Collector car insurance is similar to traditional car insurance in that it's designed to protect you in the event of an accident. However, traditional car insurance assumes an appraised value based on comparable models and current replacement costs. But, with collector car insurance, you and your insurer agree on the car's value with the help of an appraiser. Your policy could be worth $10,000, $100,000, even more — it all depends on what your appraiser decides your car is worth.
Yes, you'll need some type of car insurance for any kind of car you want to hit the road with. Any vehicle that’s driven on the road or registered with the state needs insurance in order to be legal. Nearly every state requires at least liability coverage on these vehicles, including collector cars.
On average, collector car insurance may be around 30% less than regular car insurance, but that isn’t set in stone. You may pay a few hundred dollars a year for a $10,000 classic car, or you may pay thousands of dollars a year for a car worth $100,000. There isn’t some sort of one-size-fits-all rate that you’ll pay with classic car insurance. Instead, it's based on the agreed-upon value between the insurer and the policyholder.
Yes, it is cheaper. Though a collector car's value may be more than a traditional car, the time being spent on the road is less than with a traditional car. Because of that, collector cars are less risky and the insurance is often cheaper than an ordinary auto policy. However, the coverage does come with limits like mileage restrictions and rules about where you park your vintage vehicle.
For the most part, collector car insurance works the same as traditional auto insurance, including liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage. One big difference, though: in the event of a total loss, collector car insurance pays out the agreed or guaranteed replacement cost.
Simply put, age. A classic car is typically defined as one at least 20 years old, whereas an antique car is 45 years old and above. Different insurance companies may have different classification requirements, so make sure you speak with your independent insurance agent to make sure you're qualified for the right type of collector car insurance.
Depends. The best insurance company for you may not be for someone else. Some companies excel at coverage, others have lower costs, but the best way to understand the collector car insurance company is to speak to your independent insurance agent. Together you'll be able to find the right fit for you.
With access to multiple insurance companies, independent insurance agents are unlike any other type of agent out there. They’ll help find you the best coverage options and most competitive prices, all for free. To find a local independent insurance agent, click here.
You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your collector car. Hours under the hood. Non-stop waxes. It's your pride and joy. With all of that time and money invested, it's important to protect it all that with the right insurance designed specifically for collector cars. Since regular cars devalue over time and classic cars typically increase in value over time, you’ll want a specialty car insurance program that knows exactly how to properly protect your cherished ride.
There are many insurance companies out there that offer collector car insurance for your classics or antiques. Some are large national carriers while others are smaller specialty companies. Talking with an independent insurance agent can give you better-suited coverage options and ensure you’re getting the exact coverage that you want, without overpaying.
What Is Collector Car Insurance?
Collector car insurance is a specialty type of auto insurance that covers various types of unique cars. Though it's similar to standard car insurance, there are a few key differences designed to better protect the unique needs of cars like this.
The main difference with collector car insurance is how the car is valued. Standard auto insurance policies pay actual cash value, or ACV, on claims. Actual cash value, however, takes depreciation into account on the value of the car. And since cars lose their value fairly quickly, this can result in a much lower claims check than the cost of your vehicle.
Traditional car insurance assumes an appraised value based on comparable models and current replacement costs. When it comes to collector car insurance, you and your insurer agree on the value of your car through the help of an appraiser—kind of like art valuation. Your policy could be worth $10,000, $100,000, even more — it all depends on what your appraiser decides your car is worth based on the market.
Types of Collector Car Coverage
It's important to know that each insurer may classify your vehicle a little differently. Normally, this won’t affect your coverage, it’s just that each insurance company handles these vehicle types a little differently.
Generally, the different categories of collector vehicles include:
|Type of Car
||Typically, classic cars are vehicles between 20 and 40 years old. Some states and insurance companies, however, extend that timeframe even longer.
||Slightly older than classic cars, antique cars typically begin at 45 years of age or older.
||Vintage cars are generally considered to be vehicles built before 1925, in the earliest days of the automobile. Other definitions may have a narrower window of cars built between 1919 and 1930.
|Kit and replicas
||Kits and replicas are vehicles you can build yourself or buy that appear similar to famous classic cars. They are valuable in their own right and have their own classification.
|Muscle cars and hot rods
||Hot rods and muscle cars are typically modified with extra parts built for performance, or even comfort, in the case of street rods.
|Modern collector cars
||Often created as special edition cars, they have unique features that set them apart from regular cars. They're typically built after 1990 but still fall within the ‘classic car’ realm of insurance.
|Exotics and sports cars
||If your collector car is especially built for speed, it may fall under this category. Some of these vehicles are involved in racing, which often excludes coverage while on the track.
Though the exact classification may vary between states and insurance companies, this list can at least help you understand the different types of vehicles more clearly.
What is Classic Car Insurance?
Simply put, it's a special type of insurance policy designed to protect cars that fall under the definition of "classic". The Insurance Information Institute (III) defines that as a vehicle between 25 and 30 years old, though you'll see different insurers definitions that range from 20 to 40 years old.
When it comes to protecting your pride and joy, classic car insurance typically includes coverages similar to a standard car insurance policy, like collision, comprehensive, property damage and bodily injury liability.
The big difference, however, between traditional and classic car insurance, is the value protected by the insurer. Unlike traditional cars, which are insured based on their actual cash value (factoring in depreciation), classic car insurance covers the vehicle for an amount that's agreed upon by the owner and the insurer, called agreed value. This type of valuation is extremely beneficial to the insured who understand the value of a classic car is much different from the value of a traditional car, as it increases over time with the demand of the market.
Your classic car insurance will also help pay for the specialized repairs and restorations needed for your classic car after an accident. With older, less common parts, the cost to repair is often significantly higher than the cost of repairing a regular car.
What is Antique Car Insurance?
Antique car insurance is a special type of insurance policy designed to protect cars that fall under the definition of "antique", which begins where classic cars leave off around 45 years of age or older.
On the surface, an antique car insurance policy works the same way as a traditional auto policy: If something happens to the vehicle, the insurer will reimburse you with a payout based on a certain value. The value, in this case, is decided upon in the same way as a classic car insurance policy, as an agreed-upon value, that appreciates based on the market, not depreciate, like a traditional auto insurance policy.
What's the Difference Between Antique and Classic Car Insurance?
Nothing. Classic and antique car insurance both fall under collector car insurance and are still valued and covered in the same manner. Their difference is only whether it's considered a classic, an antique, or a vintage. And, honestly, each name is used interchangeably.
What Does Agreed Value Mean?
First, it's important to understand how a "traditional" car insurance policy is valued. As you know, the second you drive your car off the lot, the value begins to depreciate, meaning the cost to replace and repair will decrease. Because of that, traditional auto insurance policies protect based on an "actual cash value" or "stated value" which can leave you with a smaller payout than you originally anticipated.
On the other hand, with an antique or classic car insurance policy, the insured and the insurer come to a mutually accepted value called an "agreed" or “guaranteed” value. Here, the vehicle owner will submit the value to the insured, their underwriters and appraisers will examine the details and decide upon the validity of the value. Determining what the actual value of an antique car can be tricky. Obviously owners are a biased source who can inflate the perceived value beyond its natural worth, so the process of determining the fair-market value can be a back-and-forth one.
In the end, agreed value is a better form of valuation for both the car collector and the insurer, and finding the right insurer who understands this is important.
Who Sells Collector Car Insurance?
Classic car insurance is sold by a number of different insurance companies that normally sell standard car insurance as well. Some of these companies are among the largest car insurers in the country, like Progressive, Safeco, and State Farm. But not every standard car insurance company sells classic car insurance.
Standard car insurance companies that can insure your classic car still may not be the best insurance option. They may offer agreed value on your car, but probably won't come with any of the extra perks and coverage options that specialty classic car insurers have, companies like Hagerty, Grundy, American Modern, American Collectors, and more.
Specialties of the Best Collector Car Insurers
- Best Overall Classic Car Insurance Company: American Modern
- Best for Classic Car Culture: Hagerty
- Best for Claims: Hagerty
- Best for Valuing Classic Cars: Heacock
- Best for Insuring Classic Cars with Rising Value: Grundy
- Best for Driving Your Classic Car Daily: Safeco
How Do I Qualify for Collector Car Insurance?
Qualifying for collector car insurance isn’t quite as simple as just owning a classic vehicle. Most insurance programs have fairly strict requirements for the drivers on the policy. However, if you don’t meet any of these requirements, you may still be able to purchase coverage through one of the larger national insurer that also does classic cars, like Progressive.
Though each insurer is different, the most common driver requirements for collector car insurance include:
|Common Driver Requirements
||Most insurers require drivers to be over the age of 25.
|Safe driving record
||Most insurers want to see no more than 1 accident or violation in the last 3 to 5 years.
||Most insurers want to see that you’ve had experience driving classic cars.
|Have primary auto insurance
||Separate car insurance policy for your regular vehicles, possibly with high liability limits.
||Insurers want to see minimal risk of damage, injury, and theft. So ensuring your vehicle is secured with added safety measures will increase your coverage odds.
||Most classic car insurance companies won’t want to cover vehicles that you’re working on and restoring, they prefer you keep it in top condition with regular maintenance.
||Many insurance companies put a cap on annual miles driven, possibly around 6,000 miles or so.
Cost of Collector Car Insurance
Typically, classic car insurance will cost about 30% less than regular car insurance. However, there are a number of different variables involved that may change that number, possibly making it more expensive than your standard car insurance.
The exact price of your classic car insurance will depend on many of the same factors that determine your standard car insurance policy, such as:
- Your vehicle's value. The value of a classic car can vary considerably, but insuring a classic car worth $30,000 is going to be much less expensive than one worth $150,000.
- Driving history. A clean driving record will help keep your premiums down.
- Location. Location is a big factor on premium, and a classic located in parts of California or New York may be more expensive than the same policy in Ohio.
- Vehicle safety. While some insurers may require you to secure your vehicle in a locked garage, others will simply give a discount if you take extra steps to protect your vehicle.
On the opposite side to that coin, there are a few reasons that typically make classic car insurance less expensive than regular car insurance:
- Fewer miles driven. Classic car owners don’t drive their vehicles as much. Less miles driven typically means less risk of accident.
- Vehicles are cared for. Insurance companies understand the care collector car owners put into their vehicles and that care typically leads to fewer problems.
When it comes to saving money, most classic car insurers don’t offer the standard discounts that you’ll find with regular car insurance. The larger insurance companies are more likely to offer discounts, like a multi-policy or multi-vehicle discount, than smaller specialty companies.
Your Independent Insurance Agent Has Your Answers
An independent insurance agent can help guide you through the classic car insurance process and is likely to have a few classic car insurance companies that they can get you a quote from. A trusted and local independent insurance agent can also help you fit a classic car insurance policy with your other insurance policies and can make recommendations about how to maximize your coverage while minimizing your bill.
Whatever you need, your agent has your back. They'll ask you all about your classic car, its uses, and your goals to help find the perfect blend of coverage at the right cost for you.