Classic Car Insurance Guide
What’s your ride? Let Obrella help you find the best classic coverage for your unique vehicle.
Like Hendrix and Sinatra, no two classics are the same. Choose your vehicle type below for key coverage options.
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Classic Car Insurance Basics
Whether you’ve got a classic Thunderbird or a restored Camaro, you need an insurance policy tailored to protect your ride. These investments grow in value over time, which means there are some unique aspects of classic car insurance that you should know. We’ve got you covered with this go-to resource for finding the right classic car insurance.
The cornerstone of classic car insurance is agreed value. Insurance companies work with you to agree on a dollar amount that you’ll receive in case the vehicle is totaled—with no depreciation.
Typically, you won’t need an appraisal. You’ll just tell the insurance company during the application process your best estimate of the vehicle’s worth, including any modifications. Using industry tools and data based on the vehicle’s make, model, and year, you’ll settle on an acceptable amount.
You'll also send photos of your vehicle to seal the deal. Make sure you snap some of each of these:
- Full vehicle
- Trunk or bed
If you have a total-loss accident, you won’t have to haggle or negotiate with the insurance company—you just get the cash that you agreed on. This is why classic car insurance is best for car enthusiasts.
Things to consider before getting a quote
Because classic car policies are valued based on the vehicle, companies typically have specific eligibility requirements to avoid high-risk situations. Expect for all drivers in your household to be reviewed for underwriting.
25 is the common minimum age requirement for anyone who wants apply for classic car insurance. You may be required to name younger drivers on your policies, and those under 25 may be excluded. Drivers over 30 are typically in the clear.
Companies will often only sell you a policy if you—and every other licensed driver in your household—are free of excessive tickets, reckless driving, and DUIs.
It’s all about protecting the chrome. When you get a classic car insurance quote, be prepared to give very specific details about the vehicle and any unique modifications and traits that it has.
Jot down your VIN and provide your car’s make, model, and age. Different companies have different requirements to be considered for classic car insurance. For example, some companies require that your car was made before 1980.
If you have modified your ride—souped horsepower, custom paint job, restored interior—these improvements will be taken into account for the valuation of your policy. Any time you make modifications, tell the insurance company so they can adjust your agreed value amount.
With agreed value policies, you decide on it before you sign your policy. For this reason, the insurance company will want to make sure you’re telling the truth. The easiest way to do this is through photos. Make sure you’ve snapped a few of the exterior and interior of your car, including the engine and trunk.
Classic car insurance is for vehicles that aren’t your daily drivers. Prepare to be asked questions about usage, like what percentage of time your car is used for work or pleasure. Also common: Are you currently undergoing restoration? Where and how securely is the vehicle stored?
Here’s where you’ll get into the nitty-gritty. You’re going to need to choose from a number of policy coverage options, so make sure you know which ones you’ll need to protect your car.
You may be able to choose from a range of collision deductibles, such as $500 or $1,000. This would be the amount you would agree to pay to cover damage to your vehicle before the insurance policy kicks in.
Chances are you don’t drive your classic car as much as a commuter vehicle, but you might still need coverage for the road. Policies come in several mileage limit ranges such as 1,000, 3,000, and 6,000 miles. If you drive your classic car more than 6,000 miles per year, you may want to stick to traditional car insurance.
Some plans can cover multiple vehicles and other valuable assets together. If you’ve got another special ride that needs protection, you can usually get a discount for insuring all your valuable investments together.
Like traditional liability, this type of coverage protects you in case you’re involved in an accident that harms another person or vehicle. You can add both bodily injury liability and property damage to most policies.
Spare Parts Coverage
If you’ve been building, restoring, or modifying your vehicle, you’ll want to ensure you’re covered for any spare or special parts.
Car Show Expense Reimbursement
Gotta show off those wheels! Some policies will reimburse some of the expenses of exhibiting your vehicle if you can’t make it due to an accident.
Towing and Roadside Assistance
Broke down while driving or transporting your ride? This coverage will help pay to get you both home safely.
For some collectors, travel is part of the fun. Trip interruption coverage reimburses you for rentals, lodging, and other expenses if your trip is cut short.
Theft and Hit-And-Run Reward
Some companies will post a reward on your behalf in case your baby is stolen or damaged in a hit and run.
Broad Usage Allowance
If you want take your ride on the occasional trip to work, broad usage allowance gives you that freedom.
Most car insurance companies offer discounts to draw in certain customers and help them save a little money. For classic car insurance, you may be able to snag some of these opportunities to save.
If you insure more than one vehicle or asset under one roof, you’ll usually save with a multi-policy discount.
Go without filing an accident claim for a year or more and you may be able to snag this discount.
This discount is offered by some insurers to customers who pay their full year’s premium in one lump sum.
If you have multiple vehicles in a collection, you may receive a discount if the value is substantially high, say more than $150,000.
Car Club Memberships
Many classic car enthusiasts belong to special clubs of like-minded motorheads. Many partner with insurance companies for extra savings.
Prone to theft and vandalism, classic cars must be kept safe. That’s why most policies include discounts for installed anti-theft devices.
Accident Prevention Course
Car insurance companies want to limit the risk that the vehicle will be damaged. You may get a discount for taking a safety course.
Uncommon answers to common questions
Q: What are the difference between agreed value, actual cash value, and stated value?
A: “Agreed value” means that if you crash and total your vehicle, the insurance company reimburses you the amount that you agreed upon before you signed up. It’s the valuation method used for most classic car insurance policies.
Traditional car insurance is typically based on actual cash value, which means you get reimbursed for the amount the insurance company decides your vehicle is worth at the time of the accident. Stated value, which is less common, is the amount that you, the owner, claim your vehicle is worth after a crash. However, insurance companies that offer stated value endorsements usually have a stipulation that if the actual cash value that they determine is less than the stated value, you get the lesser of the two.
Q: When is it better to get classic car insurance instead of traditional car insurance?
A: This comes down essentially to how much you use your vehicle. If you’re a frequent driver—typically more than 10,000 miles per year—you may want to insure your car under a traditional policy. This is because at higher usage levels, the insurance company will start to be more concerned about liability, meaning your chance of causing an accident.
Q: What are the typical restrictions?
A: Every classic car insurance policy has some restrictions. Many depend on the specific type of vehicle, such as antique cars needing to be at least 25 years old. You’ll also often be limited to how many miles per year you can drive, who in your household can drive the vehicle, how it must be locked and stored, and whether modifications are covered.