SOLD! On the Benefits of Collector Car Insurance

AAA Insurance explains the basics of insuring antique, collector cars

Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 11, 2012. Major auto auctions are cruising into the Valley next week, prompting motor enthusiasts to bring out their hot rods and rides. However, before bidding, AAA Insurance would like to advise auto aficionados of what they need to know about collector car policies.

Last year, more than 1,300 vehicles were sold for a total of $116 million at collector car auctions across the Valley, according to the Arizona Republic. However, auction-goers may be surprised to learn that a standard auto policy may not cover one of these pricey possessions.

“Classic car owners invest a great amount of time and money on their rides, and as such, should ensure that their investment is adequately protected,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona.

AAA Insurance recommends that collector car owners consult with their agent to determine the best coverage and type of policy for their vehicles, including:

  • Policy structure. Most collector car policies are structured similarly to regular auto policies. An owner can have multiple cars on one policy and rotate vehicles on and off the policy. The limit of how many cars are on one policy may vary depending on the insurance company, but a collector car policy with multiple vehicles listed is relatively common.

  • Usage and storage. With an average annual mileage of 1,000 to 5,000 miles, most collector cars are rarely on the road, and their policy should reflect limited use. In addition, when the vehicle is not in use, antique and classic car insurers traditionally insist that these types of cars be stored in a fully enclosed, locked garage.

  • Vehicle valuation. An agreed value policy is a specific type of insurance policy which is preferable for collector cars. These policies guarantee that in the event of a total loss, the insurer will pay the owner of the car the full amount listed on the policy, minus any deductible. These differ from regular use policies which require the insurer to pay the owner only the actual cash value of the vehicle. That’s because every day use vehicles typically depreciate in value, whereas collector or classic cars often appreciate.

  • Vehicle condition. Insurers prefer to insure cars that are in excellent condition, and antique and classic car insurers may decline coverage for cars that appear to be weathered or that have sustained prior damage. However, coverage can usually be obtained while an antique or classic car is undergoing an active restoration.

  • Other factors. Some insurers of collectible vehicles may want to know whether spare parts are available in the event that the car is damaged, as well as the proximity of auto repair and body shops that are equipped to fix classic vehicles. Some specialty insurers will even insure spare parts. However, most insurers specializing in antique and classic cars have an extensive network of resources that can help owners obtain rare and hard-to-find parts.

For more information on insuring classic and collector cars, visit AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance, vacation planning, discounts and financial services to more than 800,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls across the state. In 2008, AAA was ranked the No. 1 “socially responsible” brand by Landor’s BrandAsset® Valuator. In 2010 and 2011, AAA Travel earned Lovin’ Life After 50’s favorite travel agency category in the publication’s annual reader’s choice awards. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers and the motoring public.