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Classic car aficionados treat their cars like pampered members of the family. They go to extreme measures to make sure their cars remain in tip-top shape and only take them out of the garage or from under cover to show them off.
Most classic car owners do not drive their cars every day, so may not have the appropriate automobile insurance policies to protect their investments. To find cheap car insurance for a classic car all you need to do is run a couple of comparisons on the internet. Check to see our FREE car insurance quote generator by entering in your ZIP code!
What are Classic Cars?
According to the Classic Car Club of America a car must be more than 20 years old to be considered a classic. Antique cars must be 45 or more years old.
There are other criteria for classic car designation, including the condition of the car, the integrity of the parts and any luxury accessories. An owner of a potentially classic car must petition the Classic Car Club before the designation is officially awarded.
Examples of classic cars include:
- Mustangs built in the 1960s
- 1967 Jaguar XKE
- 1949 Ford
- Chevrolet Bel Air
- Dodge Charger
- Cadillac V-16
- 1968 Camaro
Many people own these cars as hobbies, and do not put many miles on them. They also may just add the classic car to their current automobile insurance policy without realizing that the fact that they do not drive them often should make them eligible for discounts. There are special insurance products for the person wanting to ensure their classic car.
Classic Car Insurance
There are several variables to consider when insuring a car that is determined to be either a classic or an antique car. These include things such as the amount of miles driven annually, deduction options and storage.
Most insurance companies rate new or used cars under the assumption that the cars will depreciate over time. However, a classic car will increase in value over time. Classic cars fall under the Restricted Use clause of car insurance, meaning that the car will be driven less than 2,500 miles per year.
These are not cars that are driven to work each day, and most insurance companies that provide coverage for classic cars will not insure them if they are used daily.
Agreed Upon Value
Classic cars increase in value with age instead of decreasing like normal cars. Therefore, the insurance rate will determined an Agreed Upon Value when assessing how much the car will be worth. If the car is being restored the insurance company will assume that the car will increase in value.
The owner of the classic car will work with the insurance company to come up with a value they both agree on that will cover replacement of the classic car according to that assumed increase in value.
If the car was sold in a collector’s sale, the price would be for more than it may be worth currently. That is the value that it will be covered for should the car need to be replaced for any reason. This Agreed Upon Value becomes the actual worth of the car, not the normal depreciation value in every day cars.
Where the Car is Insured
Similar to regular car insurance, where the classic car is housed can make a difference in insurance premiums. The larger, city areas will have higher insurance rates since there are more cars on the road even though the classic car will not be driven often. While some suburban areas will have lower insurance rates, if the area is too rural the rates will increase due to lack of access to services for the car.
Areas that have harsh winters or extreme weather changes will cost more to insure the classic car. There are several states that just have high insurance rates, such as New York and Washington, D.C. On the other hand, states such as Iowa and Maine have lower than normal automobile insurance rates.
Even state minimums can affect the insurance rates for classic cars, though most owners of these cars would not only have the state minimum coverage due to the increasing value of the car.
Rarely are classic cars parked on a street. They are usually housed in either a garage or storage area. If stored in a garage, the garage must be fully enclosed and locked. Many classic cars are put into storage facilities during the winter months and only driven in warmer weather.
Since the cars are fully protected insurance rates will be more favorable since the chance of weather damage or vandalism is significantly reduced.
Classic cars are subject to theft since they tend to appreciate in value. Keeping the cars in locked, secure facilities lessens the potential of the car being stolen.
Classic car drivers tend to be older, responsible drivers with good driving history. It is not recommended that anyone under the age of 21 be added as a driver of the classic car, and anyone with a poor driving record should also be excluded. Insurance companies are looking for more mature drivers with very clean driving records since the classic car is worth more money than the regular household car.
Car Value vs. Car Care
It may be an assumption that because classic cars are worth more money than regular cars that the insurance premiums would be higher. Classic cars, however, are more pampered and taken care of better than the household car.
They are only driven on special occasions at lower speeds than regular cars, and the owners ensure that they are not scratched or dented in any way. These imperfections would decrease the overall value of the classic car, as would extremely high mileage.
Classic cars are considered show cars so their appearance is as important as their age. The cars increase in value if they have original parts, so owners make sure they do not drive in ways that will cause damage to the cars.
The person that adds their classic car to their existing insurance policy is probably paying too much for the car. It is very important to first check and determine if the existing automobile insurance company provides insurance on classic cars. Next, call several insurance companies to determine their coverage levels and rates.
When looking for comparison rates on classic cars, make sure that all of the factors that determine the rates are in place. The people who have access to driving the car, where the car is housed or stores, how many miles the car is driven annually and the Agreed Upon Value of the car will all have an impact on the insurance rates for the classic car.
Checking for rate quotes on the internet is a good place to start, followed up by contacting the insurance company’s Customer Service Department to ensure that only the best coverage is selected for the pampered classic car. Check our FREE car insurance search tool by putting in your ZIP code!