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Classic and Specialty Car Insurance

Classic and Specialty Car Insurance

Why Do I Need a Certified Classic Car Insurance Appraisal?

Classic Car Insurance – You spent a ton of money on your precious baby – your classic car – so it’s essential to make sure that you have classic car insurance to protect it from the bumps and scrapes of life. The kind of coverage you have on your everyday vehicle might not be adequate for your classic car.

Start by finding a certified appraiser with classic car experience. A search for a “car appraiser near me” can be a good place to start, but you need to do some more research to find one that’s qualified to do classic car insurance appraisals.

It’s critical that your appraiser has the experience and industry reputation to give you an accurate classic car appraisal since if something happens, you want to get back the full value of your valuable investment.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of charlatans and discount appraisers out there. Insurance companies always look at the appraiser’s reputation in the classic car industry. Here at Benchmark Auto Appraisers, we have a wealth of experience as classic car appraisers, including with clients that include well-known museums and expert curators. Insurers trust our appraisals and always give our clients a fair settlement equal to their actual car value.

Classic Car Insurance

Appraisals a Must Before You Purchase Your Classic Auto Insurance Policy

To get the proper coverage for your car, you’ll need independent documentation from a classic car appraiser before you buy your policy. Insurers need to know the exact car value to provide you with the coverage you need in case of an accident.

Accurate Appraisals Are the Key to Getting a Fair Settlement After an Accident

That classic car insurance appraisal will also give you the edge in negotiations if another driver hits your car while you’re out on the road. The other party’s insurer will do their best to lessen the settlement amount, so having a dependable car value for your vehicle beforehand will put you in a better position for negotiation. As an appraiser who has often served as an expert witness in court cases, we’re no stranger to tough negotiation.

An Insurance Appraisal Can Help If You Sell

Should you ever want to sell your classic car, your classic car appraisal is an important tool to document your car’s history and condition down through the years. Serious classic car investors regard a professional appraisal by a certified appraiser as the gold standard to determine a fair price. When you get an appraisal well before you even think about selling your classic car, you’ll be miles ahead when it comes to getting your right price.

The Nuts and Bolts of Classic Car Insurance

Conventional car insurance simply won’t work for a classic car. The reason? Age. Cars depreciate as they age – and classic cars are well over the hill as far as conventional insurers are concerned.

Classic auto insurance works like this: The owner and insurer must agree on the value of the vehicle. Here’s where experienced classic car appraisers are worth their weight in gold. Since classic car values depend on what classic cars are currently selling for at auctions, it pays to hire a certified auto appraiser that keeps abreast of all the trends, as well as industry-wide accepted classic car valuation guides.

That’s one reason why at Benchmark, we not only stay current with current sales prices, but we’ve also amassed a huge library about automotive history that dates back before the turn of the century – the early 1900s, that is. An expert appraisal is your key to a fair settlement in case of an accident or other damage.

How Classic Car Insurance Works

You’ll be glad to know that frequently, classic car premiums are lower than standard auto insurance. Since you rarely take it out for a spin, in contrast to your everyday ride, accidents are less likely. Furthermore, people tend to keep classic vehicles inside the garage, so they’re not as vulnerable to damage from falling trees, hail, and other natural phenomena that would result in a possible total loss.

Premiums also depend on your vehicle’s condition, as well as your driving history. Usually, if you have other policies with your chosen provider, you can also get a discount on your classic auto insurance as well.

Does My Classic Car Qualify?

Each insurer has its own standards for qualifying a vehicle as a classic car. Since condition and the vehicle’s history are key factors for qualification, a certified appraisal by an experienced appraiser is a must.

  • Qualifying age: Most cars need to be at least 19 years old or have specialty upgrades to qualify as a specialty/classic car. Once your car gets above the 25-year mark, your car might qualify as an antique car. Again, each insurer has its own requirements, so it pays to ask when you interview potential insurers.
  • Restored condition: To qualify, a classic car must be in excellent condition. Restoration to its original working state is a must. The closer it is to the condition it was in when it rolled off the assembly line, the more likely it will qualify as a classic car. Your car’s insurance value rises with a well-done restoration, rather than one with cheap after-market parts, for instance.
  • Expert valuation: Provided that you’ve done some restoration work on the car, you’ll need to check its value with an experienced appraiser. Your appraiser can tell you how much each improvement can raise your car’s value, which can help you plan for future restoration work on the vehicle. Classic car values vary widely, depending on the degree of restoration.
  • Other types of vehicles: Other vehicles, too, might qualify for classic vehicle insurance. To learn whether your vintage RV or truck qualifies, expert RV appraisers or a truck appraiser can help you get your classic truck or RV insured for its actual value. Like cars, these vintage vehicles need certified appraisals to make sure you get full insurance value in case of a total loss.

Do I Qualify?

Age is special features aren’t only a factor for your car, but for you as well. Usually, insurers require owners to be 25 years or older to qualify. When you look at the accident statistics for drivers under that age, you can see why. Younger drivers, particularly male ones, are more likely to crash than older ones, causing a total loss.

For a classic car policy, you’ll need to have a good driving history. Three to five years of accident-free and violation-free driving are preferred. In addition, where you live matters. Not all insurers are licensed to operate in your state.

Compare Plans

Just like with standard insurance policies, classic car insurance policies vary by coverage, premiums, and other features. It pays to shop around for qualified experts that can handle vintage car and truck appraisals.

If you’re new to the classic car world, you might be surprised to learn that some insurers specialize in only insurance for classic vehicles. Usually, their coverage and features differ from those of your other cars’ insurer since determining classic car values is a niche market when it comes to insurance.

Although you can get only liability insurance for your classic vehicle, we, like most classic car appraisers, wouldn’t recommend it. That is especially wise advice if your car has at least some restoration work on it. The more work you’ve had done on your car, the more coverage you’ll need.

Once you have your car appraised and approved for classic car insurance coverage, you’ll want to take it out on the road. In case the worst happens and you get involved in a crash, you’ll be glad that you’ve taken the time to get an expert appraisal well beforehand. When it comes to diminished value or a total loss, such an appraisal is priceless.

If you own or are considering buying a classic car, you need to get a classic car appraisal first to make sure that you can protect your investment. Don’t take your chances on appraisals from companies without the expertise to get your money’s worth out of your investment. Get in touch with the expert auto appraiser team at Benchmark Auto Appraisers today for a Free consultation and quote.

Classic and Specialty Car Insurance

Daniel “Dan” Jendrowski

Certified Public Auto Appraiser Diminish Value Experts B.C.A.A. & I.A.C.P.

For FREE Consultation and Review


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