10 considerations when choosing a classic car insurance policy
By: Mark Loud
Last updated: 06 January 2016
If you’ve got a classic car then it’s quite probably your pride and joy, and second only to your spouse and family in your list of priorities (or perhaps even first, but don’t tell them that!). You’ve probably spent a substantial chunk of money on your ageing metallic beauty too, so it makes sense to seek a robust classic car insurance policy that will offer a good combination of affordability and effective coverage.
So to give you the piece of mind you want and the cover your heritage piece deserves, here are 10 things to look for in your classic car insurance. These tips will help you to get the most out of your policy, and get a good price for it, so that you can focus on enjoying the drive.
1. Tailoring your insurance to your specific vehicle type – The term ‘classic car’ covers a fairly broad range of automobiles. Classic car insurance is generally much cheaper than it would be for a standard vehicle for a variety of reasons, but some providers offer even more affordable sub-brackets, such as veteran car insurance for pre-World War I cars, and vintage insurance for cars built before 1930. Check which category your vehicle falls under and whether you can get a good deal on this from a particular insurer.
2. Find out if there are any insurers/brokers specialising in your model or make – Within the sub-sets of classic car insurance some providers specialise even further by offering cover for specific makes or models of classic cars. In doing so, they will often provide much better policy prices and other perks that you might not get when you opt for a ‘jack of all trades’ provider.
3. Overseas coverage – If you’re fond of a jaunt to classic motoring shows on the continent to show off your baby, then you should make sure that you are covered for driving your vehicle overseas as well as in the UK. Pay specific attention to what length of trip you’re covered for, and if your policy applies to (or exempts) driving in any specific countries.
4. Modifications – As with any type of car insurance, it is imperative that you keep your classic car insurer notified of any modifications that you make to your vehicle. Failure to do so can result in your policy being declared void, leading to all kinds of issues in the event that you’re involved in an accident, including the possibility of points on your licence and a fine for being technically uninsured. In addition to this, as the cost for classic car parts can be quite high, you’ll also naturally want to make certain that you’re fully protected financially.
5. Insurance that fits your mileage – You can usually get a particularly good deal on your classic car cover if you opt for a limited mileage policy, where the insurer offers you a low premium in recognition of the fact that the vehicle is only used occasionally. That’s fine if you’re happy to just have the odd Sunday afternoon drive (if the weather’s nice) and gaze at your shiny classic car in its garage the rest of the time. But if you want the freedom to drive more often and for longer, then such a policy may not be right for you.
Source: Paul VanDerWerf
6. How much extra miles will cost – Many insurers will allow you to increase the amount of miles your covered for at an extra cost, though some may require that you take out an entirely new policy. If you think there’s a chance that you might exceed the stated mileage in your policy then be sure to investigate where your potential insurer stands on this and what the potential cost may be to you. A good ‘preferred broker’ with the experience and contacts within the industry will be able to advise you on the best adaptable policies available for classic cars.
7. Short-term classic car insurance – If you’re only going to use your vehicle on very specific occasions, such as weddings or car shows, it might be worth thinking about whether you need it to be permanently insured. Some insurers will provide you with a limited-time policy that you can use on specific days such as these. You might also want to consider ‘laid up’ insurance, which will cover your vehicle against theft, fire and other forms of damage while it’s stored away in your garage and not in use.
8. A policy from a specialist insurer or broker – Many companies ‘dabble’ in classic car insurance as a means of expanding their repertoire. But not all of these actually take the time to understand classic car ownership and use, or to actually tailor their policies for those that drive classic cars. Specialist insurers are able to offer policies that are better suited to the nuances of classic car ownership, and can usually provide a better deal.
9. Can you get a club discount? – Being a member of a classic car club can have a variety of perks and benefits, and one of these may be discounted classic car insurance. Many clubs have negotiated special deals with specific insurance companies that enable members to get a substantial discount on their policy, so be sure to check whether this is the case. It may also be worth joining such a club if you’re not already a member, with the possible discount on your insurance costs potentially paying for any membership fees.
10. What if you use your classic car for activities other than leisure? – Owning a classic car can at times be an expensive hobby, and so you might naturally think about ways that you can use your vehicle to make some of your money back. One such option is providing it for use as a chauffeur-driven vehicle at weddings and other events. However, if you do this, or use it for anything else that might be considered a business purpose, you will need to inform your insurer, and make sure that you have a policy that covers you for commercial use. This could include everything from public and personal liability cover, through to specialist hire car cover that protects you, your vehicle and your passengers. Depending on the nature of your activities, you may also require a special licence from your local authority or council, particularly if you are carrying passengers in return for financial remuneration.
Marc Loud is a partner and Commercial Manager at Park Insurance, a specialist insurance broker with more than 20 years’ experience in helping customers get the right classic car insurance for their needs.