Your Turn: Your Antique Car – What You Need To Know To Keep It Safe

1940 Chevrolet
Photo by Randy Stern

Your Turn is back! And, we have a guest writer with an interest in classic and antique vehicles – Cody Belliveau.

He came to V&R via one of our readers, who figured he get a shot here. From his bio, Cody "studied auto mechanics and later pursued a degree in journalism. He now freelances for print publications as well as blogs." Cody is an advertising account executive by day, and he spends his "evenings, weekends, holidays and vacations touring antique car shows and driving his 1968 Chevy Camaro (and, yes, it has numbers-matching components) to cruise-ins and car shows. He drives his family crazy with car talk."

Ah, he is one of us! Well…without further ado, here is Cody's take on dealing with insurance for your classic or antique vehicle… – Randy

Whether you're in the market to buy an antique car or you're closing in on the classic vehicle of your dreams, there are some tips of the trade you have to figure out to keep you and your vehicle safe. If you're rusty on car insurance basics, How Stuff Works shares a helpful guide to general car insurance terms and details. While basic insurance knowledge is essential, you will also face numerous terms and policy elements that are unique to buying an older vehicle. You need to find auto insurance coverage that meets your specific needs and accommodates your classic car.

ANTIQUE VEHICLE: Most car insurance companies have certain standards when it comes to which vehicles qualify as antiques. Antique vehicles are the oldest classification of car, and while the exact number of years may vary, many insurance agencies require that an antique vehicle is more than 25 years old.

CLASSIC VEHICLE: Another common insurance classification is the classic car, which, in many cases, is more than 10 but less than 25 years old. Check with your individual car insurance agency to see what their classifications are and which policies your car qualifies for.

MILEAGE TIERS: Car insurance agents don’t expect that you'll be driving your antique car as frequently as you drive your regular vehicle. For this reason, antique car insurance quotes often have mileage tiers, which allow you to estimate how much yearly mileage your antique car will rack up.

AGREED VALUE: Most car insurance policies will pay out the actual cash value (ACV) of your car if something catastrophic happens to the vehicle. The ACV is the amount that the car is worth on the day of an accident, and the value is usually measured by taking the replacement cost of the car and subtracting the depreciation. However, because an antique car usually appreciates in value rather than depreciating, the ACV can be a poor measure of an older car’s worth. Antique car owners should make sure their policy is based on an agreed value, which is a predetermined dollar amount that you and the insurance agent both settle on when the policy is written. If the car appreciates, the agreed value can and should be updated.

TIMED EVENTS: A timed event refers to a car race, whether it's a recreational or professional event. The vast majority of antique car insurance policies don’t allow for coverage of races, so hang up your racing helmet and limit your high-speed drives to the freeway.

GARAGING LOCATION: The location where you store your antique or classic car may impact your insurance costs. Many antique vehicle insurers will want to know exactly what your garaging location is and, in some cases, they will require that your car remains there at all times when it isn't being driven.

Purchasing a classic or antique car is a large investment that comes with a great deal of risk. Even if your antique car never hits the road it’s important to secure an excellent insurance policy to guard against completely losing your investment. Ryan Guina from Cash Money Life strongly recommends shopping around for quotes. Keep these terms in mind while you are comparing policies so you can be confident in choosing the best insurance for your vehicle.

Thank you Cody for contributing your wisdom to V&R! If you want to see your work on this site, message me up top where it says "contact," and an e-mail will get things going.

(c) 2012 Cody Belliveau

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