A standard auto insurance policy is pretty straightforward with what is and is not covered. Alterations, expensive sound systems, custom wheels, etc. all require extra coverage. But there is a point where your vehicle will need an policy independent of your auto insurance. If you own a classic or vintage vehicle, you may want to consider additional coverage.
While there is no standard rule of thumb when it comes to a definition of classic cars, there are a few points to consider. If a car’s value exceeds its original selling price, then it might be considered collectible. A “classic” or “antique” vehicle is usually at least 25 to 30 years old. Many modified vehicles, particularly high performance “hot rods” should carry extra insurance, as should exotic or super-luxury models. Vintage military vehicles, classic motorcycles and antique tractors are also candidates for classic car coverage.
In order to qualify for a classic car policy, there are a few common criteria noted by the Insurance Information Institute: Limited Use—Your classic car cannot be used for everyday commuting or errands; Car Shows and Meetings—The ‘limited use’ provision of a classic car policy allows for travel to car shows and auto club meet-ups; however this coverage may be restricted by some insurers. Secure Storage—When not in use, your special vehicle must be stored in a locked, enclosed, private structure, such as a residential garage or storage unit; and Clean Driving Record—You may be disqualified from classic auto insurance if you have serious offenses on your driving record, such as reckless driving, repeat speeding violations or driving while intoxicated.
Before you obtain a classic car policy, you will need to reach an agreement on how much your vehicle is worth. This will be specified in your policy until any changes are made. You’ll want to be sure your policy allows you to use a specialized mechanic or body shop, as well as towing and the ability to obtain specific spare parts.
As with other insurance questions, you will want to speak with your insurance professional. Take a look at your current auto policy and compare it to what shape your vehicle is in now. Sometimes people make assumptions about their coverage, only to find out that they cannot claim a theft or loss. Be sure now rather than be sorry later.