Whether you currently own a classic muscle car or you’d like to, and regardless or the year, make, or model involved, we all have one very common need: insurance.
Ah, insurance – the one word that almost everyone (except insurance agents) say with a tone of disgust. Most of the time, people take on auto insurance policies and pay the premiums …. and never actually have to make a major claim against the policy. However, should a situation ever happen where you WOULD need to make a claim (in the event of theft, fire, a wreck, etc.), you’ll be thankful your insurance policy is there to help you. The purpose of insurance is to offset risk, and with the skyrocketing values of muscle cars these days insuring them well is a must. This leads to the big question: which type of insurance do you need? Here’s a 50,000 foot overview!
We’ll start by addressing the type of insurance that you don’t need: regular old car insurance. “Regular” car insurance is the type of insurance that you have on your daily driver (which for most people is no older than a 15 year old car or truck). Should an event ever occur where your car is totaled out, the insurance company will send you a check for (basically) the blue book value of the car. I’m simplifying things a bit here, but you get the point. The blue book values of cars decline with age, so obviously if you’ve just put $40,000 into restoring your ’67 GTX (or just purchased one) you’d need a different type of insurance.
The type of insurance that a majority of classic muscle car owners will use is called “agreed value” insurance – especially if you have a high dollar car. This is a type of policy where you and the insurance company agree on an amount of coverage value for your car (say $40,000), and you pay a monthly premium on that. Companies like Hagerty and Grundy have been issuing these policies for years – and they have very low premiums to match. It’s a great way to get your car covered for a high dollar amount at a low price. What’s the catch? Usage. Most companies that issue “agreed value” policies do so with the provision that you are insuring a specialty car that is NOT to be used as daily transportation (i.e. the car you drive to work) or in daily transportation activities (such as going to the mall, grocery store, etc.). They also (again, generally) stipulate that your specialty car be kept in a locked garage when not in use and that your daily transportation be a car no older than 15 years. They have absolutely no requirements on limiting annual mileage, but it’s essentially insurance for people that drive their cars in parades, to car shows, and the occasional cruise. If that’s you, agreed value is exactly what you want. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal than that.
What if you’d like to use your car more frequently, or as a daily driver? In that case, “stated value” insurance is the way to go. This is essentially just like regular car insurance (so you’re covered in every situation), but with a value stated on the policy for the car’s value and coverage amount. This differs from agreed value insurance in that an appraisal of the car is usually required and you’d need to find an insurance company to work with. State Farm and Allstate offer these style of policies (along with many others). It will NOT be as cheap as the agreed value policies, but it will provide you the coverage that you’re looking for.
Summary: When insuring your muscle car, determine how it is you wish to use the car first, and then choose the appropriate type of insurance based on that. If you’re a “parade, car show, and cruise” kind of guy, Agreed Value is the way to go – especially if you have a high dollar car. If you’re looking to use the car as daily transportation, go with Stated Value. As with anything else though – price the policy both ways! You may just find that the Stated Value policy will be the better route when combined with the “multi-car” discount you get on your regular policy.