It can be argued that California is the home of the most classic cars based on population, the weather, and possibly the states income level. The car has always been an icon for California, from the smog to the busy traffic jams during rush hour. There are some simple standards that need to be met by a collector applying for classic car insurance in California.
The age of the car must be over fifteen years old to acquire classic car status. Even if the model is a limited edition or any other type of specialty car, it must be at least 15 years old. The owner must have had his driver’s license for at least 10 years, and they MUST have another vehicle being used for daily transportation. Generally, most collector car insurers will only classify a car as a classic if it is valued at $5000 or more.
The classic car MUST be garaged, but then why wouldn’t you have a garage for your collector car? The idea here is for security, and to protect the car from the weather. The insured must also have a daily driving vehicle. No insurance company will insure a car if there is not another car for daily commuting. Some insurance companies require another driving vehicle for each driver living in the same household, so make sure you check on that. Your daily driving vehicle(s) do not need to be insured by the same company as your classic car (nor would you want it to be). The insured driver must also have had a driver’s license for at least 10 years, with a fairly clean record. It doesn’t have to be all 10 years in California, but it does need to be a 10 year record.
It pays to shop around specialty classic or specialty car insurers. Not only will you probably find a better rate, but you could save a lot of time and headaches with a specialty insurer. Many classic car owners believe they will have better rates and service through their current car insurer, but that is not the case. Many insurance policies drawn from the typical car insurer can be more restrictive, and more expensive. Not only that, but your car may not be fully protected since many typical insurers only use the “Stated Value” policy, leaving your car at risk. You only want the “Agreed Value” policy for your classic car. This is a value you and the insurance company agree on for your car, and it will not change. The “Stated Policy” will be the agreed value minus the depreciation value, which could be very steep for older cars. In a total loss accident, you could be out a lot of money with a ‘Stated Value” policy.
Getting insurance on anything can be a pain, and securing classic car insurance through a specialty insurer could save you a lot of time and stress. These insurers only deal with classic and specialty cars, so they know how to properly value the car. If the car is especially valuable or collectible, you may need an appraisal, and these insurers can help you through that process as well. If you are in the restoration process and the car is not drivable, you can get discounted rates through specialty insurers also. Typical insurers do not always offer this service.
After you have purchased your dream car or restored your old high school muscle car, the last thing you want to do is have the wrong insurance or have it under insured. I hope this article saves a California resident some time and money, or from losing your dream car in the unfortunate case of a total loss accident.