Insurance 101 for Classic Cars, Antique Autos and Vintage Vehicles

May 23, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 

No doubt about it, antique autos have a giant fan base. But while auto insurance for classic autos only covers part of the value, it is better than having nothing, in case of theft or damage. These vintage vehicles are a delight for many individuals, preserving some of our automotive past in the process.

The monetary value of antique autos increases with each passing year. This is in contrast to newer autos, which reduce in value every year. It is relatively difficult to accurately determine the market value of a vintage auto for insurance coverage.

Making matters worse, there are not all that many vintage vehicle insurers that are available either. These classic “works of art” are sought-after by collectors who are at times prepared to pay much more than their actual value.

Computing Ordinary Car Insurance 101

In the situation of an average auto that isn’t aged enough to be an antique (usually 20 years), the value of the automobile is determined by taking the original cost then taking a depreciation for each year from that cost. Naturally, this presumes no major incidents, etc.

For vintage autos, though, a bit trickier. The price can’t be determined using normal methods. Particularly since the value of a classic auto increases as time goes on, not decreases.

Calculating Classic Auto Insurance 102

There are three primary methods for determining the assessment, insurance-wise, for an classic automobile.

The First Method: The monetary value is jointly agreed upon between the owner and the insurance company. This can yield a higher insured sum than other two ways.

Method Number 2: The automobile’s value is calculated based on the current values for comparable cars as listed in well-known vintage automobile magazines and price indexes that are in vogue. In some instances, an third-party assessor might be contacted to help establish the value of the vehicle.

Method 3: A lesser-used way is to compute the monetary value of the auto as the sum of the actual vehicle cost plus the scores of upgrades and amount spent on repairs and such over the many years. In other words, the worth of the vehicle is the amount calculated after deducting the depreciation with age from the original price of the auto, then factoring back in the upgrades and restoration work.

Insuring Your Classic Auto

In summation, antique auto insurance providers have their own provisions they use to ascertain the insurable amount of the vintage vehicle. For example, these insurance providers many times insist that the vehicle being insured should not be used as a means of regular transportation. They may also insist that the vehicle be kept in a garage.

Additional requirements could include that the classic vehicle cannot be used for racing, and that any other members of the household have proven access to other means of transportation. Oh, and the owner needs to have a spotless driving record, to boot.

Whether you call them antique autos, classic cars or vintage vehicles, they are a slice of automotive history…albeit a slice that has to be insured!


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