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Differences Between Classic and Standard Car Insurance

Classic red car
Here's what you need to know...
  • The subject of worth is quite different between a standard vehicle and a classic vehicle
  • A specialty insurer may be a better option for your classic vehicle
  • Make sure you understand the terms actual cash value, stated value, and agreed value

To answer this, simply, yes; classic car insurance does differ from standard car insurance in several important ways.

There is more to this than simply two different types of car insurance, though. There are several factors you need to consider when you are in the market to purchase insurance for your antique or classic automobile.

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There are many special factors to consider with classic car insurance and, while you can often purchase classic car insurance from the big name car insurance companies, there are several companies that specialize in car insurance for collectible vehicles.

Prior to purchasing a classic car, it is important to do your homework so you know what to expect when it comes time to insure your investment.

How is classic car insurance different from standard car insurance?

First, and probably most importantly to you, is the cost. Classic or antique car insurance is often cheaper than regular car insurance because you are not driving the vehicle regularly, in most cases.

By allowing insurance companies to place restrictions on the amount you can drive the vehicle you can save significant amounts of money.

This is especially important to do if you only plan to drive the car for the occasional parade or show. In many cases, there is also no deductible with classic car insurance.

Another major difference between classic and regular car insurance is the way the value of the vehicle is determined.

To illustrate this point, consider a car you purchased in 1974 for $1400. Dealers may now offer $15,000 for that vehicle and some people have been quoted amounts as high as $21,000.

If the vehicle is totaled and you have classic car insurance you should expect to receive what the car is currently worth; however, if you insured that car with regular car insurance you will be lucky to get your original $1400 back.

Finally, while regular car insurance generally insures your vehicle for the same amount for the duration of time you own the car, classic automobile car insurance may change.

Not only may the value of the car increase or decrease simply due to years passing, but, if you are restoring an antique car, you will need to adjust the amount you insure it for once you have finished the restoration.

Cars that have been restored can be worth significantly more than those in poor condition.

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What qualifications are required to be eligible for classic car insurance?

Classic or antique cars are defined as those vehicles that are 25 years or older.

You can purchase a general antique or classic car insurance policy or a specialized one for vehicles that are classified as custom, collectible, or exotic.

There are several factors that insurance companies will look into when you apply for a policy. Here is some of the information that may be required.

  • A driving record free of any major incidents
  • Ten years of driving experience or more
  • No teenage drivers or those with poor driving records on the policy
  • A secure storage facility or garage, out of the weather, where the vehicle is kept
  • Proof that you also own another car for daily transportation
  • Proof that the car will have limited mileage placed on it

If you do not meet these qualifications you may be denied classic car insurance, offered a policy that only covers the face value of the vehicle, or charged a very large premium.

What else do you need to be aware of when purchasing classic car insurance?

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When speaking to an insurance agent about purchasing a classic car policy, you need to be aware of the different types of value they may speak of.

The actual cash value is what you can expect to get with regular car insurance. This is equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation of the vehicle.

Another term used when speaking of value is stated value. This is the value you have stated the car is worth.

Since the insurance company is taking your word for it, premiums are generally high and deductibles are usually $1,000 or more.

It is rare that insurance companies nowadays will accept stated value alone as proof of a car’s worth.

The most common type of value when discussing classic car insurance is agreed value. This is the value that you and the agent have come up with together that the car is worth based on the documentation you are usually required to provide.

Typically there is no deductible or a very low deductible when this type of mutually agreed upon value is used.

How can I get classic car insurance rates?


Many car insurance companies, such as Hagerty and American Collectors Insurance, specialize in classic car insurance policies. Since classic cars are different than regular cars, the insurance products are different as well.

It is important to work with an insurance agent and company that understands the intricacies of classic cars and offers you the appropriate insurance coverage.

Speak to your agent about insuring your vehicle, and be sure to shop around and compare different companies. Finally, make sure that the coverage is relevant to your situation.

Now that you understand the difference between classic and regular car insurance, get started comparing car insurance quotes today!

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