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The Best Classic Car Insurance for 2022

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If you are the proud owner of a classic car, there is no doubt that you're interested in car insurance. Classic car insurance is, by far, the best way to protect a vehicle someone has poured time, attention, and financial resources into. To help owners of classic vehicles find the best option for collector car insurance, we've compiled a list of the five best classic car insurers for 2022.

What is classic car insurance?

Classic car insurance is designed to cover "special" cars, worth more than Kelley Blue Book (KBB) might indicate. Imagine a 1966 Ford Mustang, restored to better-than-new condition and driven only on Sundays. Classic auto insurance companies provide coverage for cars like this Mustang. They also protect:

  • Antique cars
  • Hot rods
  • Exotic and luxury vehicles
  • Old trucks
  • Military vehicles

In other words, classic car insurance is designed to cover vehicles that cannot be assigned a value based on traditional Blue Book value.

What's the difference between classic or collector auto insurance and standard auto insurance?

There are at least four major differences between classic car insurance and traditional (standard) car insurance.

  1. Classic car insurance covers the car up to the amount agreed upon between the owner and insurer when the policy was written. Traditional auto insurance covers up to what the car is currently worth at the time of an incident -- unless the driver has gap insurance that makes up the difference.
  2. To be covered by classic car insurance, a vehicle must meet certain criteria. A traditional insurance is easier to qualify for.
  3. Classic car insurance is typically cheaper than traditional insurance because the owner is not driving the car like they would a "regular" vehicle.
  4. Before deciding how much coverage is needed, a car owner will be expected to have their vehicle appraised by a third-party appraiser.

Types of collectible cars

In a nutshell, if a driver doesn't use a vehicle for their everyday transportation, a vehicle may be considered collectible. Here are some examples of the types of vehicles drivers cover with a classic car insurance policy:

Antique cars

Antique cars are sometimes referred to as "veteran cars" or "Brass Era cars." They were the first cars made, at the dawn of the horseless carriage. There's considerable debate regarding just how old a car must be to be considered an "antique." Some say anything built before 1914 is an antique, while others claim that any vehicle older than 45 years can be classified as antique. The exact description varies by insurance carrier, but the 1903 Cadillac Model A is the perfect example of a car any insurance company would agree is worthy of antique car insurance.

Vintage cars

Antique cars were about as basic as they come, with next to no features. Vintage cars -- typically manufactured between 1919 and 1930 -- offer a few more driver-friendly features. The 1925 Flint Model E-55 and 1930 Cadillac V-16 are examples of vintage cars.

Classic cars

To be a true classic car, it must be older than 25 years old. Cars of this age are in varying states of condition. The Volkswagen Beetle and Bugatti Type 57 are great examples of classic cars.

Hot rods

Some say that hot rods were the brainchild of bootleggers who customized their vehicles to outrun the law in the 1920s prohibition era. Since that time, car lovers have continued to enhance their vehicles, managing to make them drive fast and look cool at the same time. A hot rod is not a specific "type" of car, but the National Street Rod Association describes a hot rod as an automobile manufactured in 1948 or earlier that has undergone modernization to the engine.

Exotic vehicles

To be termed "exotic" a vehicle must be truly unique, one-of-a-kind, or one of a handful of models that were manufactured. Examples are one of Enzo's original Scuderia Ferrari cars.

Luxury vehicles

A luxury vehicle is practically a work of art. Think 1933 Silver Arrow or 1954 Bentley R Type.

Vintage trucks

A vintage truck is one that was manufactured between 1919 and 1930. A good example is the 1927 Ford Model T 1 Ton Pickup.

Muscle cars

A muscle car is a vehicle with a little extra horsepower under the hood. Mustangs, GTOs, and Camaros are all examples of classic muscle cars.

Military vehicles

The military routinely sells unused and outdated equipment, including airplanes, jeeps, trucks, cars, and tanks. To be considered a collector vehicle (and eligible for classic car insurance), the vehicle in question must be from 1974 or earlier.

Best classic car insurance companies

State Farm

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Best for Bundling CoverageState Farm
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State Farm has played a role in protecting American families since 1922. Because they offer all types of coverage, they are one of the best classic car insurance companies to work with when a driver wants to bundle coverage and score discounts.

One attractive feature of working with State Farm is that they've been in the classic and collector car insurance business for many years. In fact, their employees even created a 1968 Camaro to use as a teaching tool. The "split" car demonstrates the differences between a car in its original state and one that has been modified or fully restored. It's a great way to help State Farm employees understand the added value of a classic car and why it must be insured in a different way.

Geico

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Best for mobile and online managementGeico
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Geico has the edge when it comes to mobile and online apps. As another company with a familiar name, Geico offers some of the best technology in the business, making everything -- from getting a quote to making a claim -- faster and easier. Geico's classic car insurance coverage is based on how much the vehicle owner and Geico agree the vehicle is worth. That way, if the customer is involved in an accident, their classic car can be made good as new. In addition, Geico offers up to $500 coverage for spare parts, a nice bonus for classic car owners.

American Collectors

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Best for Roadside EmergencyAmerican Collectors
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Not only does American Collectors offer perks like Spare Parts Coverage and Inflation Guard, the company also has a stellar reputation for coming to the aid of classic car drivers when they're stuck on the side of the road. American Collectors reimburses drivers for emergency expenses like towing and lock out. What's more, the company offers an impressive amount of features, including:

  • Emergency travel expenses
  • Missed car show reimbursement
  • Cash reward for information leading to the return of the vehicle if it is stolen
  • Personal item protection

Grundy

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Best for vehicles with increasing valueGrundy
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Grundy guarantees 100% of the vehicle's value if the car is totaled. And because they've been insuring classic cars since 1947, Grundy knows what drivers want. For example, unlike most classic car insurance companies, Grundy allows unlimited driving miles. While they don't want drivers using it as their daily car -- and still require drivers to have another car for everyday use -- they do not ask anyone to track their mileage or prove how little they're driving their classic car.

Safeco

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Best for drivers who need more milesSafeco
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Safeco's classic vehicle coverage allows drivers to put up to 10,000 miles per year on their cars, 2,500 mile more than most carriers. This is perfect for snowbirds who want to bring the vehicle along as they escape the winter chill or couples who need an extra set of wheels on a semi-regular basis.

Are you eligible for classic car insurance coverage?

To be eligible for classic car insurance, the insured vehicle must meet minimum qualifications, which include:

  • Typically, the vehicle must be at least 25 years old.
  • Mileage driven per year must be low. Classic car insurance companies set their own limits, but it is typically 7,500 miles or less.
  • Driver must have access to another vehicle to drive on an everyday basis.
  • Vehicle must be safely stored, protected from theft and weather conditions.
  • Driver must agree not to drive -- or race -- on a racetrack.
  • Vehicle must be in good condition. Further, the driver must be able to provide proof of regular maintenance.

How old does a car have to be for classic car insurance?

It depends on the type of classic vehicle. While a classic car is at least 25 years old (depending on the insurer), antique cars are those that are at least 45 years old, and vintage cars were built between 1919 and 1930.

Qualifications for the driver

Driver criteria varies by insurer. Here are two requirements seen most often among classic car insurance companies:

  1. The primary policyholder must be at least 25 years of age
  2. Policyholders must have a clean driving record for five to 10 years.

How much does it cost to insure a classic car?

Another way classic car insurance is different from standard car insurance is that the price depends on so many factors that it can be difficult to pin down an average rate. Generally, a driver will pay from $200 to $600 annually for classic car insurance coverage, unless their vehicle has an extremely high value. Here's a partial list of factors that go into determining cost:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Value of vehicle
  • Age of vehicle
  • Amount of restoration completed and whether there are unusual elements added
  • The level of coverage the driver needs and is comfortable carrying

In short, the answer to the question, "How much is classic car insurance?" depends on a number of factors. The cost of classic car insurance varies, depending on how much coverage a person requires and how valuable the vehicle in question is to repair.

How to save on classic car insurance

The fact that the cost of classic car insurance varies so wildly can work in favor of the driver looking to save money. Here are some of the ways they can make that happen:

  • Only buy the coverage needed. If a driver plans to take the vehicle out a few times a year, there's no reason to pay for a policy that covers putting thousands of miles on the odometer.
  • If possible, bundle policies. If a driver can insure their classic car with the same company that insures their everyday vehicle, home, and life, it could save money.
  • Store the car in the safest possible spot.
  • Conduct an annual classic car insurance checkup to make sure the current policy provides the best rate.
  • Compare car insurance rates each year.

Important note: Drivers should not make the mistake of choosing a company solely because they offer the cheapest classic car insurance. Instead, they should work with an insurer with a strong reputation that will be there when needed. Classic car insurance cost should be just one of the factors considered when choosing the right insurer.

Coverage options for classic or collector vehicle insurance

Chances are, you're already familiar with the terms associated with classic car insurance. That's because classic car insurance offers the same types of basic coverage as traditional car insurance. They include:

Liability

If you are at fault for an accident that causes damage or injury, liability will help cover the injured party's losses.

Collision

If you're in an accident with another party and there is damage to your vehicle, collision coverage will help make repairs.

Comprehensive

If something happens, like a tree falls on your car or the vehicle is burned in a fire, comprehensive insurance provides coverage.

Medical

Medical coverage works in conjunction with your current health insurance to pay medical bills if you are injured in an accident.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist

Say you're in an accident and the other party is found at fault. If they don't have insurance coverage (or have too little to cover your damages) uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage kicks in.

Emergency roadside assistance

As much as a driver pampers their classic car, it can break down like any vehicle. If it does, most insurers offer some kind of roadside assistance to get the driver (and their treasured vehicle) back on the road.

As much as you already enjoy your classic car, the experience can only be enhanced by knowing that you've done everything within your power to protect both the classic vehicle and yourself.

RELATED: See The Ascent's guides to the best cheap car insurance and best car insurance companies.

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