While classifications can be tricky, classic car insurance is simply a type of insurance you can buy if you own a vehicle that is considered to be a classic car or an antique car. The difference between a classic car and an antique car is that classic cars are typically a minimum of 15 years old, while antique cars are older than 25 years. No matter which car you drive, the law in Ontario states that you are required to have the most minimum insurance coverage. How do you know when to opt for classic car insurance, or stick to regular car insurance? This guide aims to break it down.
According to The Classic Car Club of America (CCCA), the simplest way to define a classic car is a ‘fine’ or ‘distinctive’ American or foreign-built automobile manufactured between 1915 and 1948. The CCCA has a number of other factors that help define a classic car like luxury accessories and power brakes and clutch, and engine displacement. The Vintage Car Club of Canada recognizes cars 25 years and older as classic cars.
If your car is pre-1980, unmodified, with a sufficient historical significance, and has a value that is worth restoring, it could be in the classic bracket.
However, when it comes to insurance the game changes a bit, and so make sure to look at different insurers to ensure the best coverage for your precious automobile. Some insurance providers and vendors ask that classic cars should be at least 20 years old, some mention between 20-30 years. There are many exceptions, and sometimes cars that may not be technically considered classics can be accepted when it comes to insurance if they have a collectible or ‘limited-edition’ status.
Some classic car insurance providers and their policies are stricter than others; their coverage and premiums may vary too. It helps to get quotes from multiple providers to understand how it works with different companies.
Some of the rules and restrictions for classic car insurance are:
1) Usage limitation
The classic car cannot be the main vehicle that you drive every day. The car can be insured only if the usage is pleasure or leisure. This means you could take it for a spin to the club, meetings, events, shows, and car parades. You can also take your classic car for maintenance and repair. Some providers specify the number of kilometres you can drive. You should have a separate insured vehicle that you take out as a daily driver.
2) Other restrictions
There is also a no-go for that drive to work, schools or colleges, shopping or to run errands. What insurance companies are looking for is the least amount of usage for your vehicle to minimize any accidents and claims. This is due to the fact that classic car insurance has the lowest insurance premiums. While some providers also have restrictions on whether it can go out of North America, others stipulate that the car remains in your garage under lock and key.
If you’re looking to drive your classic car every day, then standard auto insurance is a more appropriate choice for your vehicle.
Although it may sound like the proper way to go, sometimes classic car insurance may not be for you. Firstly, there are criteria that you need to qualify for, and then there are restrictions. If you want to protect the value of your dearest collectible, you should consider how you use your vehicle and if it qualifies as a classic car. If you and your vehicle qualify, a true value is set for the vehicle that you and your insurance provider will come to an agreement upon, which is called the Agreed Value Basis (AVB). This is determined because the value of a classic car never really depreciates.
If you have a classic car, that is not used as your primary vehicle, are you automatically qualified for classic car insurance? Not always. To be qualified, you will need to have:
As with any standard car insurance, classic car insurance and coverage can vary between insurers too. Make sure you ask questions right from the start!
Classic cars primarily have certain points in favour of them compared to a regular car insurance.
1) Premiums are low: For your classic car to have classic car insurance, it needs to be driven with caution whenever it is driven. Thus, premiums are often lower. Compared to modified/customized cars, premiums for classic cars less.
Remember that your Thunderbird can still be on the road with a normal car insurance with minimum coverage if it is going to be your primary vehicle.
2) The agreed value: If you know the value of your ’57 Chevrolet, and are able to communicate this to your provider by having a vehicle appraisal, the insurance company will match that value and will be paid in the event of a total loss.
Of course, your Corvette is important to you. It is your most valuable possession. The easiest way to get the cheapest insurance quotes is to shop around online and compare quotes. Once you get your quotes, some personalized questions will help determine the value and the coverage. There are a lot of requirements and restrictions, but don’t take your classic car out on the road without insuring it first. If you own an eligible vehicle, you should have the coverage to protect it. And if you plan to make your classic car your daily ride, be sure to get a standard auto insurance policy out on the vehicle so its fully protected.