If you have a classic car, it is likely your pride and joy that you wish to take special care of. Part of owning a classic car is finding affordable and reliable auto insurance coverage so that you can have peace of mind in case the unthinkable happens to your prized possession.
You also want to make sure that you are complying with the laws in your state for auto insurance coverage so that you are not penalized for not having the proper coverage.
Finding insurance coverage for a classic car is a bit more complicated than for a traditional car or truck, but it is certainly possible.
Find the coverage you need at the best price by comparing insurance companies side-by-side. Just enter your zip code into our free quote tool to get started.
Determining Whether Your Car is a Classic Car
Just because an older car is near and dear to your heart does not necessarily mean that it qualifies as a classic car.
To achieve the status level of a classic car, you must also maintain the car in a certain condition.
It is never a good idea to misrepresent the condition of your car if you do not meet the criteria for classic car status.
You could be denied coverage by the auto insurance company and face penalties with your state department of motor vehicles for falsifying your official vehicle registration.
For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides strict guidelines on what constitutes a classic car for registration purposes in that state.
One of the requirements is that the car must be at least 15 years old. In addition, it must be maintained in a condition that conforms to the original manufacturer’s specification and appearance.
If you are seeking to have your classic car insured, then you should be prepared to be able to show proof of official registration of your vehicle as a classic car with your state department of motor vehicles.
There is typically some sort of designation on your license plate or car registration that shows proof that your car meets the criteria for classic car registration.
You may need to inquire with your state department of motor vehicles to find out what is necessary to meet those conditions in your state before you seek out car insurance for your classic car.
Finding Affordable Auto Insurance Coverage for a Classic Car
While the cost of owning and maintaining a classic car can be high, your auto insurance coverage does not necessarily have to be. In order to get the best rate possible, you may need to spend some time exploring your different options for coverage.
One of the perks of getting auto insurance coverage for a classic car is that you will likely be able to take advantage of the low-mileage discounts offered by many auto insurance companies.
Low mileage coverage will help you get a lower rate on your car insurance premium because you do not drive your car as frequently as the average driver.
If you do not use your classic car to commute to work every day, then you are a probable candidate for this discount.
The qualifications vary by each auto insurance company, which is why it is important to ask directly whether you would be eligible to take advantage of this discount when signing up for coverage.
If you do get a low-mileage discount for your classic car insurance policy, then you need to make sure that you do not use your car for purposes other than what you stated to the auto insurance company in your application for coverage.
In the event that you have to file a claim, you could be facing a denial if you were driving your car on the way to work when an accident occurred. This would leave you paying out of your own pocket to repair the damage.
Do Not Compromise on Your Policy Limits
Whether your car is an older one or a certified classic, you should not make any changes to the policy limits that you select for your liability coverage.
The value of your car has no bearing on the amount of this coverage that you should get because auto liability is for taking care of the damage that you cause to another car or person.
For example, if you get in an accident while driving an older Ford Taurus, you would be responsible for the same amount of monetary damage as if you caused an accident in a vintage Mustang.
If you do not have the ability to pay for the full cost of a potential accident out of your own pocket, then it is vital that you get a sufficient amount of auto liability coverage to take care of this potential scenario.
The amount of auto liability coverage required under your state law is also not a great guideline for figuring out what your policy limits should be.
This minimum amount typically does not cover the full cost of repairing damages from an average auto accident. If you only have the bare minimum coverage, then the injured driver could file a lawsuit against you to seek damages for the remaining amount.
What if Your Car is Just Old and Not a Classic Car?
It could be the case that your car is not considered a classic in historical terms and is really just not a brand new vehicle.
In this case, you are probably in luck for a break on your auto insurance premiums.
In general, it tends to cost less to insure an older vehicle than a brand new car and you may not even want to maintain the same coverages on an older car because the value of the car is not worth insuring at the same cost.
As long as you have an auto liability policy that meets the state minimum requirements for car insurance coverage, then the rest of the insurance for your older car is simply optional.
Comprehensive or collision coverage might not make as much sense for you to carry.
If you have already paid off your entire car loan and own your car outright, there may be no reason to continue to pay for comprehensive coverage on an older vehicle that you do not think is very valuable.
If you are not necessarily ready to give up your comprehensive or collision coverage completely, you can also consider increasing the amount of your deductible for those coverages.
A higher deductible means that you would be required to pay more out of your own pocket if you end up having to file a claim under those coverages, but your monthly premium amounts would be much lower for the rest of the time that you plan to keep those coverages.
The best part about making decisions regarding optional coverages, such as comprehensive or collision coverage is that you can decide to cancel them at any point without affecting whether you are in compliance with the state laws on auto insurance coverage.
Roadside Coverage for Older Cars
Another important consideration in having an older car to insure is that you may be facing more frequent breakdowns than you would need to plan for with a newer car.
The cost of having your car towed to an auto repair shop can be quite expensive if you have to pay for it on your own. In addition, it might be very unsafe for you to be stranded on the side of the road without immediate assistance.
These are all good reasons to ask whether your auto insurance policy would include coverage for emergency road service.
For auto insurance policies that include this type of coverage, you could expect the following included:
- gas delivery
For people who live in areas with adverse winter weather conditions or spend quite a bit of time on the road, this emergency road service may be well worth the additional expense of having it added to an auto insurance policy.
Taking Necessary Precautions Against Car Thieves
Whether you have an older car or a classic car, you should be aware that it is probably a target for car thieves. Older cars do not tend to have the same alarm systems or automatic locking devices as most new models do.
Car thieves generally look for low hanging fruit, so you should take precautions to make sure that your car is not targeted. Here are some suggestions:
- Park in a garage – One of the best ways to secure your car is to park it in a private car garage and off of the street.
- Install an anti-theft device – You may be able to secure it by using an anti-theft device and always removing the valuables from your car whenever you leave it parked. This removes some of the temptation for potential car thieves.
Some auto insurance companies even offer a slight discount to drivers who can show that they have installed anti-theft devices in their cars. This is because the auto insurance company wants drivers to take initiative and responsibility to secure their cars to reduce claims.
If you have classic car insurance, then the auto insurance company may only offer to provide you coverage if you can show that the car is parked in a private garage.
They do not want to cover the cost of your car being left in an unsafe area and receiving unwanted attention from car thieves. Ask the auto insurance provider that you are considering using what is required in terms of parking your car.
If you fail to follow the requirements of the auto insurance company, you may find yourself with your claim being denied down the line.
Final Thoughts on Finding Affordable Car Insurance for an Old Car
Taking good care of your classic car includes making sure that you have the proper auto insurance for your needs. If you view your classic car as an investment, then you certainly want to make sure that it is protected for anything that may come your way.
You do not necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg for auto insurance coverage for your classic car, though.
Shopping around online to compare rates among various auto insurance providers is an efficient way to start making sure that you are not paying any more than you absolutely need to for coverage.
After you find a rate that is affordable, you can also look into additional savings, such as a low-mileage discount, to make sure that you do not pay any more than you absolutely have to for car insurance coverage.