Whether you bought your car off the showroom floor this year or 25 years ago, one thing does not change: you still need to carry insurance on it. How much and the type of insurance you need varies from state to state, but you still need to find a company that will cover your investment.
Every company sells insurance for everyday cars. But what if your prize is a 1963 Ford? Or a Studebaker? Or a Pinto? If your car is 25 years or older, or the model has been retired, you may have a classic on your hands and you may need other insurance that will cover your treasure. Consider that there will be restrictions on the use of the vehicle if you have it categorized as a classic. You are trading some freedom for a lower cost for registration and insurance.
Most older cars aren’t eligible for full insurance due to depreciation of the vehicle. The insurance companies use a chart to figure the insurance on your vehicle by year, and they don’t care if it’s a 2008 Chevy or a 1953 DeSoto. You will not be able to get comprehensive or collision on any car over a certain age no matter what the market value of the car. Your car could be worth tens of thousands of dollars, but get a dented fender, and the insurance company will say, “Nope, it’s too old; we’ll give you $100 for it for scrap.”
If you know you have a classic on your hands, you should not settle for “basic” insurance.
With a little searching, you can find several companies on the internet that handle insurance for classic vehicles. Recently, even major insurance companies have developed programs for antique, classic and collector vehicles. Both Progressive and www.autoinsur.org have antique and classic vehicle insurance in addition to their regular offerings.
Most insurance for classic and antique cars will not allow daily use. If the vehicle is registered as such, there are use limits put on by the state as far as how often or even when you can drive the vehicle. PA used to have a constraint that you could not drive an antique vehicle any day but Sunday, and never after dark. That changed due to pressure from some of the bigger car shows and collector groups. Some insurance companies followed suit, like www.americancollectors.com that does not restrict owners to use their cars for “parade use” only and allows driving up to 5,000 miles per year. Another, www.classicins.com, offers insurance programs with no limit as far as age of driver or car, or miles driven per year.
If you are a car nut, you know what your classic is worth, and you probably treat your baby with care and respect by storing it in a safe place and driving it only on special occasions. A classic vehicle insurance policy is the best investment you can make to insure your vehicle.