Owning a vintage automobile is at once a great privilege and a great responsibility. It's a privilege because you get to experience the pride of owning a classic or rare (possibly both) vehicle, but it's a responsibility because such cars require special care.
Part of that care extends to the auto insurance you choose, which for a collectible car, generally means collectible insurance.
Contrary to what many people assume, collectible insurance is not more expensive than the insurance you have on a regular, modern car you drive every day. In fact, saving money is one of the reasons many people select a specialty policy in the first place. Here are some other reasons:
While specialty insurance is geared toward vintage vehicles, your car does not have to be an antique to be a collectible car. Many specialty insurers are accepting modern muscle cars -- performance vehicles that are ten-to-fifteen years old -- rather than twenty-five. If you drive an exotic car, it may be accepted on a case by case basis.
Appraisals are not always required. While most insurers reserve the right to request an appraisal, most also only require proof of ownership and photos proving that the car is in good working order.
Coverage is generally better. Because specialty insurers base coverage on "agreed value" which literally means that you and they come to an agreement of the actual replacement cost of your car, and insure the car for that amount. Regular insurance uses "actual cash value" which is generally less money. Despite this, collector car insurance is still less expensive because insurance premiums are based on perceived risk, and specialty insurance is for cars that generally aren't driven every day, and are therefore less of a risk.
Specialty insurance has lower deductibles. In some cases, there are no deductibles at all. Again, this is because of perceived risk.
For all of the benefits of collector car insurance, there are also restrictions you must be aware of. They include:
Age restrictions: Most specialty auto insurers require policy holders to be at least 25 years old, while others simply call for a minimum of ten years experience behind the wheel.
Driving records: Must be clean. In almost all cases, you must have no moving violations or car accidents for three years prior to applying for a policy. In at least one case, your record must be clean going back five years.
Current insurance: Because vintage cars aren't supposed to be used every day, almost every collector car insurer requires proof of a registered, insured "regular" car.
Storage: Caring for your classic auto is a requirement. When not in use, it must be stored in a locked garage, or other secure facility.
Mileage restrictions: Most vintage auto insurers restrict the amount of mileage. Some merely specify "pleasure drives and shows only," while others sell different policies with incremental increases in allowed mileage, 1,000 -- 5,000 miles annually.
Once you've made the decision to use specialty insurance, it's important to spend some time shopping around. Get quotes from major insurers, like Haverty or Leland-West, but ask your regular insurer for a recommendation as well, and if you belong to any owner's groups or car clubs check out discount opportunities -- they DO exist.
Opting for collector insurance for your vintage auto isn't just a way to save money, it will ensure that your car is covered for it's true worth. Check it out, today.