vehicles.
First, there could be a restriction on driving. Specialty car insurers might restrict these owners from driving their vehicle on a daily basis or to non-car related activities, such as going to work or running errands. Driving to a show, to a mechanic’s garage, or going for an occasional cruise might be okay, but everyday use is not. Some insurers might impart annual mileage limits or require that every driver in the home have access to a vehicle for daily use to ensure that the hot rod is not being driven every day.
Next, there may be age restrictions concerning who can drive this particular car. The specialty car insurance company might not insure anyone under the age of 25 or anyone who was not held a driver’s license for a specific number of years. Along that same vein, the insurer might choose to not insure anyone with a spotty driving history. They want to ensure that those who are driving the hot rod fit that mold of a cautious driver. With that said, all insurers are going to include racing on their list of restrictions.
Furthermore, many insurers might also require that the car be kept inside a locked and enclosed garage. This is to protect the vehicle from common comprehensive claims, such as those that might occur from wind damage, falling limbs, theft, or hail.
If a hot rod is kept in the open or under an open-sided carport, then the insurance will be more expensive or the company won’t cover the vehicle at all.
#3: An Appraisal is a Good Idea
The last thing that you might not have known about car insurance for a hot rod is that an owner should always get an appraisal for the worth of the car. This is something that an insurance company can assist an owner with. They should at least inform the owner that they need to have their car appraised. Most often, an appraisal complete with extensive pictures and documentation will be required first before issuing an insurance policy.
An appraisal is used to determine what is called the agreed value of the vehicle. In regular car insurance, the value of an automobile is based on fair-market value. The value of the regular car drops with every mile the car is driven and year that the vehicle gets older. If a driver totals a regular car, then an insurance company would reimburse that driver for the current fair-market value of the car minus the deductible.
However, hot rods don’t depreciate in value. Typically, these cars are older vehicles that are collectible, and their owners are modifying and improving them all the time. Generally, most will appreciate in value; meaning their worth increases year after year. Before insurance is purchased for a hot rod, the owner and the insurance company must reach an agreement on how much the vehicle is worth.
If a hot rod owner does not get an appraisal, it is likely that the insurance company will have no choice but to go with fair-market value to calculate the worth of the car in the event of a loss. That fair-market value does not take into consideration the money and man-hours spent to modify and improve the vehicle.
An outside appraiser can make sure that the agreed value of the vehicle is a fair one.
Obviously, the owner will see much more value in the vehicle, and the insurance company is likely to see much less. An appraisal will ensure that the agreed worth is not too low for the owner or too high for the insurance company.Additionally, a hot rod owner will want to notify an insurer of any new modifications. An annual appraisal might be necessary as recommended by The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Where to Find Hot Rod Insurance
Generally, companies that focus on specialty insurance offer hot rod insurance. These specialty insurers understand the mindset of owners and the ins and outs of the industry. They understand about shows, parades, and classic car cruises. Additionally, they understand about original parts and custom modifications.
Some larger car insurance companies might also have a specialty car insurance division, which may make bundling this insurance with a regular car’s insurance a possibility. Most car insurance companies that cover hot rods can be found online as easily as any other auto insurer.
There is also a wealth of online magazines, forums and websites, such as the National Street Rod Association, that are dedicated to hot rods where the members will know as much about companies for insuring their vehicles as they do about boring the cylinders for increased performance.
While hot rod car insurance can be vastly different from standard car insurance, there is one very important similarity. The best way to find the fairest price is to compare price quotes from multiple companies, according to the industry experts at the Insurance Information Institute. Just as every vehicle is different, every car insurance company will have a different quote for coverage.
When comparing quotes, it is important to apply using the same amount of coverage so that quotes can be compared side-by-side. A quote that only covers liability is not comparable to a quote that includes options such as collision and comprehensive coverage.
Getting quotes from multiple companies is important to be able to see the range of prices available.
You can get quotes for hot rod car insurance through an agent, over the phone or through providers’ websites. To save a lot of time and hassle, you can even get quotes from comparison sites like this one. Obtaining quotes from different types of auto insurers is equally as important, because you won’t know which one will have the best price until you get a quote.
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