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Tyron Jones

Car Insurance Expert
Updated: 01/2020

Tyron Jones is a car insurance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. 

You don’t treat a classic car like an Elantra, Escape, or even an Escalade and any other daily driver. Whether you’re the proud owner of an original Model T, ‘66 Camaro, ‘53 Corvette, or any other highly coveted collector car, there’s probably nothing you want more than to protect your investment.

This means making sure it’s kept clean, covered, well-maintained, and most importantly, insured. However, when it comes to classic autos, traditional vehicle insurance simply won’t cut it. To keep pace with the TLC classic collectibles require and the values they command, you need classic car insurance.

Classic Car Insurance

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Classic Car Insurance – What is it?

A true classic car doesn’t just transport you to the grocery store or the bank. It takes you back in time to another era. It also doesn’t just sit in your garage collecting dust. It’s a labor of love you want to show off and protect. With this in mind, here’s the rundown on how classic car insurance works.

Unlike traditional car insurance, which typically only covers a car for the cost to replace it minus depreciation, classic car insurance will cover your collectible car for an agreed upon “guaranteed” price based on a professional appraisal, well-respected classic car valuation guide, underwriter research, and so on.

For example, if you have a ‘58 Austin-Healy 100 valued at about $55,000, a classic car insurance policy would compensate you for the full $55,000 in the event of a total loss.

That said, unlike everyday autos that become less valuable as they age, classic cars tend to increase in value over time when well-restored and cared for. So, it’s important to update your classic car insurance policy every couple of years to account for the increase in its value.

Types of Classic Car Insurance

Most collectible car insurance policies are pretty similar to one another, but when shopping for classic car insurance, it’s important to understand the ways different carriers classify various types of collectible cars.

While definitions, descriptions, and years may vary from one insurer to another or one state to the next, insurance companies typically follow the following classifications:

• Classic Car Insurance

Many car insurance companies define classic cars as any autos 19-24 years old that have been restored, are in good working condition, and have a higher value than other cars of the same model, make, and year. However, some insurance companies consider cars meeting this description that are only 10 years and older as “classic” cars as well.

• Antique Car Insurance

Many insurers define antique cars as any autos at least 25 years old that are in good original or restored working condition. In some states, however, a car must only be 20 years old to be considered an “antique.”

• Modified Collector Car Insurance

Most insurance companies define modified collector cars as any autos with significantly modified bodies, chassis, engines, or interiors, resulting in an increase or decrease in value. Depending on the modifications made, getting insurance coverage for this type of vehicle can be tricky. Race cars, for example, are usually excluded.

• Replica Car Insurance

Often called “kit cars,” replicas are classified as any vehicles at least 24 years old featuring separately manufactured components in order to replicate the original assembled productions.

Other types of sub-categories include modified pre-1949 street rods, 1919-1930 vintage vehicles, pre-1919 veteran vehicles, rare motorsport vehicles, and certain modern models with limited production.

Any cars not fitting into these categories generally don’t qualify for classic or collectible car insurance. Some examples include “exotic” cars under 15 years old with increased value potential and cars considered too old to be classic, antique, veteran, or vintage.

Classic Car Insurance Coverages

Despite the many unique characteristics of classic cars and the insurance covering them, the core of the coverage is fairly consistent and similar to traditional car insurance.

Classic car insurance still provides coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability, comprehensive, collision, medical payments, and underinsured or uninsured motorists. However, there are also some interesting differences between the two and benefits/stipulations unique to classic car insurance.

Classic Car Insurance

Total Losses

Classic car insurance can differ from standard car insurance in total loss scenarios. With traditional car insurance, the amount you would receive in the event of a total loss would factor in the depreciation. With classic car insurance, however, you would receive the agreed upon amount listed on the policy. In other words, depreciation isn’t an issue.

Global Coverage

Another interesting feature of classic car insurance is the notion of global coverage. Although car insurance for standard vehicles is limited to the US, coverage for classic cars extends beyond geopolitical boundaries. So, if you want to enter your car at an international show, you can do so and keep it protected with the right classic car insurance policy.

Auto Show Medical Coverage

Specific only to classic car insurance, this coverage is designed to reimburse you should an injury occur at an auto show or event featuring your car.

No Attendance Required

Similar to auto show medical coverage, no attendance required coverage only pertains to classic cars and auto shows and exhibits. With this coverage, your vehicle will be covered even if you’re not at the event.

Spare Parts Coverage

This coverage will reimburse you for any damaged or stolen spare parts. For example, if you have a fuel pump on hand, this coverage add-on would cover the part for an agreed upon value should it get stolen or damaged.

Transportation and Storage

Since insurance companies don’t normally view classic cars as primary forms of transportation, some include mileage limitations and/or mandatory storage practices in their policies. While the annual mileage restriction varies by state, the ceiling is usually 7,500 miles a year.

More Classic Car Coverage Options

With most classic cars and classic car insurance policies, there is additional room for special coverages not available for modern, in-production cars.

Being Approved for Classic Car Insurance

Insurance companies won’t consider a vehicle a “classic” let alone insure it if it’s used as a primary vehicle. As such, they usually place a maximum number of annual miles it can be driven as stated above.

Most insurance companies will also limit the use of the vehicle to a hobby activity or pleasure cruising. In fact, most insurers won’t payout on a claim if a classic auto is used to drive to work, school, stores, and other non-event destinations.

To be eligible for classic car insurance coverage, you may also have to meet several other criteria, including:

  • Live in a particular state or area
  • Minimum age of at least 25
  • Good driving record with several years of driving experience
  • No more than one moving violation or at-fault accident in last three years
  • Storing the vehicle in an enclosed garage or structure
  • No racing or track driving

Insurers may also decline to cover classic cars deemed in poor condition and refuse coverage for vehicles with prior damage and those designed primarily for off-road use.

Classic Car Insurance

Classic Car Insurance Discounts and Costs

Believe it or not, classic car insurance coverage is almost always cheaper than traditional car insurance. Although the cars the insurance covers are typically more expensive, the cost of insuring them is considerably less due to the fact that they’re driven much less and usually sheltered and well cared for.

Like traditional auto insurance, there are also plenty of policy discounts for classic and collectible car owners. With these factored into the equation, classic car insurance can cost as little as 1/3 the cost of regular car insurance.

Multi-Policy Discount

Do you have several policies, like a renter’s or homeowner’s policy, with the same insurer? If so, chances are you’re eligible for a multi-policy discount.

Also known as multi-line discounts, multi-policy discounts allow you to bundle your classic car policy with one or more other policies for a savings of up to $100 on an already inexpensive premium.

Multi-Car Discount

Since your ‘85 Testarossa probably isn’t your primary vehicle, consider insuring it with the same insurer as your daily driver for a multi-car discount.

Clean Driving Discount

Again, this is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a clean driving record with zero claims or accidents in recent years, most insurers will offer you a discount for your good driving.

Anti-Theft Discount

Is your classic car equipped with an alarm or other qualifying anti-theft device? Good news – you can qualify for an anti-theft discount too.

Defensive Driver Discount

While classic cars aren’t driven as much, many insurers also offer a discount for classic car owners who take and complete a defensive driving class.

Comprehensive-Only Discount

It’s not a discount per se, but a comprehensive-only policy will provide instant savings if you only plan on restoring your classic car and not driving it.

Shopping for Classic Car Insurance

State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, Esurance, and other well-known insurance companies and specialty carriers offer coverage for classic cars and collectible vehicles. Whichever insurer you’re with likely offers classic car insurance too, so you should start your search with them in order to look into a multi-policy discount.

However, you shouldn’t stop there. Instead, shop around and speak to several different insurers.

To save you some time and money, follow these tips:

• Get Prepared with an Accurate Value

When shopping for classic car insurance, you should get prepared to substantiate your vehicle’s current value. This includes referencing pricing guide resources, taking photos, and perhaps getting it appraised by a professional. Determining the accurate value of your classic auto will allow you to receive its full value in the event if a total loss.

• Pay Close Attention to the Fine Print

With significant money on the line, it’s important to read the fine print and understand exactly what’s covered and any provisions, including limited use and mileage restrictions. If you have any questions, make sure to ask the agent for clarity prior to signing on the dotted line.

• Choose an Experienced Insurer with an In-House Claims Department

Since your classic car is valuable both financially and emotionally, give yourself some peace of mind by choosing an experienced insurer who specializes in insuring classic cars. Also choose an insurer with an in-house claims department in order to streamline the process should you ever need to file a claim.

• Get Pre-Approval to Use Your Repair Shop

Some insurance companies limit which repair shop you can use, but others are more flexible and will let you bring your classic car to whichever repair or restoration shop you choose.

The Top Classic Car Insurance Companies

Since your classic car is likely one-of-a-kind, or at least one of a very few, not every insurer will cover it. Some of the top insurance companies for classic cars include:

  • American Collectors
  • Hagerty
  • Grundy
  • State Farm
  • Safeco

Of course, there are plenty of other companies offering classic car insurance. To decide on the right one for you and your car, simply go through the checklist above, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every question is a good question when your pride and joy and hard-earned money are on the line.

FAQ

General Classic Car Insurance Questions

This section covers general questions about classic car insurance.

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What is classic car insurance?

Classic car insurance is an insurance product designed to protect a specific category of cars that have similar levels and types of use.

When is a car a classic for insurance?

Most insurance companies consider a classic car to be between 10 and 25 years old and having some kind of historic or artistic value.

How old does a car have to be to be considered a classic for insurance?

In most cases your car will be considered a classic car when it’s between 10 and 25 years old.

What year qualifies for classic car insurance?

10 to 25 years prior to the current year is the cutoff for classic cars, depending on the car.

What is considered a classic car for insurance?

Insurance usually considers historic or artistic cars 10 to 25 years old to be classic car.

How do I get classic car insurance?

You can get classic car insurance through most auto insurance providers. There are also specialist insurance companies that focus on classic cars.

What is the best classic car insurance?

Every company has different strong points and weak points. You’ll need to offer more information to get the best classic insurance for your car.

How old for classic motorcycle insurance?

Unlike cars, motorcycles usually need to be at least 25 years old to qualify for classic insurance.

How old does a car for antique insurance?

Cars qualify for antique insurance when they are 25 years old and meet certain conditions.

What is collector car insurance?

Collector car insurance is a specific type of insurance for high-value low mileage cars that are purchased as investments.

How to get collector car insurance?

You can get collector car insurance through specialty collector car insurance companies like Hagerty or Highmark.

When does classic car insurance apply?

Classic car insurance applies depending on the car. The car needs to be at least 10 years old and meet other conditions.

What are the qualifications for classic car insurance?

Each company and car have different qualifications. Generally, the car needs to be between 10 and 25 years old to be considered for classic car insurance.

How many years for collector car insurance?

Most collector insurance policies assume a car is at least 10 years old.

Classic Car Insurance in Specific Locations

We’ll answer common questions about classic car insurance in specific locations in this section.

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How old does your car have to be for classic insurance in AZ?

Each company sets their own policies and every car has a different date. Generally, your car will need to be between 10 and 25 years old for classic insurance in AZ.

Where can I buy collector car insurance in Austin Texas?

Hagerty, Heacock, Heaton Bennet, and AMCO insurance are all options for collector car insurance in Austin, TX.

Who in Lenawee county handles classic car insurance?

Hagerty, Nikki McCauley, and Heacock are the most popular classic car insurance providers in Lenawee County.

At what age is a car considered a classic eligible for insurance discounts in NY state?

NY State doesn’t regulate the date for classic eligible cars. Most insurance companies consider a car between 10 and 25 years old to be a classic.

How to show AZ 3rd party collector car insurance validation?

You can use your insurance card or other proof of insurance to show validation of your collector car insurance in AZ.

Where can I get a classic car insurance quote in Virginia?

You can get classic car insurance quotes from Hagerty, Heacock, and State Farm in Virginia.

How expensive is Michigan classic car insurance on older cars?

Classic car insurance is generally less expensive than standard insurance on older cars in Michigan.

Classic Car Insurance Prices

This section covers the most popular questions about classic car insurance and pricing.

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How much is classic car insurance?

The price of classic car insurance varies greatly based on where you live, the car, and more. It will generally be cheaper than standard insurance.

How much is antique car insurance?

You’ll need to contact an agent to get an accurate quote for antique car insurance for your specific car.

Why is classic car insurance so cheap?

Classic car insurance is so cheap because there are limitations on how much you can use the car and stay covered. So the mileage limits are a key part of the savings. You can also use pay per mile car insurance for cars other than a classic car if you keep mileage low.

How much cheaper is classic car insurance?

There’s no hard numbers, but classic car insurance is generally cheaper than standard car insurance.

Who has the cheapest classic car insurance?

That depends on where you live and your car. You should try Hagerty, Heacock, and State Farm to get an idea of the price for your car.

How much would insurance cost on a car with an antique tag?

Antique and classic car insurance are generally cheaper than standard insurance, but you’ll need to contact an insurance company for an exact price.

How much is classic car insurance for a 17-year-old?

Classic car insurance for a 17 year old may be lower than standard insurance, but it depends on several factors. You’ll need to talk to an agent for more information.

How much is insurance for a classic muscle car for people under 25?

The price for classic insurance for people under 25 can change based on several factors. You’ll need to contact an agency for more information about your case.

Classic Car Insurance Claims and Coverage

We’ll answer common questions about classic car insurance claims and coverage in this section.

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How does classic car insurance work?

The big difference between classic and standard car insurance is that classic insurance pays out an agreed upon replacement cost if the car is a total loss.

Who to call to check if antique car has been totaled by insurance?

You should contact your insurance agent. You can find the information on your insurance card or proof of insurance.

What does classic car insurance cover?

Classic car insurance gives all the same coverage as standard insurance, including liability, comprehensive, property damage, and injury.

What happens to a recovered stolen classic car that the insurance company has paid off on?

You’ll need to speak to a lawyer or your insurance company for more information on your question.

What will insurance value my totaled classic car?

That depends on your car. You’ll need to talk to the insurance company or an appraiser for more information.

How does classic car insurance verify usage?

Classic car insurance verifies usage by checking your odometer if they suspect you are violating the terms of your agreement.

What insurance options are best for classic truck?

Classic car insurance is a great option. It’s cheaper than standard and provides all the same benefits.

Why do classic car insurance need a daily driver?

Classic car insurance needs a daily driver listed so the insurance company can calculate the cost to insure your car. That doesn’t mean you need to use the car daily.

Other Classic Car Insurance Questions

This section covers questions that don’t fit into our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your question elsewhere.

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Who sells classic car insurance?

Many companies sell classic car insurance. Try Hagerty, Heacock, and State Farm first.

Who can drive your classic car with Hagerty insurance?

You’ll need to check your policy or contact Hagerty with your specific question.

What does the insurance on an antique car do?

Insurance on an antique car does the same thing as normal insurance – it protects you from loss and covers the cost of replacement if the car is a total loss.

I have a classic car more than 20 years where to buy road tax and insurance?

You’ll need to talk to you state DMV to get road tax and insurance requirement information.

What is the BBB rating for all the collector car insurance companies in the us?

There are far too many collector car insurance companies to list. We recommend narrowing down your choice to 3-5 options and looking up their BBB rating.

What is highest rated collector car insurance?

Different companies have different ratings in different places. You should search specific to your location to get the best rated insurance.

What type of insurance is Highmark-classic?

Highmark-classic is a type of classic car insurance.

How do I get an antique car appraised for insurance?

Your insurance company will provide a list of approved or trusted appraisers for you to use.

What is the classic car accident insurance plan reviews?

Classic car accident insurance plan reviews give the pros and cons of different types of classic car insurance coverage plans.

Who underwrites Grundy classic car insurance?

Information suggests that Grundy underwrites their own insurance policies.

How old do I have to be to get classic car insurance?

There’s no age restriction on drivers for classic car insurance in most cases. Instead, classic car insurance looks at the age of the car.

How to get higher insurance value for your classic car?

The best way to get the highest insurance value for your classic car is to make sure it is restored and well-cared for.

Who offers unlimited driving classic auto insurance?

Hagerty, American Collectors, State Farm, and Heacock all have options for classic auto insurance that may fit your needs.