Hooniverse Asks- Do You Use Classic Car Insurance?

oops LeMans
I have just recently made the move to classic car insurance for my 1971 Datsun 240Z. The mileage limitations mean that I probably won’t be using it to see all 48 continental states anytime soon, but the cost savings over daily driver insurance is eye opening. I also like being able to tell people that, uh, yes, I have a classic car.
One of my favorite bits from the TV show The Simpsons is when, after his house is destroyed in a hurricane, Ned Flanders reveals that he doesn’t have insurance because he thinks it’s a kind of gambling. Insurance is weird in that you’re paying for an eventuality that you hope never comes to pass, so I guess Ned was right.
I’ve tied my classic car wagon to Hagerty’s star, and I was wondering if any of you have likewise covered one of more of your treasures under a similar minimal-use policy? If so, who is your carrier, and have you ever had to file a claim? How is classic car insurance working out for you?
Image: StreetLegalTV

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  1. racer139 Avatar
    racer139

    Make sure that when obtaining your insurance policy that you take the time to read the policy. Make sure you know what's is covered and what isn't. Also make sure they don't screw you in the wording, if you don't know what it means ask or have someone (laywer) who does know go over it.
    Our (my brother and sil) company defiantly used this to there advantage when they told them that the shop (burned on December 20) was not covered under the policy. It was supposed to cover the building and content and also customers vehicles. The only thing covered so far was a customers four wheeler. Make sure to read your policy as you may be paying for inadequate insurance, and possibly for a policy that is totally wrong for what you need. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-my-brothe

    1. Maxichamp Avatar
      Maxichamp

      As someone who deals with insurance policies (and fights insurance companies) every day for a living, I can't underscore racer139's comment enough. My advice to friends and loved ones:
      -buy insurance
      -make sure whatever it is that you want covered is actually covered
      -make sure the policy limits are more than adequate

      1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
        PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

        The limits especially are the issue. When I went through my business law classes, the commonly echoed sentiment was buy the highest limit you could afford, because you can't afford too low of a limit.

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    I don't have a classic car, but I own a house, and therefore I have had to read insurance policies and decide what makes sense based on the risks that I see my house potentially experiencing.
    My friend who is a well-respected lawyer was a huge help in getting through the legalese. It's like the insurance companies are trying to confuse you, or something.
    On a side note, and I know this isn't Last Call, so I don't want to threadjack, but I am a member of a church (a deacon as well) that has, like any groups of people, very few but a smattering of congregation members who are on the fringe. Like Ned Flanders in this case, they carry woefully inadequate insurance policies, if they carry them at all. This is mostly life and health insurance as vehicle coverage is required by law, and they are for the most part law-abiding. When one of these individuals was sick a few years ago and had no health coverage because "The Lord will provide" they wound up nearly dying from pneumonia and some members of our congregation took her under their care to treat her and get her back to wellness. Now, did the Lord provide? In a way. But be responsible is not being ungodly, or sinful. The Lord has set this world in place and with it, the government, commercial and other systems that have provisions for people. It drives me crazy to hear about people (who are not 22-27 year-old males) that continue to decline health coverage for religious purposes because it's somehow not God's plan to have the ability to have access to our modern health system.
    So that's all. Get adequate coverage, read everything, make sure you are covered. If you find it confusing find someone who will guide you through the process. The most expensive tool/coverage/medicine is the one that doesn't work, meaning you have to buy something else or fund it out of your own pocket.

    1. James Bee Avatar
      James Bee

      I hear ya Joe – Deuteronomy 6:16

  3. GTXcellent Avatar
    GTXcellent

    My GTX is insured through American Family (as is our family's entire portfolio – home/auto/etc). It is a collector car policy, but I can't recall all the specifics off hand. There is a mileage limitation. I was able to name my own value (although was told that if 'audited' I would need to have 3rd party appraisal) and the coverage written is very complete: liability, injury, medical expense, uninsured/underinsured motorist, comp, collision, etc). My premium is right around $100/yr (I think my insured value is $20,000). The other caveat is that they won't write stand alone collector car insurance – you need to have your daily driver insured with them. Thankfully I've never had to make a claim, so I have no idea how that end would play out.

  4. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    I had my classic cars on normal insurance, as the driving limitation is between 3-4000km in any case. Too little! But the price difference is just another incentive to amass MORE!!! classic cars:
    Both my '71 145 and my '77 242 were about 500$/year for minimum coverage (responsibility insurance) over a maximum of 16000km. Classic car insurance is an even 80$/year. Dang!

    1. nanoop Avatar
      nanoop

      So by using six classics instead of one DD you'd get 2kkm more – and save twenty Dolares! Totally like legit.

  5. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    No. Both of my "classics" are drivers and they look the part. I wouldn't be able to abide the mileage limitations so they are licensed and insured as regular vehicles. Further, I only carry the legally required minimum on all six of our cars. With the newest being nine years old, it's a risk I'm willing to take to save thousands of dollars over time.
    Plus it's been a good way to remind my teenage drivers that they need to drive responsibly, because if something catastrophic happens our insurance company won't step in to save the day. When my daughter banged up her VW, I put it back together with junkyard parts and told her, "If you want it pretty again, here's the painter's phone number."

  6. Lokki Avatar
    Lokki

    I have a 1971 Alfa Spider insured through Hagerty on a defined value policy. The reason for a defined value policy is that without one, you will have a huge fight on your hands about what your car was worth… Even if it's an obviously valuable model, the other insurance company will want to give you the "level 4, rusty and barely runs runs" value. Hagerty is very good to work with. They pay off and fight the other insurance company later. Here's a link to a story about Hagerty from a friend of mine who posted on the AlfaBB. (
    Caution! Graphic images if you love old Alfa's
    http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/37
    Hagerty paid off without blinking. My friend is very pleased with them.
    If you think it through, Hagerty Insurance is a win/win. Most cars on collector car insurance are owned by older guys, who tend to be fairly responsible. The cars are usually pampered pets who don't go out in rain or snow and rarely go out in heavy traffic. On the other side of the equation: A big payoff for Hagerty might be $30K – or about the cost of a nice Accord. Most are going to be in the new-Civic range.
    So: responsible drivers driving very few miles on garaged vehicles that are worth as much as a Civic. Which would you rather insure: a collector car or a new 3-Series owned by a young guy as a daily driver? So, Hagerty pays off happily, and keeps a nice niche in the marketplace based on their reputation. You, the insured, get what your car is worth (according to the market) without quibbling.
    Hint: Hagerty is somewhat generous in valuing your car, take advantage of that. Also keep track of your car's value using their valuation tool. A friend's GTV has jumped $10k in value in the last few years…. Keep your insurance value up to date with the times.

    1. GianniBu Avatar
      GianniBu

      I've had Hagerty on my GTV for around 20 years, and have had no problems. No mileage limits, just no using it as a daily driver and it must be kept in a garage. When I applied for the policy I had to submit a couple of photos of the car. I've had no problem bumping the value as GTV's have increased in value over the last 20 years.

  7. 7FIAT's Later Avatar
    7FIAT's Later

    I have Hagerty with a defined value on my X-1/9 never had to make a claim though. They are pretty decent to deal with and talking to a real person does not seem to be a problem. My other insurance carrier on my mudane cars has been decent on a couple minor scrapes, but I had a serious vehicle related injury and the adjuster I had to talk to while heavily sedated is the reason you need to hire a lawyer to be present.

  8. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    I had J.C. Taylor coverage for several years on my '66 Corvair, and thankfully never had to file a claim. It was very cheap, but pretty restrictive, too.

  9. mdharrell Avatar

    Nope. As others have stated, I, too, find the limitations on use to be too restrictive for my tastes.

  10. Matt Avatar
    Matt

    I have Condon Skelly for my 63 Beetle. $95 a year, full coverage, $12000 value, but limited to 2500 miles a year. Even driving the car often I don't have a problem with this. Premiums are even cheaper I believe with additional classics, makes owning multiple cars much easier.
    They however would not insure my 84 GTI as it is "not a classic", I think because it is valued as less than their $5000 minimum.

  11. hubba Avatar
    hubba

    National Corvette Museum Insurance (ncminsurance.com) writes collector car insurance on new Corvettes and other late models, and they write on cars that are worth less than the minimum that some collector specialists require. I put a 10 year old sports car on them. I paid extra for the 'drive to work once a week' option. My experience was fine, but I put the car back on my regular policy after a year because I wanted to drive more.

  12. hubba Avatar
    hubba

    I used National Corvette Museum Insurance for a year on my 10 yr old sports car. They'll write collector insurance on new Corvettes and other late models. It was a good price, but I went back to my regular carrier because I wanted to drive more.

  13. Ol Shel Avatar
    Ol Shel

    Be careful when applying for coverage. Many of the companies have 'poison pills' integrated into their online applications, such as if you intend to use the car in events, such as autocross, or if you might use the car as back-up transportation. These are included in the multiple choice options.
    If you indicate anything they do not like, you will not know until you receive your returned application check, along with a letter stating that you're no longer welcome to apply for coverage with them. I was willing to pay the amount they stated for the activities I indicated, but it was a trap.
    So, I [ would never ] recommend stating that your car will only be used to drive to car shows and for pleasure cruising.[Never] lie, because they're not honest with you.

  14. salguod Avatar

    I use JC Taylor for my T'bird. No mileage limits, but no using it as a daily either. It's agreed value. Once you ask for more than a certain amount ($25K?) they want an appraisal.
    One thing to watch for is overly restrictive language on uses. Once company I looked at (the one tied to USAA, my regular insurer, don't remember their name) only allowed driving to and from parades, shows or club events. I asked about pleasure drives or driving to work occasionally. No coverage. I then specifically asked about stopping for dinner after a covered event. Again, not covered.
    JC Taylor said all of that was fine, as long as it was occasional and the car was not used as regular transportation. They get that the car is meant to be enjoyed.