How to Insure Classic and Collector Cars

Find out everything you need to know about insurance for collector cars.
Shelby Cobra in parked position

If you’re a proud owner of a classic or collectible car, chances are you’ve wondered about how to best protect it from possible damages. With classic insurance, you can enjoy your prized possessions without worry.

This article will break down the basics of classic or collector car insurance, including:

  • Different types
  • Eligibility
  • Coverage options
  • Who needs it?
  • What does it cover?
  • Where to buy it?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Frequently asked questions

What is Collector Car Insurance?

This type of coverage exists to protect your classic or collector car from possible risks that threaten it. Large insurance carriers partner with specific classic car insurers to protect your vehicle. You can only buy this coverage if your car is an eligible classic/collector vehicle.

Different Types of Vehicles

Insurance companies typically mention the terms collector and classic as if they’re the same thing. While they’re both similar, classic refers to one of the many types that fall under collector cars. There are a few different types of collector insurance that your vehicle might fall under. The most common types of collector vehicles include:

  • Antique and classic cars. These are normally 25 years or older
  • Trucks
  • Exotic/luxury cars (Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Bentley, etc.)
  • Vehicles modified from their original state
  • Muscle cars
  • Motorcycles and scooters
  • Antique tractors
  • Classic military vehicles
  • Collector trailers
  • Limited production or rare cars. Especially ones that appreciate over time, even if not over 25 years old.

These are the most common types of vehicles that fall under the collector insurance category. If you have questions about whether your car is a collector or not, it’s best to contact your agent to be sure.

Eligibility for Collector Car Insurance

Which cars are eligible for collector car coverage? Even though your car fits under one of the types above, that may not be enough to qualify for collector coverage. To be eligible, there are some factors that you should consider:

Driving Record

If your driving record consists of infractions such as speeding, DUIs, or other offenses, it will likely hurt your chances of qualifying for coverage. A speeding ticket here and there might not hurt you, but a consistent pattern will derail your coverage for sure.

Not Being a Daily Driver

The car you’re getting coverage for shouldn’t be what you use to commute to work. The more you’re on the road, the higher the risk is of getting in an accident. To be eligible for collector insurance, you’ll only want to use your car sparingly such as for leisure driving, car meets, exhibitions, and clubs.

Extended Travel for Events

You’ll want to be sure that long-distance travel is acceptable if you’re planning on driving far away in your car. For example, if you want to show your car off at a meet that’s far away, your insurer will need to allow long-distance travel. Any trips that require a high number of miles will need to be gone over with your insurance carrier. The exact number of miles that you can drive will vary depending on your policy.

Safe Means of Storage

To be eligible for this type of insurance, you must be able to keep your car in a safe and secure location. Examples of safe places to keep your car include:

  • Garages
  • Storage containers
  • Parking garages
  • Carports
  • Driveways (only if it is safe from harm and potential weather damage)
  • Any other private, secure storage facility/container.

Classic Car Insurance Options

There are a few extra coverage options that you may be able to add when buying collector insurance. Here is a list of the most common options you’ll find when looking to buy:

  • Spare parts – companies usually provide an option to get spare parts up to a certain amount. For example, Farmers Insurance offers up to $750 in spare parts.
  • Towing and roadside assistance – this option helps you if your classic car unexpectedly breaks down.
  • Windshield and glass – if your collector car’s windshield is broken or damaged, you can have it fixed or replaced with this option.

Note that insurance companies may offer more options to you, but these are the ones that you’ll regularly see.

Who Needs It?

Anyone whose vehicle qualifies for collector car insurance should think about buying it. If you’re still on the fence about protecting your car, think about whether or not you’ll be taking it for a spin. If you plan on driving it, even a little, you should have insurance. It’s wise to protect your car if it’s of incredible value because repairs will likely be expensive if your car sees any damage.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict when accidents or acts of God can happen. Protecting your collector car allows you to enjoy it without worrying about replacing it or paying out of pocket for any damages.

Who Doesn’t Need It?

While having insurance for an antique or collector car is very smart, there are times when it’s not necessary or even unavailable to buy. Below is a list of who doesn’t need classic or collector car insurance:

  • Your car isn’t in good repair or working condition
  • The vehicle is too new or is not appreciating in value
  • The car meets all other requirements but is your daily driver.
  • You don’t have a reliable way of storing your vehicle.

If you don’t qualify, this type of insurance isn’t for you. Also, if you plan on using your antique car as your main means of transportation, you’ll most likely need collision and comprehensive coverage rather than collector insurance.

What Does Classic Car Insurance Cover?

Collector car coverage protects your car from a few specific things. Here’s a list of what your car will be safe from:

  • Theft – your insurer will cover up to the guaranteed value of your vehicle.
  • Collision – this protects your car from accidents that may occur, even if you don’t take your car out often.
  • Other types of damage – random events such as fires and vandalism are under this category.

These are the main things that collector insurance covers. Companies typically offer other benefits if you choose to buy from them.

Where to Buy It

For collector or classic coverage, you’ll see many different insurers that offer it. Large carriers either have their own or sell it via their partnership with another company.

Some companies specialize in this type of insurance. These are often the same firms that partner with larger insurers. Hagerty and Grundy are both well known in the collector car space and partner with large companies. You’ll see these names on the same pages or hear your agent talk about them when they go over this type of coverage with you.

How Much Does It Cost?

The premiums for collector car insurance will usually be less than for a regular car. There are a few factors that impact your rates positively or negatively:

If you don’t plan on driving the car, a strictly comprehensive plan can help lower your rates. But your car will only be safe from random events such as fire or vandalism. It won’t have any protection from collisions with other cars or property. Only do this if you plan to leave your car in storage.

To find the best deal, it’s smart to compare each company and see what you’re getting. Price is just one piece of the puzzle. Most companies offer additional benefits that can prove extremely valuable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often can I drive my classic car?

A:  You should be able to take your antique car out for some leisurely drives. Be sure to check with your agent if you plan on going on a high-mileage road trip. Classic cars aren’t meant to be your day-to-day mode of transportation.

Q: Will classic car insurance premiums be lower for a classic car than a regular car?

A:  Premiums will almost surely be lower for a classic/antique car. This is because your classic car shouldn’t rack up a ton of miles, so there’s less risk for accidents to happen.

Q: Will my driving record impact the cost of collector insurance?

A:  Yes. If you have a bunch of speeding tickets or other offenses, your premiums will likely be higher than someone who has a clean record. Usually, the offenses have the biggest impact when they occur within a three-year-period.

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