A classic, collectible or antique car is no ordinary car—and regular auto insurance is not sufficient to protect such a vehicle against damage or loss. Unlike everyday vehicles, which depreciate over time as you add miles to them, classic cars may, in fact, gain value over the years. Your insurance needs to match your special vehicle’s value—and you’ll need to adjust your coverage if its value appreciates.
The first step in insuring your classic car is for you and your insurer to reach an agreement on the value of the vehicle. This value will be specified in your policy and your car will be covered up to that value without depreciation.
Most classic car policies will take into account the importance of using a specialized repair or restoration shop. Make sure your policy gives you the flexibility to bring your vintage Mercedes, Ferrari or Corvette to a specialist—even if the rates may be twice, or three times, what a traditional auto body repair shop would charge.
Moreover, classic car policies generally offer coverage for towing and spare parts coverage to replace valuable vehicle components, such as wheels, transmissions, and engine parts.
In addition, your classic car policy will include provisions found in standard auto insurance policies, notably property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.
There is no uniform definition of a classic car. If a car’s value exceeds its original selling price, then it might be considered collectible and a candidate for specialized classic car insurance. Vehicles that warrant classic car auto insurance include:
You might also seek specialized insurance for vintage military vehicles, classic motorcycles and antique tractors.
Simply owning an old car is not enough to qualify for specialized classic car insurance. While requirements differ from company to company, most cars would need to meet the following criteria in order to qualify for specialized coverage:
Note too that not every vehicle, however special, will meet the qualifications of every insurer. For instance, some insurers may not cover vintage off-road vehicles. Insurers may also decline to insure vehicles that are in poor condition or have been previously damaged.