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What is classic car insurance?


You don't treat your classic car like it's a Corolla. A true classic doesn't just take you from point A to point B. It takes you to another time altogether. An antique car is also a part of your personal identity and a true labor of love. Whether you have a 1967 Pontiac GTO or a 1964 Aston Martin, you want to make sure your prized possession is well protected. Here's how a classic car insurance policy works.


In this article, we'll discuss:

  1. What makes a classic car “classic”?
  2. What’s covered by classic car insurance?
  3. What are some additional coverage options?
  4. What are some ways I can get discounts on my insurance?
  5. Where can I buy a policy?




What is exactly is a classic car?


Because all insurance companies have their own underwriting department (that essentially evaluates risk and monitors exposure), it’s difficult to create a set of hard and fast rules regarding what defines a classic car. Some insurance companies group all classic-type cars under the general umbrella of "classic-car insurance" or will separate them out individually. Either way, there are underlying themes that arise which can help you find the right coverage options. Let's first start with some basic categories that insurance companies use to sort classic-type cars into:


  • Classic cars: This usually refers to vehicles that are restored, of high value, in good, working condition, and are between 15-20 years old
  • Modified collector cars: This type of vehicle is exactly what it sounds like. It has some aspect of the body or engine that is altered significantly from the original condition. This is a tricky area in terms of classic-car insurance because, depending on the modifications, insurance companies might not provide coverage. Cars modified for the purposes of racing, for instance, are usually excluded from coverage.
  • Replicas: Sometimes referred to as a “kit car,” a replica can refer to a vehicle over 20 years old with separately manufactured performance. Alternatively, it can mean a car that reflects another vehicle that is at least 25 years old.
  • Antique autos: An antique car usually means that the vehicle is older than 25 years and is in good working condition. However, this numerical regulation can vary per company, as well as by state.




Classic Car Coverages


While there are many unique attributes to classic cars and their insurance coverage, the core structure of coverage remains fairly consistent. Classic car insurance still offers liability for bodily injury and property damage, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured protections. However, a big difference between car insurance and classic car insurance is reflected by the distinctions in the use of the vehicle.


What is unique to classic car coverage?



Insurance companies don't typically view a "classic" vehicle as a client's primary form of transportation. To accurately reflect this minimal use of the vehicle when designing policies, some insurance companies use stipulations for your classic car, like mileage limitations and mandatory garage storage practices.


Total loss scenarios

Moreover, car insurance and classic car insurance can differ in the event of a total loss. For example, if you drove a 2010 Toyota Corolla and it was totaled in 2016, with average insurance, the amount you would receive in your claims payout would factor in the 6 years of depreciation. However, if you carried classic car insurance and your vehicle was totaled, you would receive the amount that was originally agreed upon at the onset of your policy without any depreciation. This concept is referred to as "agreed value" or "guaranteed value" coverage and it's pretty common with most insurers. The reason for this caveat is infused into the very nature of the classic car: if they're well cared for, the value will only increase over time.


Worldwide coverage

Another unique aspect of classic car insurance is the idea of worldwide coverage. While the insurance for your standard vehicle is restricted to the US (and sometimes Canada), most insurance companies offer a broader form of coverage for classic cars. So, if you plan on touring your car to show it off, speak with your insurance provider about available protection options.





Additional classic car insurance coverage options


Because classic and antique cars are unique monuments of the past, most policies offer room for special coverage that in-production cars, like your friend's Miata, don't need. Let's explore.


Auto show medical reimbursement

Highly specific to classic car insurance, this insurance covers you in the event someone injuries themselves at an exhibit or event where your car is featured.


No attendance required

Like auto show medical reimbursement, no attendance required coverage is specific to being at an auto show or exhibit. Here, your coverage is extended even if you’re not in the vicinity of your vehicle and damage occurs. For instance, if your vehicle is being used in a demonstration at an event and is damaged, you would still have coverage.


Coverage for spare parts

This provides coverage for any backup parts you may have if they are damaged or stolen for an agreed-upon value.




Ways to save: discounts


Discounts can be very company specific. However, there are a few discounts worth considering:


Multi-line discount

Otherwise known as a multi-policy discount, a multi-line discount refers to having two kinds of insurance with one company. If you currently have a renters or homeowners policy, consider insuring your classic car with the same company. If bundled together, on average, you can save between $72 and $110 on your car insurance.

Renters and home bundling discounts

Savings with Renters Savings with Home
$73 $142


Multi-car Discount

This discount is pretty self-explanatory. Usually, your classic car isn’t your main form of transportation. So, try having your A-to-B car insured by the same insurance company as your classic car so you can be eligible for a multi-car discount.




The best classic car insurance companies


As your classic vehicle is pretty one-of-a-kind, not every insurance company will cover it. Here are some top contenders:

  • Hagerty Insurance
  • Grundy Insurance
  • American Collectors
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • American Modern

The process of getting your classic car insured can be a little different than trying to cover a typical vehicle. A newer car has a 17 character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that you or your insurance company uses to rate the car for a policy, but a classic car won't always have one. You may need to shop around for a classic car insurance quote directly with an insurance agent.  Check out our guide to top-value car insurance providers if you want to find insurance for your everyday car.

Recent Questions:

Am I still covered for liability coverage if I drive my car in a parade?

Yes, you should be insured while driving in a parade under the mentioned circumstances. Many people who drive in parades tend to have classic or modified vehicles which often require different types of insurance coverage.
Jun 25, 2019 Santa Claus, IN

Will having historical plates on my car lower the cost of insurance?

If you are going to have historical or classic plates you are going to fall into special types of plans. Personal auto plans that most companies offer will not adequately cover what you need.
Dec 9, 2019 Albany, NY

Where can I get classic car insurance?

While we do not provide classic car insurance, you can find some quotes with these companies: Hagerty Insurance Grundy Insurance American Collectors Safeco State Farm American Modern
Feb 21, 2018 Ocala, Florida

Where can I find coverage for a 1953 GMC pickup?

The problem with quoting pre-1981 model vehicles is that automakers at the time didn't use a standardized VIN format. Since insurance is all about risk, most insurance companies want to know as much about the vehicle as possible before offering a rate.
Feb 18, 2017 Gulfport, FL

Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.