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Classic Car Insurance

Getting a good car insurance quote can be a tricky process for any car owner. It's even more complicated when it's time to hunt for classic car insurance. There are many factors to consider before buying a policy for those special vehicles.

First of all, what qualifies as a classic car? The standard used to be a car had to be at least 25 years old. However, if you have a unique vehicle that is newer than that, it's best to ask.  There are special categories for collectible cars as well as for exotic, sports and antique models.

Some people choose to get a quote from their standard insurance provider. They feel that by putting all their cars under the same policy, they qualify for a multiple vehicle insurance discount and thus save money. However, a standard policy may not provide the best coverage for your vehicle because it doesn't take into consideration the added value of a classic car.

Let's say you have a beautifully restored '57 Chevy that you bought for $5,000. You regularly maintain it, wash it, wax it etc. Then one day, at your local car cruise event, someone rams into it, totaling it. Not only would you be upset that someone wrecked your pride and joy, you would be further stunned to receive your insurance payment of: $5,000. Anyone knows that a '57 Chevy is worth far more than $5,000 (more like $50,000 in today's dollars). You would be out a lot of money, in addition to losing your treasured car.

In insurance terminology, the insurance described above is called actual cash value (ACV) insurance and it pays the depreciated book value, as determined by such industry standard guides as the Old Cars Price Guide (readily available at libraries, book stores and stores specializing in car restoration).

A better option for classic cars may be to buy stated value insurance. Under this plan, you state how much your car is worth. (Be sure to read the policy carefully, an insurer may not cover the vehicle for the stated amount.) Some insurers also require the vehicle owner to carry a deductible, a requirement which may or may not save you money in the long run.

Agreed Value is Preferred

Another option, preferred by many, is agreed value insurance. Once you and the insurance company agree on the value of the car, that's it. It is fully insured for that agreed-on amount, no depreciation and no deductibles.

But how do you determine the appropriate value of your car? First of all, find out the book value.  Look up your vehicle's year, make, model and condition in the guides mentioned above, and then find the column that matches your answers.  Consider whether your vehicle has many original parts and what shape they are in. Be honest in your answer as it could affect your car insurance quote.

If you have done a lot of restoration work, you will need to consider how much money and labor you have spent on your vehicle. This is why it's important to keep all your receipts and photographs that show all the work that was done. In order to get the best coverage, some people hire an expert for a certified appraisal. An appraisal gives documentation so your insurer knows the true value, not just your gut feeling as to how much your baby is worth.

Car insurance companies generally have some standard requirements when they offer classic car coverage. For example, they generally insist that the vehicle be properly stored in a garage when not in use. Some companies have minimum age restrictions for its drivers as well as mileage restrictions. The feeling is that drivers should be experienced enough to handle a classic car in order to protect your investment. In addition, if you drive the vehicle too often, you are speeding its depreciation. Protect your classic wheels by taking them off the road, especially in inclement weather.

Classic Car Insurance May Be Cheaper

You may think that classic car policies cost more than standard insurance. After all, you are insuring a valuable piece of machinery, right? Actually, some experts say standard insurance may cost up to 500 percent more than a policy made specifically for classic cars. This is because classic cars are usually driven less often and well maintained. Restrictions on mileage and the driver's age also minimize much of the risk of driving a classic car.

When looking for a quote, be sure to consider coverage for inflation. While most cars depreciate in value over time, classic cars are worth more because there are fewer of them on the road. There are some policies that adjust the vehicles value for inflation.

Also, if you have more than one classic car, ask if there s a multiple vehicle discount. You've already spent a great deal of money on your hobby; you can save a bundle by combining coverage. Some insurers allow you pay a single liability charge that covers all your classic cars.

When shopping around for a quote, remember to ask about the claims process. A collision, fire or theft is bad enough; you want to know that your claim will be handled correctly by someone who understands how much you value your classic car. Ask your friends who have classic cars if they have had any problems with their coverage.

Getting a car insurance quote online is easy, even for classic car insurance. Simply begin the process by typing in your ZIP code in the space provided here on our homepage. You will then be given a list of insurance providers for your area. For each insurer, enter the information about your classic car and each company will quickly provide you with your quote as well as contact information where you can ask more questions.

As with any other insurance policy, you will have to consider comprehensive coverage, collision coverage and liability coverage. Consider how much of a deductible you are willing to pay out of pocket if there is a mishap. Because classic cars are only used periodically, these levels will be different than for your regular vehicle.

Some questions you might want to ask are: Is my car considered a classic car? Do I need a certified appraisal? What is your claims process? What are the liability limits? Is there a deductible? How much is it? Is there collision coverage? Is there comprehensive coverage? If so, what are the limits for each? What are your storage, mileage and driver requirements? Under what circumstances might a claim be denied? Do you own classic cars yourself? If so, are they insured by your employer?

Ask these questions of several insurance providers and compare their answers. They may surprise you. Once you've chosen your classic car insurance provider, look over your coverage at least yearly. This is especially true if you've done significant restoration work on it. Also keep an eye on the value of your car. As it appreciates or depreciates, make sure your insurance coverage is adequate.

For most people, a car insurance quote is the least glamorous part of owning a classic car. However, it is very important to take the time and energy to properly insure your vehicle in order to protect your investment. You want to enjoy your car for many years to come and proper classic car insurance will help you to do so.

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