Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • A classic car has to be insured like a standard car
  • Make sure you are carrying the right amount of coverage on your classic car
  • Age, ZIP code, marital status and driving record all affect your auto insurance rates

A classic car needs to be insured just like you would insure your standard car. There are some important differences, however. A classic car is not driven around town as much as your day to day car.

Perhaps you take it out periodically for a joy ride or to a car show or other event, but otherwise it stays in a garage. You shouldn’t pay the same amount of insurance for your classic car because it’s not exposed to as many potential accidents as your ordinary car.

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When you have a classic car, you need to make sure that you shop around for different prices. The reason for this is because of the way companies emphasize classic cars. Some will:

  • Define a classic car differently
  • Value the car differently
  • Offer lower rates
  • Consider different variables

How a is Classic Car Defined

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While you might like to think that your car is a classic, it very well may not be. It’s important to ensure that your car is categorized correctly so that you receive the proper amount of insurance on it.

The Classic Car Club of America defines any car, American or foreign, as classic if it was produced from 1925 to 1948. These were usually expensive when new and built in limited quantities.

The Antique Automobile Club of America defines a classic car as 20 to 45 years old and an antique car as 45 years old or even older.

There are car insurance companies that have separate divisions strictly for classic cars. Many of these companies will add additional caveats to the definition to include specific years as well as either exotic or limited edition cars.

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Good News for the Classic Car Owner

The good news is that car insurance companies have had to get competitive with rates because of the number of classic cars out there.

It has been estimated that there are over 6 million individuals who have classic cars and there are over 25 million classic car enthusiasts around the globe, according to Auto Trader.

As a result, it is possible to get a good, affordable car insurance quote from your insurance company because if you don’t, there are plenty of other companies out there that will be happy to accept your business.

It is also why it is so important to take the time and get multiple auto insurance rates from companies.

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Understanding the Value of a Classic Car

When your car is stolen, involved in an accident or any other kind of damage, the insurance company must reimburse you all or part of the value, depending on the definition within your insurance paperwork.

Understanding how the insurance company calculates the value is critical so that you don’t get shortchanged on your classic car.

  • Standard car  cash value depreciation
  • Classic car agreed value (cash value + appreciation)

Standard cars, like your Toyota Corolla or Dodge Ram are going to be purchased new and will slowly depreciate in value over time. Then there are cars like your 1957 Chevy or your 1931 Ford truck that will only increase in value as the years go on.

If your classic car is involved in any kind of damage, you need to make sure that you are getting the agreed value and not one that has been depreciated.

Otherwise, your truck that could be worth $70,000 may only yield you about $5,000, which is not enough to cover replacement costs.

Variables in Insurance Cost


The variables in the insurance cost will vary from person to person. The average insurance company

will look at the following things before providing a price for the cost of insurance:

  • Geography
  • Age
  • Driving history
  • Type of car

The geography is important because certain parts of the country have worse weather and more accidents per year than other parts of the country. Further, rural and urban areas are categorized differently and can greatly affect the cost of insurance.

The age of the driver is also important. While it’s unlikely that a teenager will be driving a classic car, these things are brought into consideration.

The driving history is also critical. If the main driver has a record for speeding, aggressive driving or rear-end collisions, the insurance rate will go up. Those who have clean driving records will be rewarded with lower rates.

The type of car is also crucial because it will have a lot to do with the value of the classic car.

Antique cars will cost more to insure than classic cars because they are older and therefore have a higher value attached to them.

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Restrictions on Insurance

It is possible to receive restrictions on the car insurance for classic cars, unlike standard cars because of the risks and high values. These could potentially include:

  • Maximum number of miles
  • Storage requirements
  • Drivers

The maximum number of miles driven in the classic car may be capped off by the insurance company to prevent too much exposure on the highways.

The miles will usually be enough to take it out for a periodic leisurely drive and to attend a few local car shows each year. Any mileage over this allotment could null and void the policy if it is involved in an accident.

Storage requirements for the car could include a secured garage. By being inside of a storage facility, there is a smaller chance of the car being stolen or damaged by various external elements.

Finally, the restrictions may include who can and cannot drive the vehicle. If an accident happens and a driver who is not listed on the premium is driving, the claim may not be approved.

Comparing Insurance on Classic Cars

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With all of the restrictions and variables for classic car insurance, it is critical to analyze multiple companies so that you have the best company covering your valuable car!

Three or four companies should be researched to compare not only monthly coverage premiums but what the restrictions include and how the value of the car is determined. Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and compare rates now!