Classic Car Insurance – Are you sure you are covered?

Do you think that if the worst happens you will get the full market value for your classic motor under your current car insurance policy? What if market prices fluctuate as in the current economic crisis? Are you worried that if the worst happens your cherished classic car will not be covered? You should be! However most of this angst can easily be avoided if you take out an additional cover called a ‘Guaranteed Agreed Valuation’. All reputable Classic Car Insurance Companies will allow this option and for a small extra sum can lead to some peaceful nights.

The main purpose of the Guaranteed Agreed Valuation cover is that in the event of a total loss claim where the classic car is written off, the insurance company or underwriters will guarantee to pay the policy holder the full certified value of the classic car less the policy excess if any is applicable. Normally, all Guaranteed Agreed Valuations are subject to a valid valuation certificate having been issued by the participating insurance company. If you are planning to switch insurer to take advantage of the many offers that are currently available from specialist car insurance companies, particularly on the Internet where the market is softer, be sure to check that a certificate issued by one Valuer is recognized by the new insurer. To avoid doubt, the old insurance GAV value should be used as the Sum Insured value for the new classic car insurance declaration. You may well be asked if you wish to pay a small fee for a new GAV, in which case, this will be necessary to protect your desired value with the new company. Once the guaranteed agreed valuation has been purchased, an application form will be enclosed with the insurance documentation which should be completed and returned by yourself to the particular insurance company valuations department.

Most classic car insurance companies require six current photographs of the insured vehicle, preferably taken within the last couple of months. These should consist of four exterior body exposures from all side angles, one of the interior engine bay and one of the vehicle interior. You should check with the company which format is acceptable for them. Most of the better companies accept 35mm prints; Polaroids, jpegs, gifs etc. and scanned images sent via email. Photocopies are not normally acceptable and usually all photos must be in colour. Where appropriate you may wish to submit bills for any substantial works carried out to the vehicle to support your application for the valuation. These should only be relevant to works carried out to the classic car within the previous three years. Photocopies are acceptable provided the originals would be available in the event of a claim. Once the completed application form and photographs are received by the Insurance Company valuers, the expert valuers will set a guaranteed value of the vehicle. You will then be sent a certificate which states the guaranteed sum for the insured vehicle. Please note that the certificate will not usually be back dated to the start of the insurance policy, and it will only be valid from the date of issue. All photographs and any bills submitted for works completed will be returned to you along with the guaranteed agreed valuation certificate.

Should the value of the vehicle change significantly during the certified period, then inform your Insurer and they will send you a new application form for a re-valuation. Usually you can expect an additional charge applies for each valuation completed. In addition, a change to the insured vehicle value may result in a change in the insurance premium, so beware.

In cases where a guaranteed agreed valuation certificate has not been issued for your cover, and a total loss claim occurs, you will be probably be paid at the current market value of your classic car, the annual depreciating price given to all cars, usually from Glass’s Guide.

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