Classic imports require different coverage than new models. The type of policy you buy depends on how and where you drive the vehicle, as well as the value of the car. Some classic cars are worth millions, like the 1972-73 Porsche 917 Interserie Spyder that sold for $3.97 million in 2011.
Collectible car insurance tends to cost less than conventional vehicle insurance because the cars are well maintained and are driven for fewer miles. Another unique feature to insuring collectibles is that the cars do not depreciate. They are initially insured for an agree-upon value, and that value holds as long as you own the car.
Insuring Your Collection
Ask your regular auto insurance company if it offers classic or antique auto insurance policies. Car insurance can be bundled with conventional auto insurance policies, for example, which saves on premiums.
Some policies will cover collections, rather than individual cars. As you shop for policies, ask insurers if the policy is offered for an unlimited number of vehicles, a finite number or per-vehicle only. Some insurers write policies for up to 150 percent of agreed value, which is the value that you and the insurer determine at the start of the policy. Ask how the company determines value; not all require appraisals, though many require photos.
For car collectors who travel with their vehicles to shows around the country, ask how far your coverage extends. Some policies offer coverage worldwide. Does the policy cover damages, loss or theft during the shipping process? Ask! Don’t assume the company offers roadside assistance; make sure that is included.
Your collectible import is as precious as the members of your family, right? So, if something goes wrong, you want your babies to be in the best hands possible. If your collectible is in an accident, does the company have a set of pre-screened repair shops, or are you free to choose your own? (Tip: As you search for a certified BMW, Mercedes, or VW repair shop, ask the owner if he/she uses original manufacturer’s parts. This is very important in maintaining the integrity and value of your investment.)
What Else You Need To Know
If you have young drivers in your household, your insurance company might have requirements for driving experience. Some companies require five years of driving experience. Let the company know how many miles you’ll drive the car. If you plan to display it only and trailer it from show to show, that might lower your rates.
Classic cars are valuable works of art, and it’s very important that they be covered. Cars that have been kept in great condition gain lots of monetary as well as sentimental value, and were anything to happen to it, the owner could lose a lot.