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How Do I Insure My Classic Car?

If you have a classic car that’s been restored, you probably want to get special insurance to make sure you are covered for the actual value of your car. An insurance company might give you an average sounding quote if you simply tell them you have a ’71 Mustang. But that’s because they only plan to pay you, in case of an accident, the cash value of a typical ’71 Mustang (which isn’t much!). If your Mustang is in mint condition, has restored everything, a new engine, show tires, etc… you definitely won’t be sufficiently covered by the average auto insurance policy.

Fortunately there are auto insurance companies that specialize in classic cars. Often the same companies insure classic boats, modified cars, and sometimes even priceless heirlooms. Since these companies specialize in antiques and collectibles, they will be better able to determine the insurance value of your car, ensuring that the loss of your vehicle, should it occur, will not be financially devastating.

Several qualifications must be met for classic auto insurance. Most importantly, these insurance companies will not insure daily use vehicles. Often a limit of 5,000 miles per year is imposed, to allow for pleasure driving and short trips to shows (for longer trips the vehicle should be towed). This is the same limit enforced by motor vehicle divisions when you apply for historic license plates. Next you must check with the insurance provider to make sure your car really is an antique or collectible car. Some 1970s and 1980s models will not qualify, but if your car was made before 1972, you’ve got an antique on your hands, no doubt. Finally you must make note of all modifications, updates, and restorations made to the car. A classic car insurance agent is an expert who will know the true value of your vehicle, and can ensure that any repair work done to it uses the appropriate parts.

If you choose to go with a classic car insurer rather than a typical auto insurance policy, you may be surprised by how affordable your premium quote is. This is mostly because of the low miles the car will clock on the road – it is out of harm’s way most of the time, and therefore a very low risk to insure, even if it is worth $30,000 or more. Inexpensive classic car insurance can also be obtained for vehicles completely off the road for restoration or storage, covering theft, fire, and other non-collision losses.

So if you are thinking of restoring a car, it is probably unwise to do so if you must use that car for everyday driving. Your insurance company won’t cover the true value of the car, and you could be out all of your work in the case of an accident. But if you have a beauty that you can afford to limit the miles on, it may be worth keeping her off the streets in order to qualify for classic car insurance. With a low premium and the peace of mind that you are insured for the full value of your investment, you can better focus on your hobby.


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