Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2022

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Just the Basics

  • Classic cars are normally insured at an agreed-upon value
  • Many large insurance companies have ties to specialized classic car insurers
  • Understanding how classic car insurance works can help you find the right insurance

Owning a classic car is a life goal for many Americans. Many of these same Americans look forward to doing all the restoration work on the car of their dreams themselves.  

You might share the dream of hours under the hood and months of searching for just the right car part. Or maybe, you just bought your own completely road-ready roadster. Either way, you’ll need to know the facts about insuring your classic car. 

Because classic cars aren’t normally bought for everyday driving, they don’t fall into typical auto insurance policies. 

Their values can vary greatly, too. For these reasons, classic cars are insured somewhere between static property and a vehicle that can use the road. 

Where can I find insurance for my classic car?

Many specialty insurance companies offer classic car insurance, but you don’t need to hunt down the perfect insurance company for your classic car. Many of these specialty insurance companies are part of much larger insurance groups. So, when you receive a free quote, the standard style insurance company will direct you to their affiliate. 

Each of these companies uses its own systems for evaluating your car. Of course, they start with the classic car make and model. Other factors that affect the price of car insurance include:

  • Your driving record
  • Is the classic car operational?
  • How do you plan to use your classic car?

Because this is a niche specialty, you will be dealing with classic car insurers. Many of these companies have been in the business of insuring classic and rare cars for decades. 

You might be able to get a multi-line insurance discount if your home or daily driving vehicle is insured through the parent company of your classic car insurer. It can’t hurt to ask if you are eligible for this discount. It is not clear how deep the ties between insurance companies need to be for these types of discounts.

For instance, Allstate does not offer classic car insurance but their affiliate insurance company does. Allstate calls this program an “expanded market program.” Allstate is currently recommending the Hagerty Insurance Company. But, if you review the Allstate webpage for classic cars, it seems as if they will insure your car. 

They actually have a line of text that reads, “An Allstate agent can offer protection for a wide variety of classic rides.” Then, below this, they describe the types of classic and vintage vehicles they insure.

This list includes:

  • Hot rods
  • Replicas
  • Race cars

The wording and affiliate ties here are confusing. You should ask how an insurance company is tied to the classic car insurance company they recommend. This can help avoid confusion should you need to add insurance or make a claim.

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How does the agreed-upon value for classic car insurance work?

Each classic car or other collectible ride is different. The values can range from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000 or more. Because of this difference, your classic car insurance may be priced at an agreed-upon value for your vehicle. 

You will work with your insurance agent to determine that value. You might need an actual appraisal to document the value of your classic car. It is important to note that much like other antiques and collectibles, the market makes the price. 

This means that there is a standard price range for most classic cars. If you overpaid for your ride, you may not be able to set your insurance value to that inflated amount. 

From reviews we read, we noted that many people accepted insurance that did give them the agreed-upon value they wanted. It can feel like validation to have someone else see in your classic car what you see. 

But sometimes getting the agreed-upon value you want comes with a catch. Once you have a quote you are happy with you should review how that company handles your policy after you sign up.

Things to review through online ratings or the Better Business Bureau include:

  • How easy is it to reach an agent by phone?
  • How quickly does the insurance company handle claims?
  • What types of claims are other customers not getting coverage for?

This last step in making sure you have the right insurance company could save you a lot of hassle.  

Why are there restrictions on my classic car insurance?

Classic cars aren’t normally bought or insured for everyday driving. Because of this, you will find restrictions on your insurance that are not normally added to a car’s insurance policy.

These restrictions include:

  • Driving your classic car
  • Storing your classic car
  • Repairing your classic car

Many classic car insurance companies limit the number of miles you can drive each month or year. If you plan to drive your classic car every day, this type of insurance may not extend coverage to you. Some classic car insurance companies even require you to request driving usage for car shows and rallies. 

There are classic car insurance companies that have no driving limits. But here, too, there is a catch. You might find your agreed-upon value falls as you add miles to your classic car. 

Storing Your Classic Car

Another restriction you may find is where you can keep or store your car. This is a huge factor for all classic car insurance companies. And like many of the other insurance factors, how the insurance company wants you to handle this varies widely.

Some insurers require you to actually store your classic car away from your home. Others won’t offer insurance unless your classic car is parked in your garage. The thing they all agree on is not parking your classic ride on the street. 

Insurance Rules for Repairing Your Classic Car

Some insurance companies require that custom work be done by someone certified to work on your make and model. Of all the restrictions, this one makes the most sense. A mechanic who is unfamiliar with how classic cars operate could inadvertently damage your ride. You also may need to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or have these parts created for your classic car. 

For all of the restrictions, you can save yourself time and frustration by calling the insurance companies and asking questions. If you haven’t bought the car of your dreams yet, you’ll have an opportunity to learn what they want you to do first. If you already own your dream car, you can just gather information so you can prepare for when you call back.

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Included Services to Look for When Buying Classic Car Insurance

Classic cars require special care when something goes wrong. You’ll want to be sure your insurance covers what you might need if you have trouble or a breakdown. You want to be prepared if your vehicle is damaged.

Extra services to look for when purchasing classic car insurance:

  • Replacement part coverage
  • Transport services that you can choose
  • Roadside assistance with auto fluid refills

Ways to Protect Your Classic Car 

If you aren’t going to drive your classic car for a month or longer, you should drain the oil and all other auto fluids to prevent corrosion. 

Another tip is in how you store your car. For most car enthusiasts this advice may seem unnecessary, but if you are new to classic cars you may not know. 

When you store your car, the facility needs to be very dry. Increased humidity can cause corrosion, just like leaving fluids in your car when not driving it.

Things to look for in a long-term storage facility: 

  • Leaks or water damage in the storage unit
  • Good security systems and working cameras
  • A clean and well-maintained lot

Our last line is good advice for any business. A clean and safe parking lot can show that a business cares about its customers. On the other hand, a dirty and dangerous lot and parking area should give you pause in storing your special classic car there. 

You do want to get as many insurance quotes as you can and then compare what each offers. This can help protect your classic car investment.