Known by various names, collector auto insurance is often referred to as antique auto insurance, vintage car insurance, or just plain “car insurance.” No matter what label one chooses to apply, this coverage operates much as any other auto insurance. Protection is afforded against a wide range of potential auto-related losses.
Owners of classic cars have the same basic insurance needs as other motorists. Coverage on these unique cars will address your direct needs and provide many unique benefits as well.
Variations on a Single Theme
Many people use terms like “classic car” or “collector auto” as generic phrases to denote any interesting or older vehicle. Auto aficionados, however, use such terms to specifically denote cars manufactured prior to the 1950s. Whether of domestic or foreign manufacturing, such vehicles were typically of superior quality and were often an expensive price when they were originally purchased.
Many insurers specialize in providing collector auto coverage. Others include these policies in their general insurance product lines. Regardless of specific insurer practice, certain industry standards generally apply to collector auto insurance.
Collector Auto Coverage is Not for Daily Use Vehicles
The first criterion frequently required is that the insured vehicle cannot be the motorist’s primary transportation. Another common qualifying criterion is the car’s value. Carriers usually set dollar limits on the maximum coverage offered for collector autos.
Vehicle age is also significant. Minimum model year ages are commonly required for vehicles of different categories. Special interest vehicles, classic cars, and antique autos are common automotive groupings for which varying age requirements are set.
The factors that determine your collector auto insurance premium are much the same as for ordinary auto insurance. There are a few exceptions, however:
Minimum driving experience
Most collector insurance companies require any vehicle operator to have at least ten years’ driving experience.
Pre-Existing Auto Coverage
Typically policyholders must already have existing coverage on another daily use vehicle.
Unconventional Valuation Method
Unlike conventional vehicles for which replacement costs are easily determined, replacement costs for collector autos are derived on a basis known as “agreed value.”
Agreed value is mutually agreed upon by the owner and insurance carrier prior to policy issuance. Such values are established on a per-policy basis.
Motorists seeking collector auto insurance therefore have especially compelling motivation to comparison shop. The vehicle-specific nature of this coverage makes it imperative. Moreover, the virtual impossibility of precise replacement in event of a loss makes accurate value assessment especially crucial.
In the collector auto insurance context, the veritable truth of the Shakespearean quote “A rose by any other name is still a rose” is starkly revealed. The nature of these vehicles indisputably yields unique insurance coverage needs.
No matter your perspective, however, it all comes down to the same core concept: loss protection against those unexpected bumps and curves that the journey of life sometimes entails.