Whether it’s the first purchase or an addition to a collection, buying an antique or classic car can be exciting. However, finding the right insurance coverage is much less so. To help drivers find the right type and level of antique auto insurance, we’ve assembled a guide that lists some easy tips and useful benefits.
Antique Car Coverage
Most companies define an antique as being a minimum of 25 years old and in original, restored, or working original condition. In some areas, antique cars only have to be 20 years old, while clubs such as the Antique Automobile Club of America consider anything 45 years or older to be an antique. Consult the coverage experts at Yeager Insurance to learn about the West Virginia state requirements.
Agreed Value: What Is It?
Determining a classic or antique vehicle’s agreed value is the first and most crucial step in buying insurance. Standard auto insurance policies only pay out a car’s fair market value, which can lead to significant (and painful) losses for antique vehicle owners. When purchasing or renewing an auto insurance policy, talk to the team at Yeager about agreed value coverage. The values of classic and antique vehicles can fluctuate significantly, and owners should review their coverage each year to ensure full protection. With this type of antique car insurance, owners are assured of receiving the vehicle’s full and true value in the event of a loss.
In the event of a damage-related claim, insurers typically work with a list of approved providers. However, not all providers know how to repair antique and classic vehicles. Owners can specify which shop they’d like to use, but it’s important for them to say it upfront when reporting an incident. A driver may have to get multiple estimates, and they won’t get benefits such as free courtesy transportation, but it’s a relatively low price to pay to restore a cherished antique to its full glory.
When a vehicle has been written off by an insurance company, an owner may not know where to turn or what to do. The severity of the damage often affects the owner’s right to buy the vehicle back, and owners should initially tell their insurers that they want to retain salvage rights in the event of a write-off. The insurer will calculate the salvage cost and deduct it from the agreed or market value, and the owner will get the cash difference and the vehicle back in a settlement.
Coverage in Different Situations
This area of coverage is a controversial topic, but it ultimately comes down to the duty of care. If an owner takes their antique or classic vehicle to a show or on a quick drive, they’re more likely to be covered than if they’d left it parked for several hours. Insurers expect owners to take reasonable precautions, such as locking cars up when they’re left unattended. If an owner is in doubt as to their level of coverage, they can consult the insurance experts at Yeager.
Coverage for Spare Parts
While most drivers know that parts are protected when they’re on the vehicle, coverage for stored parts is less clear. Most policies provide coverage for spare parts, but in some cases, the coverage may be limited. Once a client establishes their coverage type and level, they must consider whether that’s enough to replace everything in the event of theft, damage, or loss. If the answer to that question is “no,” it may be worthwhile to buy additional coverage.
Garaging clauses mean that a vehicle must be garaged at home during certain times, but that’s not always possible. Again, it comes down to the owner’s duty to do everything possible to protect his or her vehicle. Even if the classic or antique car will be uncovered at home for one night, it’s a good idea to notify us right away.
Membership in a Car Club
Car club memberships have many benefits. They’re a good way to meet people with similar interests and get technical advice, and they can also, in some instances, help members get a significant discount on antique auto insurance. We recognize the vital role that car clubs and their members play in the antique and classic car hobby, and we invite clients to ask us about applicable discounts.
Participation in Time Trials
Drivers and owners should check their coverage before taking part in time trials and races. If an event involves point-to-point driving as fast as possible, it may be difficult to get coverage. However, where events involve point-to-point driving while obeying the rules of the road, insurers are typically more receptive.
For drivers who live in the fast lane and love the adrenaline rush it provides, there is nothing better or more exciting than putting an antique car through its paces on the racetrack. Most insurance companies do not offer such coverage as standard, and drivers should ask to see whether they can add it. If the event is organized by a local car club, drivers may be able to buy coverage on race day.
Policies for Multiple Vehicles
If a person owns two or more classic vehicles, a multi-car policy may be appropriate. These policies are for at least two vehicles (all classics or a combination of antique and modern), and they allow drivers to add as many cars as they’d like all year long. While owners must make proportionate payments to cover them to the end of the policy term, there’s only a single renewal date to consider.
Insurance for Modified Vehicles
A modified car is defined by most insurers as being substantially altered in its engine, chassis, body, or interior from its original state. These modifications can positively or negatively affect a vehicle’s value, and many companies will not offer antique coverage for vehicles in which most of the stock parts have been replaced.
The above tips and benefits are just a few of the things antique vehicle owners should consider. As always, drivers should check with their insurers to determine their exact level of coverage.