What type of motor vehicles need special car insurance coverage?
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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
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You would think that a vehicle is a vehicle, but there are certain types of vehicles that require special car insurance coverage. The particular types of cars that jump to mind as needing this specialty insurance coverage are collector’s cars, muscle cars, and luxury cars. Special car insurance might also be needed for decommissioned army vehicles, stunt cars or other unusual vehicles.
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Other vehicles that might require different types of protection are motorcycles, big trucks, and commercial vehicles. These are slightly different in the fact that they are not technically “cars,” so it is not surprising that they need different insurance.
Types of Policies
There are seven basic types of car insurance policies that can be applied to almost any vehicles, including special vehicles. Liability is by far the most common type of insurance and it basically covers the cost of property damage and/or medical bills for the victims at the expense of the person who is determined to be at fault for the accident. This is the type of coverage usually required by law in most states.
Collision insurance can cover the cost of repairing or replacing your own car in the event of an accident.
Comprehensive insurance takes it a step further and covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle in the event of weather damage, theft or even damage from hitting an animal. Uninsured (or underinsured) motorist insurance covers your expenses if someone hits you and they either don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of your car repairs or medical bills.
Medical and Personal Injury Protection insurance will cover your medical expenses related to an accident regardless of who is found to be at fault. No Fault insurance is similar, but it covers property damage as well as medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault.
If you owe more on your car than its value, you could find that if your car is totaled, the insurance will not give you enough money to pay off the car. Gap insurance covers that difference so that you do not need to keep paying for a car that you can’t even drive anymore. For more in-depth descriptions of these insurance types, the website Moneyning describes them in greater detail.
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Coverage Options for Special Vehicles
While most states require liability coverage for any vehicle, this is usually just the tip of the iceberg for vehicles with special coverage. Vehicles that require special coverage are often expensive and customized, so the cost to repair or replace them could be quite significant. With that in mind, owners of special vehicles tend to get comprehensive or collision coverage to take care of the cost of repairing their own vehicle in an accident.
A special car insurance policy can sometimes provide discounts based on how the car is used. For example, if a classic car is normally not driven very much, there may be deep discounts for lower mileage. If a car is kept in a garage or showroom instead of being parked on the street or in a driveway, it might also qualify for discounts since the car is less likely to be damaged if it is in a protected area.
Other Situations That Require More Insurance
While it’s tempting to try to get by with just the bare minimum of liability insurance that most states require, there are circumstances that make having more insurance a good idea, and perhaps even a requirement. If you are leasing or financing your car, it does not technically belong to you, so the titleholder, often the lender or dealership, can dictate how much coverage you need to have on their vehicle.
Since they want to be sure to get their money in the event of an accident, such coverage will usually involve a full range of liability, collision, comprehensive and underinsured motorist policies.
If you don’t have enough money to fix up your car after an accident, it’s a good idea to keep collision and comprehensive insurance even after paying off the car. In fact, Equifax recommends keeping the collision insurance until the car is about eight years old, at which time the value will presumably be low enough that it would no longer make sense to pay for the extra insurance. They recommend keeping the comprehensive insurance permanently because the risk of damage outweighs the relatively inexpensive cost of comprehensive insurance.
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