A Beginners Guide to Classic Car Insurance
By Insurance blogger Dave Healey
If you’ve just bought your first classic car you will need to consider not just where, but also how you are going to insure it. If you are new to classic cars you will probably not even be aware that specialist car insurance policies for classics exist, which are peculiarly different from standard car insurance policy covers as offered by those seen on TV.
As a classic car owner it matters not if you drive a perfect condition Ford Capri 3 litre from 1970, a beat up old Morris Minor from the Sixties or a sleek E-type Jaguar in British racing green, it is essential that you find the best classic car insurance cover for your cherished motor, that covers your individual risks at prices that won’t break the bank!
If you have not owned a classic car before it is important to realise that there are basic differences between what is known as a standard car insurance policy and the cover offered under one defined as classic, from a specialist car insurer.
The first thing to establish is whether your car is eligible for cover under a classic policy. One way you could do this is ask the previous owner whether it was covered under a classic car insurance policy and with which insurance company.
Different car insurance companies have different definitions of the age and type of vehicles that can be covered under this type of cover.
What might be easily covered with one provider may be excluded by another. Fortunately most online classic car cover providers provide this information on the first page of their websites, so it is fairly easy to surf around and check your eligibility with different insurance companies.
You should check that both the eligibility of the age of the car in question and also whether there are policy restrictions for your individual driving circumstances, such as your age that would prevent you from applying for cover.
The major variation between a standard policy and those offered by the classic car specialists is in the way that you use your classic vehicle, and in particular, how much you drive it. The large mainstream insurers and price comparison sites will offer cover for older cars but will charge an additional premium because of its age. They will also load the premium if replacement parts for the vehicle type are known to be expensive.
More importantly you will only be offered the current market value replacement if the car is covered under a mainstream policy and is deemed to be a write-off when you claim.
With a standard car insurance policy on a replacement like for like basis, the value of the car is often set by the market value at the time of a claim, typically taken from one of the car price magazines such as the UK’s Glasses Guide. The amount you will be probably receive for a write-off will be at the current market value of your car which is an annual depreciating amount. Inevitably, if you own a classic car and insure it under a standard policy contract, this leads to under valuation and under insurance of the true value of the car. You will also probably not be offered the salvage and a repairable classic car may often be deemed a write-off because the cost of repair is uneconomic to the Insurer.
If you purchase a specialist classic car insurance policy you will be offered a choice of either an agreed valuation of the classic cars worth or a policy based on market value.
An agreed valuation amount is the amount that the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim that results in a write off. This is a major benefit of insuring classics under specialist policies because it ensures that you are not just properly covered but will also receive the specialist repair services that your classic will require should you claim. It should be noted that even agreed valuation polices can change and you should ensure that the value is guaranteed for a certain period of time to avoid fluctuations in market values.
Classic Car insurance polices are therefore tailored to the needs of cars considered to be collectable and effectively the valuation is a rating factor for the condition of the car.
The other major difference between standard and classic policies is in the way that you are allowed to use your car under the terms of the agreement. Originally this type of vehicle insurance was designed for drivers who do not use their classic cars much.
All classic car policies have a limited mileage clause which only covers the vehicle for an agreed amount of miles per year. Depending upon which specialist car insurance company you use, there will be a limit to how far you can drive your classic. Some providers will only cover a couple of thousand miles per year under the policy, but many specialist providers are now offering cover up to ten thousand miles per year. These policies reflect the fact that many drivers now use modern day classic cars as their main form of transport.
As with all car insurance it is important to compare both covers and prices when shopping around. There are many specialist classic insurance providers available online today and many specialist schemes that are targeted at particular classic owners. Compare the premiums offered by these with those from the price comparison sites, but if you want to avoid disappointment if you need to make a claim, be sure to understand the difference in policy covers.
The Internet has made it very easy to Classic Car Insurance Brokers that was previously only available from specialist car insurance brokers on the high street. You can find those offering special deals and bespoke schemes for your particular classic by searching for schemes to compare for your particular model or vehicle type classic car insurance.