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 Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Collector’s car insurance is different than traditional car insurance
  • Hot rods covered by specialty or collector’s insurance must rack up fewer than 7,500 miles
  • Specialty insurance programs are designed for cars that don’t qualify as daily drivers

Some people own cars and drive for a living, while some people collect hot rods and restore them for a living. These two separate kinds of drivers and kinds of cars require different kinds of car insurance.

Hot rod car insurance is considered a specialty program, and it is not offered by every major car insurance company.

So what are the considerations one must take into account when looking to insure their hot rod collection and maintain a respectable budget? There are several key differences to keep in mind.

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Look for Specialty Programs

The big car insurance brands, like Geico and Progressive, are great for today’s mainstream, everyday vehicles. But not all of the best car insurance companies have programs that cater to the elevated value of a hot rod vehicle.

If you’ve been insuring your hot rod with a traditional car insurance policy,it’s wise to consider specialty and collector’s policies instead.

Specialty insurance programs are designed for cars that don’t qualify as “daily drivers.”

That is, you won’t be driving it to the mall or to the office, but rather for leisure.

Speciality insurance takes this into account and presumes that your vehicle incurs low mileage, minimal elements, and poses a reduced risk to their bottom line.

For that reason, specialty insurance programs (sometimes called “collector’s insurance”) offer a much better premium on hot rods than traditional insurance.

You must also have a clean driving record that dates back at least five years, and proof that you own another vehicle (this is an easy step for those who are bundling with an existing provider).

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The Types of Hot Rod Car Insurance Coverage

Standard car insurance is based on a vehicle’s depreciating value over time, which makes it a poor choice for hot rods that either maintain their value or increase in worth over that same period of time.

For this reason, it is a good idea to eschew the traditional “actual cash value” that determines the worth of standard vehicles.

In place of actual cash value, or ACV, are two options: stated value and agreed value.

Stated value allows you to state your vehicle’s value independent of its age, mileage, or other considerations.

This allows you to include the price and value of modifications done to the hot rod as well as any restoration work or special care it requires.

It allows you to compensate for the rarity of replacement parts and other unique aspects of owning a classic hot rod.

But more common among specialty car insurance programs for hot rods and classic cars is “agreed value.”

Using an agreed value system, both you and your insurance provider agree on a car’s total value  inclusive of all parts, labor, and restoration and base a hot rod car insurance policy on this value.

In the event of a total loss of the vehicle, an agreed value insurance policy completely repays the full cost of the vehicle’s value, its modifications and restoration, and any work that has been put into it over time.

Levels of Service and Coverage

Just like traditional car insurance coverage for modern-day vehicles comes in multiple levels of service, so too do hot rod car insurance.

It’s important to determine the ways your hot rod is typically used. Is it a show car or a leisure car? How will this affect the level of coverage you’ll require and the rate you’ll pay with your provider.

Of course, it’s also important to look into multiple providers and do a comparison between their service levels, the way they handle their claims, and the rates they charge for each service.

Comparison Shop

The importance of comparison shopping cannot be overstated. Speciality insurance programs are a growing trend among the major insurance companies, but there have long been small companies that specialize in hot rods and collector’s insurance.

While big companies may be able to offer deeper discounts or advantages to bundling multiple services, smaller collector’s insurance companies may have more comprehensive policies.

Speciality hot rod car insurance companies include American Collectors and Hot Rod Insurance Inc., and their agents are generally as knowledgeable and as excited about hot rods as the people they help to insure.

Find the best low-cost insurance rates for your hot rod now! Enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!


  1. https://www.geico.com/
  2. https://www.progressive.com/
  3. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/components-auto-insurance.aspx
  4. https://www.nationwide.com/hot-rod-insurance.jsp
  5. https://www.grundy.com/
  6. https://americancollectors.com/