Caring for your collectible requires a little something extra
When it comes to pinning down the definition of a true collectible car, the rules are as flexible as tastes are subjective. For the Classic Car Club of America, a Classic was born between 1915 and 1948, was high-priced with luxury features, and produced in limited quantities. The Insurance Information Institute says an antique or classic car has to be at least 25 to 30 years old to qualify, and must be more expensive to buy now than it was in the past.
This time, we will focus on the “antique” class of car. The policies available can vary quite literally on your mileage as well as a number of other factors designed to classify your auto as an antique. Here’s what you need to know to be up to date on protecting your piece of the past.
Further defining an antique
The words “antique auto” may conjure images of gleaming old timers at collector’s rallies, but in reality, the past is a lot closer than you may think. As far as many policy providers are concerned, a vehicle older than 25 years can qualify for antique status; a number concurred with by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). Generally, an antique auto is one that has been restored to its original condition but without any modern modifications. It must also be fully-functioning.
Here in Florida, if you want to fix an antique plate to your vehicle, the DMV states that it will have to be at least 30 years old and manufactured after 1945 (it’s amusing to know that the DMV considers any Florida vehicle constructed before 1945 to be an “ancient” one and permitted to fit horseless carriage license plates!). It’s also good to know that the fee for registering an antique in our state is only $7.50.
The special nature of such vehicles requires a special kind of policy; one with particular caveats attached that are unique to antiques. It’s the kind of insurance every antique auto owner should consider; not only to look after their vehicle, but antique auto coverage is usually cheaper than regular car insurance. It also pays to keep in mind that not only is the vehicle an important investment, but if properly maintained and protected, will only go up in value.
The stipulations of antique auto insurance
First, you will have to find out if your policy provider agrees that your vehicle is in the antique category and not simply an old model. If it’s accepted, then it will likely be necessary that limited use of your vehicle will be required to qualify for insurance. The vehicle will not meet this requirement if you use it for everyday driving. Taking the car to auto shows, car clubs, or fan meetings is considered acceptable use, but this in itself may require its own particular policy.
The secure storage of any vehicle is always preferable but in the case of antiques, your provider will almost certainly require that the vehicle be kept in a garage or other area where it is as safe as it can possibly be. Safe storage doesn’t only mean it has to be locked up tightly from thieves. Here’s some more advice from enthusiasts on ways to protect your auto.
The vehicle may not be the only thing to see its age appraised. Depending on model and usage, the driver himself may have to be over a certain age. The condition of your driver’s record could also play a part in whether or not you’re an insurance prospect.
What kind of coverage does antique auto offer?
Despite the lesser cost of this type of insurance, it can still provide coverage against liability, collision, and other typically standard auto mishaps. Some policies may even provide protection in the form of specialized towing services designed to handle your car with kid gloves. This may not even mean there has been an accident; many car enthusiasts have their antiques transported to car shows using movers experienced in moving these valuable items from place to place.
Don’t under-insure your antique
Insurance is notorious for fine print. When insuring your antique auto, you’ll want to be paid the agreed value of your car. The agreed value is very different from the stated or actual cash value. Agreed value should be ascertained before the policy is put in place. With the help of qualified professionals such as mechanics or the input of recognized collector’s organizations, the agreed value of an antique vehicle can be set and this figure should be what you receive in the event of damage.
The special nature of such a car will also mean it can’t be taken to just any mechanic. Only the right team will be able to provide the parts and carry out the work. This is a factor you should find out if your provider covers.
If you’re wondering whether or not your vehicle qualifies for antique status (or if you’re sure it does), Florida has a wealth of chapters belonging to the AACA. If you find you do have an antique on your hands, here’s how to register it correctly in the Sunshine State.
Remember that antique car enthusiasts may differ in their appraisal of a vehicle, but it’s the insurer’s opinion that matters in the end. If you have any doubts about putting the right coverage in place to protect your investment, always reach out to a qualified insurance provider who can assess your situation and make sure you don’t hit any bumps in the road.
Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated insurance agency providing an array of insurance services to meet individual needs. For advice on all kinds of insurance, you can call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quote, or contact us with any questions or comments.