A collector car is very different to a daily driver – even luxury, high-end everyday cars – and they are therefore treated differently when it comes to insurance. This is a good thing. After all the time, money and effort you have spent on restoring and properly storing your classic or antique car, you can rest assured that your investment will be covered. But getting the right policy for your collectible car is important, so if you’re not sure what the differences are between standard and collector car insurance policies or whether your car qualifies as a collectible, then this article is for you.

What is a Collector Car?

While the definition can vary between specific automotive insurance providers, collector cars are generally classic, vintage, antique, modern limited-run or modified cars that are not used as a daily, personal vehicle. According to the DMV, antiques are the oldest classification and while views differ, they are regarded by many as vehicles made prior to 1918. Vintage cars are vehicles manufactured between 1919 and 1930, while classic cars are limited-run vehicles that were produced from the late 1920s through the 1940s. In addition, cars such as modern limited-run cars, modified cars, muscle cars, kit cars, race cars and hot rods may also qualify as collector cars for vehicle insurance.

Collector Car Insurance Coverage

The Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit communications organization and a great source for information regarding collector car insurance, describes collector car policies as those that take into account the higher cost of vintage car parts and specialty repair shops and the limited nature of the vehicle’s use, with many offering tiered mileage plans in addition to coverage for the vehicle while stored, driven recreationally and during car shows.

A standard auto policy for example might not cover original or exact replacement parts or things like leaving your vehicle unattended at a car show, which are benefits usually included in a specialty policy. They often also offer agreed value terms, which is one of the most important reasons to get collectible car insurance instead of standard. Unlike a stated value policy which can pay less than the market value based on depreciation, an agreed value policy means your car is insured for the full market value in the event of a total loss.

Another benefit of collector car insurance is lower premiums. Because classic cars are driven much less and in most cases, with great care, the premiums are generally lower than those of regular-use policies.

Things to Look For In a Collectible Car Policy

A collector car policy will cover a lot of the same things as a standard policy; things like comprehensive, collision, liability, personal injury and uninsured motorist coverage, however, the collector policy should also take into account the special nature of a collector car. Some of the items to look out for when seeking coverage for your collector car include:

  • Limited Use Clauses: Because most collector cars are only on the road a minimal amount, mileage is usually limited on these policies. Be sure to check the mileage range for your policy.
  • Condition Requirements: Some insurers will not cover classic, antique or vintage cars that are damaged, so you need to make sure your collectible car fits the insurer’s condition requirements.
  • Storage Policy: Many policies require collector cars to be garaged in a secure, fully enclosed structure when not in use. You will need to double check that your storage facility meets the policy requirements.

Of course every policy is different and can cover – or not cover – a many number of things. There are often varying requirements associated with car shows, restoration, and driver history, so make sure you read any policy carefully before signing up for coverage.