Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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If you are the proud owner of one of millions of classic or collectible cars around the country, it is important that you know and understand the differences between classic car insurance and standard car insurance. Although you may think insuring your classic car with standard insurance is fine, you could be costing yourself a lot more money than you need to pay out, all the while not knowing if you will get what your car is worth should something happen to it. Despite this, many classic car owners do not have their vehicle insured properly.

Click here to compare quotes for classic car insurance by entering your ZIP code in our FREE car insurance tool!

Classic cars are typically defined as cars over twenty-five years old although this can vary by insurance company and state. To find out the regulations for your state, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides links to all state departments on this website.

A classic car could be considered anything from a 1918 Ford Model T to a 1978 Chevrolet Corvette.

These cars have their own unique set of needs and this includes how you insure them. Some insurance companies sell both, standard and class car insurance, often called collector car insurance. Other companies specialize in one or the other.

Cost Differences

Classic car insurance premiums are typically much lower than standard car insurance premiums. This is because classic car drivers are considered a much lower risk because they take pride in their vehicles and drive them infrequently. In addition to lower annual premiums, classic car insurance frequently does not come with any deductible. In some cases, you may opt for a deductible in exchange for an even lower rate.

In order to save even more money you may opt for mileage restrictions if you drive your car a limited amount of time. Many classic car owners only drive their cars on special occasions, in parades, or for shows. If this is how you utilize your classic car, then allowing a mileage restriction to be added to your insurance policy could save you hundreds of dollars. Typical classic car policies come with a 2,500-mileage restriction, but you can opt to lower this to 1,000 miles or 3,000 miles annually.

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Determining Car Value

The way the value of the car is determined may be the most important difference between classic car insurance and standard car insurance. With standard car insurance you can expect to get the current cash value minus depreciation of the car should it be stolen or totaled. This is also frequently referred to as the Blue Book Value because it is the value you would find in the Kelley Blue Book. To find out the approximate value of your vehicle you can visit this site.

With classic cars, the current worth based on age and depreciation may be very little, but if you have restored a vehicle or made additions to it, the true value could be much higher.

Classic car insurance providers typically use what is called agreed value where the insurance company and customer mutually agree on a value for the car after research and documentation has been presented.

Some insurance companies will still allow people to use what is referred to as stated value. This means that the insurance company accepts what the customer states is the value of the vehicle without doing their own research. This is rarely used today and when it is it typically comes with a higher premium and deductible.

Factors Insurance Companies Consider

Although there are some similarities, you will find several differences between standard and classic car insurance in terms of the factors insurance companies evaluate when considering whether to give you a policy. Standard car insurance providers consider the following:

  • Driving Record
  • Annual Mileage
  • Location you live in and work in
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Make and model of car
  • Credit score
  • Where the vehicle is parked

Classic car insurance is more specific in terms of what you must show in order to qualify for a policy since these policies are given to drivers who fall into a low risk category. Typically, you need to prove you:

  • Have a Clean Driving Record
  • Are not allowing anyone on the policy that has less than ten years driving experience and a clean driving record
  • Have access to a secure storage facility to keep the car in year around
  • Have use of another vehicle for daily use
  • Can provide pictures of the classic vehicle to the insurance company

Factors Determining Rate

In addition to the factors that impact whether you will be granted a policy, there are also differences between standard and classic car insurance in the factors that help determine the rate you will be offered. With standard cars companies usually want to know about safety features or anti-theft devices that have come standard or been added on to a car. With classic cars, companies will want to know what you have done to the car to increase its value. Modification made to a classic car might include:

  • Paint job
  • Addition of supercharger
  • Engine modifications
  • Replacing interior leather or fabric
  • Adding original equipment to increase value

It is helpful to have pictures to provide to the insurance company of the car itself and any parts added or modifications made to the car.

In addition, the classic car insurance company will not only want to know where you are storing the vehicle in the warmer months, but will want to know if you are taking steps for additional winter storage. They will want to see that you have a secure indoor storage facility to use for the vehicle for the entire year.

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Amount of Insurance You Carry

Another important difference between classic and standard car insurance is the amount of insurance you carry and how that amount changes over time. When insuring a standard car you typically determine the amount of insurance you need and this remains constant throughout most of the time you own the car. If you keep the car until it is very old you may reduce the amount you have it insured for, but this would be the only change.

With classic cars, many people buy them and then spend a lot of time and money making repairs, adding parts, and restoring them to their original quality. As this is done, you need to increase the amount of insurance you carry for the car because its value is increasing. You also need to carefully check the value of your vehicle from year to year even if you do not make any additions or repairs to it. Classic car values go up and down regularly, and while you do not want to overpay for more insurance than you need, you also do not want your vehicle to be underinsured. This may require occasional professional appraisals of your vehicle.

Types of Policies

Standard car insurance comes with a variety of options. Some people may opt for a basic liability policy while others will go for comprehensive coverage with addition add-ons. With classic car insurance, you can also choose between options such as liability or comprehensive, but additionally you can choose between general classic car insurance and specialty classic car insurance.

Specialty options may include insurance for custom, antique, collectible, or exotic cars. These specialty types include options more appropriate for the specific type of classic car you own and the manner in which it is used.

Policy Optional Additions

With standard car insurance there are plenty of additions that you can choose to add to your policy should you want them. These may include coverage for roadside assistance, installed electronics, full glass, and uninsured/underinsured driver protection.

When purchasing classic car insurance many options that would benefit the classic car owner come standard. Keep in mind that classic car owners are much more likely to have a breakdown or engine trouble than they are to be in an accident requiring a claim to be filed. Based on this fact, classic car insurance options may include roadside assistance with flatbed towing, which is the safest way to tow older vehicles and a choice of repair shops, which allows you to choose one specializing in your vehicle.

Whether you need to insure a classic car or a standard vehicle, you should know what to expect, and what you must understand before purchasing a policy. If you own a classic car, think twice before simply insuring it with standard car insurance. Instead, your best option would be to choose classic car insurance and receive a policy that meets you and your car’s unique needs.

Whether you are searching for standard or classic car insurance do your research and check out insurance companies you are considering. The Better Business Bureau will provide you with unbiased information on a company based on complaints filed against it and complaints resolved. You can also find out the financial stability of a company through AM Best.

A.M. Best rates companies’ stability on a scale of A++ to F.

Compare quotes from standard and classic car insurance providers by entering your ZIP code in the FREE search tool found here!