BY EMILY DELBRIDGE Updated March 11, 2018
Antique car insurance is something that the average driver will ever need for. In fact, it is doubtful that most car owners have even heard of antique car insurance. Unless you own an antique automobile or have thought about purchasing one, you have probably never considered the unique circumstances such a vehicle presents. Fortunately, auto insurance companies have been protecting antique owners for years and appreciate their special needs. So, if you are looking to insure an antique automobile, all you have to do is find the best company.
How do you do that?
Specialized insurers are a great place to start. There are a number of large, reputable insurers out there that specialize in antique, classic and vintage autos. They’ve been in the business a long time and understand the special requirements of antique car owners. They know, for example, that real antique vehicles should always be insured at a negotiated “agreed value” rate as opposed to the “actual cash” or “stated” value.
The following are three names that often come up when owners talk about antique car insurance companies:
Now owned and operated by Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Grundy Worldwide has been in the business of insuring classic and antique vehicles since the mid-1940’s. Founded by James Grundy Sr., Grundy claims to be the first company to write an antique auto policy as well as to be the originators of the agreed value endorsement. Grundy is the preferred insurance company of the Classic Car Club of America.
Hagerty Insurance Agency
Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty Insurance was established around forty years ago as a general insurer. Aware of the growing need for specialized coverage, Hagerty began writing agreed value policies on classic wooden boats in 1983 and classic cars in 1991. Since that time, Hagerty has become a leader in classic and antique vehicle protection. Hagerty also offers membership in the Hagerty Collector Network, an organization with over 225,000 members.
Heacock Classic Car Collector Insurance
Another insurer of note is Heacock Classic Car Collector Insurance. Heacock Classic is owned by the Heacock Insurance Group, a full-service insurance agency founded in 1922 and based in Sebring, Florida. The Heacock family has been intimately involved in Sebring’s racing community since the 1950’s and in the creation of both the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association and Vintage Motorsport magazine. Heacock Classic is now recognized nationally in the car collector insurance business.
In addition to insurers who specialize in antique vehicle insurance, there are a number of major companies that write classic and antique car policies along with their more conventional offerings. The Hartford, Farmers, Allstate, and Geico are just a few of the majors out there that will insure your antique vehicle. If you already have insurance on your regular cars with a major company, check with them to see if they offer policies for antiques and classics. You may be able to save by insuring all of your vehicles under one roof.
Just make sure that your agent fully understands the unique needs of insuring antique automobiles and that you are covered for your car’s agreed value.
The bottom line is this: The best antique car insurance company is the one with a policy that works best for you. Determine how you intend to use your antique vehicle and then contact several companies. The more you have to choose from, the better. If you are really into antique, classic and vintage automobiles, then you probably belong to a local club or organization. Ask other owners who they insure with and how the experience has been. There’s no better recommendation than the one that comes from word-of-mouth.
Just remember that if you put in the time and effort at the beginning of your search, you will more likely save money on your premiums and less likely be disappointed if you ever need to make a claim. As long as you do your homework and deal with a reputable company, you’ll be fine.
Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and should in no way be construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any of the above-mentioned companies.
It is important to know how antique auto insurance works. For the average American, they hear the term “antique auto,” imagine some fragile old thing with spoke wheels and a crank in front, and go back to whatever they were doing before. But you are different. You actually dream at night of ’63 Sting Rays and ’69 Boss 429 Mustangs. You scour internet classified ads for beat up ’37 Buicks rusting away in someone’s barn. Admit it. You’re a car nut. Or maybe you prefer “car enthusiast.” I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that.
But let’s face it, once you have paid good money for your first antique automobile and it is about to be sitting in your garage, you have got to answer some tough questions. And one of them is, “how do I insure my new baby?”
What exactly is an “antique car”?
The first thing you have to determine is whether or not you actually own an “antique automobile.” Like many things in life, there is not a simple answer to this question. Definitions vary between car owners, between state agencies and between insurance companies as well. For example, the Antique Automobile Club of America considers an antique car simply as one that is over forty-five years old. On the other hand, for purposes of registration, the state of Michigan defines an antique car as one that was manufactured at least twenty-six years ago and is “used as a collector’s item.” By the way, distinctions are also often drawn between “antique”, “classic” and “vintage” automobiles.
So while collectors and state governments may argue the distinctions and merits of their own definitions, when it comes to insurance, you will do well to clearly understand your chosen insurer’s criteria. That means check with your agent before purchasing insurance or, if you already have it, review the definitions in your policy.
How are antique automobiles insured?
The first thing that will happen when you sit down with an insurance provider is that the two of you will determine the “agreed value” of your vehicle. Typically, the agreed value is determined by a professional appraisal. It is very important that, in the event your precious antique is damaged, destroyed or stolen, your insurance pays you the agreed value for your vehicle and not, I repeat, not the “actual cash” or “stated” value. Be certain that your agent understands this and read your policy carefully!
It is also very important to understand the terms of usage for your antique automobile. Terms may vary slightly from company to company, but all antique auto policies will significantly limit the ways in which you may utilize your vehicle. You will typically be limited to using it at car shows , exhibitions, auto club events, parades and similar activities. Many companies include a severe stated mileage limit as well. And most will require that your antique automobile be stored in a very specific way when not in use.
So, be clear on how you intend to use and store your vehicle before you sign on to any policy.
How do I find the right insurer?
Once you have determined that you have an antique automobile, what its agreed value is and how you intend to use it, the best place to start looking for the right insurer is with your regular car insurance agent or company. Many of the major providers also write policies for antique, vintage and classic cars. Also check the specialty insurers. There are a number of them out there. Make sure that you understand each company’s definitions, terms and rates. Get information on several companies.
It may take a little time on the phone and online, but finding the right insurance fit will likely save you money and possibly a large headache somewhere down the road.
Here’s some good news for all of your trouble. Antique automobile insurance is almost always less expensive when compared to regular insurance. That is because insurers appreciate the extra special care and attention you give your antique vehicle and reward you for it. So, put in the time and effort it takes to find the right antique auto insurance for you. You’ll be glad you did.
What makes a car a classic?
The definition may vary among classic car insurance companies. In the Progressive Classic Car by Hagerty® program, classics are best defined as «fun-to-drive» vehicles that maintain or appreciate in value and are used primarily for pleasure.
1967 Ford Mustang
1975 Volkswagen Beetle
1980 Chevrolet Corvette
If your car is not a classic, we’ll still insure you. But, you’ll need a standard auto policy instead. Get an auto insurance quote online.
Classic car insurance rates are on average 40% less than standard auto rates*
Your classic isn’t just a car. That’s why your classic car insurance policy isn’t just a standard car insurance policy. Instead, it’s a much different policy that’s built just for your classic and includes more specialized coverages. And your classic or collector car insurance policy actually costs about 40% less than a standard auto policy.
Get a quote through Progressive Classic Car by Hagerty, and you’ll get a classic car insurance company you can trust. They’re the world’s leading classic auto insurance provider, offering insurance for classic, collector, vintage and antique cars and trucks.
Basically if you’re looking for insurance for an older car, or even a fun car, there’s a good chance that Hagerty can cover you. Plus, you’ll enjoy more coverages that protect your ride and the way you want to cruise. Just get a classic car insurance quote today to get started.
Guaranteed Value™ coverage to insure your classic’s real value
If you do have a covered total loss, you’ll get every single cent of your car’s insured value.† No depreciation. No messing around. No hassle. When you get your classic car insurance quote, just tell us your classic’s value, and then we’ll agree on a total payout number. Easy enough, right?
Original replacement parts coverage
If you have a claim, Hagerty offers stock original replacement parts when possible, and has specialists on hand to hunt down any rare or hard-to-find ones. And yes, this original replacement parts coverage is automatically included at no extra cost with your classic or vintage car insurance policy.
Flexible usage to fully enjoy your classic
The best collector car insurance lets you enjoy your ride the way you want. That’s why with Progressive Classic Car insurance by Hagerty, you have the freedom to take your ride to collector vehicle club functions, exhibitions, tours and even occasional pleasure driving.**
A few things to note before you get a classic car insurance quote:
Generally, to get insurance for classic, collector, vintage and antique cars or trucks, you need to park your vehicle in a garage, use it as an extra car—not your daily vehicle—and keep it in good working condition.