After you got your classic auto's VIN verified, it's time to insure it! Much like renters insurance, classic auto insurance is the type of insurance that is not commonly known, but is definitely something that is worth buying, simply because the cost is surprisingly small in comparison to what it covers. What I often see what owners of classic autos is that they are insuring their vehicle under a regular/standard auto policy. The error in this is that by doing this you will most likely be underinsuring their auto. The reason for this is this: most insurers don't specialize in these types of autos, and as a result, their valuations are not accurate. I will give you an example: a 1980 Chey El Camino could be valued at $500.00 by the insurer, without laying eyes on it, but a classic auto insurer knows that these vehicles are often fixed, painted, and modified, adding a signficant value to the vehicle. If you went ahead and insured this under your standard auto policy, you may be paying a premium, but that premium won't be getting you what you actually need. This is why I highly recommend getting a separate policy just for your classic auto or autos. Here are a few things that you need to know about classic auto insurance policies:
- Classic auto insurance is relatively cheap. The reason for this, as with all insurance, is risk. The risk is low with classic auto insurance. Often, the owners of such vehicles are low risk drivers themselves. Also, they tend to love their cars, so they drive them less, often only on the weekends, at most, and also, they drive them very carefully, and don't leave them just anywhere, like at the Costco parking lot for instance. Classic auto owners do not use their vehicles as a daily driver, and as a result, their exposure is a lot less.
- Classic auto insurance is very comprehensive. The coverage in an auto policy for classic autos covers nearly every base, from roadside assistance, to uninsured motorist, to locksmith coverage in some cases, and, to a ZERO deductible. They also have networks of bodyshops that specialize or exclusively repair classic autos only. So the policy covers all of the bases for the type of potential problems one would have as a result of an accident and it is time to file a claim.
- The insurers that offer classic auto insurance have strict guidelines on who qualifies to purchase classic auto insurance. A few of those are that you must have an existing auto policy for your daily driven vehicles. Another stipulation is that your coverage limits on your standard auto policy must match the coverage that you purchase on your classic auto. Another rule is that your vehicle must be garaged & locked, meaning, not parked out in the street, exposed to the elements or where there is an increase in exposure of theft to your vehicle. In addition to all of this, most classic auto insurers will only insure California Good Drivers, meaning, only 1 point on your record, so, unfortunately for some classic auto owners, their bad driving records precludes them from being able to buy insurance with some carriers.
- Some insurers will require receipts of the modifications that have been made, or in some cases an appraisal. This requirement by some insurers may be a hassle for some people, but I highly recommend this, because this helps in three ways: one is that it will help in justifying the value when it is time to resell the vehicle; two, it helps in the claims process when the company is trying to asses the true value and cost of the parts of the vehicle; and three, when it is actually time to insure the vehicle, the agent that is helping you write the policy knows which value to insure the vehicle at, making the process seamless.