Vintage cars are pieces of history, lovingly preserved in their prime condition. Car insurance for vintage cars requires thinking about issues that do not apply to a late model vehicle. Understanding how insurance for classic vehicles is affected by usage, the vehicle in question, and replacement coverage will help any owner of a classic to protect both the emotion and money invested in such a work of art.
What is the Value of Your Vintage Car?
Generally speaking, the older classic cars are, the more difficult it is to find original replacement parts. A large component of the vehicle’s value, and its insurance cost, is based on this fact. On top of age, the actual rarity of surviving examples of the vehicle also factors into its value. If you have an antique vehicle that is appraised as being worth $100,000 – your insurance policy is generally going to be more expensive than one valued at $30,000 (read more about antique car insurance quotes). So when you are looking at a collector car insurance company, know that they are going to take value into account.
Lastly, whether the vintage car in question has been restored with newly manufactured parts or is comprised of completely original components substantially affects the value of any classic car. For the most part, the more valuable a vehicle is, the more expensive the insurance will be. Fortunately, this is really the easiest factor in which to compare apples-to-apples pricing for various insurance companies. When you are looking at collector car insurance rates, know that the most expensive price might offer much better coverage than the other companies (something to keep in mind).
How Often do you Drive Your Vintage Car?
To some, a vintage car is a ’69 mustang driven to work every day. To others, the term only applies to that Model T that never leaves the museum. Most owners of vintage vehicles fall somewhere in the middle. The simple fact when an insurance provider underwrites the policy for the vehicle is that the more road miles the vehicle will see, the more likely it will encounter hazards. The least expensive insurance option is a collector’s policy that states the vehicle will never be driven, but will remain in a secure location at all times.
A limited use collector car insurance company policy allows the vehicle to be driven, but only infrequently in extremely limited situations, like a parade or car show. The most expensive option is insuring the vintage car for regular driving. This option is like taking a standard auto policy and tacking on a premium for the rarity and value of the vehicle.
For extremely rare and valuable classics, such a policy would be virtually impossible to find. Matching the usage allowed in the policy to that which the vehicle needs allows a classic car owner to provide adequate protection without paying unnecessary extra premium. Cheap car insurance for vintage cars that are appraised at a high value is not easy to find unless you sacrifice quality of coverage.
Auto Insurance for a Vintage Car
This is the most difficult to quantify, and therefore most likely factor to vary massively between one insurance provider ant the next in terms of premiums.
Look at a full coverage policy on a late model vehicle:
The policy generally pays for repairs at a qualified repair center and simply offers a payout of the vehicle’s value if the repair total would exceed the actual cost of replacing the vehicle.
Look at why such a policy does not address the vintage car:
Some policies do not specify coverage for original parts. For a rare vehicle, making an immediate repair could require paying a collector several times the actual value of the part to make a purchase in short order. Since using replica parts could drastically decrease the value of the vehicle in question, the extra part cost in such a situation would fall on the car owner. As the purpose of having car insurance for a vintage car in the first place is avoiding out-of-pocket expenses in the event that something damages the vehicle, such policies would simply not suffice for someone with a rare and valuable classic vehicle.
Why Some Vintage Cars Are Priceless: Rarity and Difficulty to Replace
The value of a late model car is that it will get you from place to place (e.g. from point A to point B). The value of a vintage car is that it is rare and difficult to replace. Because of this difference, new cars lose value while vintage cars gain value. This is an important distinction when selecting an insurance policy. Some vintage car insurance policies will specify a total coverage amount based on the value of the vehicle when the policy was underwritten.
While this prevents the owner from taking a loss on the investment should disaster occur, it does nothing to address any increased value the car may have gained since the policy was originated. Selecting a policy that covers the current value of the vehicle and understanding what valuation source will be used to determine that number is absolutely essential for a vintage car owner to protect the present and future value of a rare classic car.
With Vintage Car Insurance, You Get What You Pay For
While this old adage is not 100% true, when shopping for comprehensive auto insurance, you can definitely count on the fact that high quality coverage costs more. The way to get the best value for covering vintage cars is to understand the terms required before shopping. Knowing the usage, car value, and coverage terms that will be necessary for a specific vehicle will allow an owner to instantly dismiss any policy that will not serve to protect his or her interest. Once inadequate policies have been eliminated, it is simply a matter of investigating the companies offering adequate policies and comparing prices.
Whether or not it is the primary purpose in choosing to own a vintage car, the fact that it is an investment is something no one should lose sight of. As with any investment, protecting should be of importance to the owner. Understanding the insurance needed and ensuring that the coverage is always active will allow the owner of a vintage car to relax and enjoy all aspects of owning a piece of history.