Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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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 13, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • While a “daily driver” vehicle is insured based on its assumed value depreciating over time, classic cars must be insured in such a way to recognizes their increased value of time
  • The first and most obvious step to obtaining the best antique car insurance policy is to verify that the car is indeed an antique and not simply “old”
  • The vehicle appraisal process will pay special attention to detail  just like any classic car collector or restoration professional would do
  • The most important aspect of obtaining quality antique car insurance for the best price is to be knowledgeable about your car’s age, value, mileage, and restoration costs

Antique car insurance represents a significant departure from the traditional ways a vehicle is insured. Whereas a “daily driver” vehicle is insured based on its assumed value depreciating over time, classic cars must be insured in such a way to recognizes their increased value of time.

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For this reason, a small industry has arisen that focuses its energy exclusively on cars which are 25 years or older and have increased value due to their age, rarity, and status among avid collectors of antique vehicles.

Some major car insurance companies have special “Classic Car” insurance plans.

Getting the best coverage and the best rates on antique car insurance requires talking to both the major national companies as well as the smaller specialty companies that insure only antique cars.

It requires a special appraisal and an entirely different process from insuring a traditional vehicle.

Table of Contents

Verifying that Your Car is Classic

The first and most obvious step to obtaining the best antique car insurance policy is to verify that the car is indeed an antique and not simply “old.”

For the purposes of classic car insurance, many companies specify that the car must be at least 25 years old; they also specify that it must be a desirable, vintage model held in some esteem by collectors.

This process can sometimes be done without an agent present, but at other times may require an on-site look at the vehicle.

Be sure to have your classic car’s year, make, model, and special features ready when speaking with an agent.

Be prepared to discuss the amount of hard work and money that you have poured into its restoration and upkeep, and anything else that may prove it is truly a classic and not just “old.”

Once your vehicle has been deemed a true classic car, you will enter an entirely new phase of vehicle insurance that will involve appraisal and an on-site look at the car  almost like selling a work of art.

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Appraising Your Vehicle

Your car insurance premium will be based on the overall value of your antique car. These vehicles are unlike those which we drive every day, in that their value generally goes up over time rather than depreciating.

Additionally, insurance agents want to know just how much work has been put into the vehicle’s current state of repair.

The vehicle appraisal process will pay special attention to detail  just like any classic car collector or restoration professional would do.

You should be ready to speak to the authenticity of the materials used in the car’s restoration and upkeep, as well as any special work or modifications you have made.

Also be ready to show your agent under the hood and speak about the car’s engine  its horsepower, mileage, cylinders, and more.

Another important part of the appraisal process is to show your agent where the car is generally stored.

A truly classic car does not sit outside in the elements, but generally has a special garage that keeps it in top shape year round.

This storage facility ensures the integrity of the vehicle, contributes to its value, and will help your agent determine how to structure your policy to best protect your investment.

Lastly, your appraisal will also take into account the number of miles that your classic car drives per year.

This aspect of the appraisal is similar to more modern cars, in that less mileage will result in a lower insurance premium amount. Antique cars fall into traditional low or high mileage premium brackets based on a 7,500-mile standard.

If you typically only drive your car in automobile shows or special events, you can skip this part of the appraisal and opt for what is known as an “endorsement.”

This essentially eliminates the mileage charge from your premium, saving you money based on your virtually non-existent highway accident risk.

Picking a Policy

As always, the best approach to purchasing an insurance policy is to comparison shop between all of the companies which offer coverage in your state.

Companies Hagerty Insurance and Grundy Worldwide specialize in covering classic cars and boats, and they may be able to offer enhanced services and even better rates than their bigger competitors in the more traditional insurance marketplace.

Be sure to compare all available options and go with the one that not only offers the best rate but the best overall coverage of your unique antique car.

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Consider Collector’s Insurance

Another option to consider when looking to cover your antique vehicle is a so-called “collector’s insurance” policy.

Offered by most major car insurance companies nationwide, collector’s insurance features a low deductible and requires no appraisal from an agent.

That’s likely to save you time and effort while providing great coverage for your investment.

In lieu of an appraisal by an agent, your car will be covered by an insurance company under what is known as an “agreed value.”

This takes the overall value of your antique vehicle into consideration, as well as the value of its restoration or maintenance and the unique costs associated with maintenance.

Most antique vehicles are extremely hard to find parts for, and an agreed value can take that into account more-so than a traditional antique car insurance plan.

Additionally, because these plans are extremely low mileage in nature, they offer increased savings per month with a mileage appraisal or the traditional high mileage pricing system applied to antique insurance plans and modern vehicles.

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The Keys to Success

The most important aspect of obtaining quality antique car insurance for the best price is to be knowledgeable about your car’s age, value, mileage, and restoration costs.

The more you know about your vehicle, the easier it is for an agent to supply you with the lowest quote and the best coverage.

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