For the avid collector, owning a classic car is a dream-come-true. Classic cars offer you a chance to experience automotive history first-hand by driving a vehicle that few other people own. Sadly, classic cars are not without their problems.
Aside from the hefty price tag, these vehicles also come with unique challenges that you won't experience with other cars. Among them is the problem of getting hard to find spare parts to keep them operational.
If you own a classic car, the odds are very high that you also have classic car insurance. After all, it wouldn't be very wise if you didn't! What you should be asking is the question below.
Does Your Classic Car Insurance Pay for those Hard to Find Car Parts?
The answer is yes, and no. Yes, classic car insurance will pay for hard-to-find car parts. But no, they won't give you an unlimited budget for it. Usually, they'll only pay for as much as is agreed upon in the insurance policy.
So, for example, if your policy covers only $2,500 worth of car parts, then that's the highest amount that they'll pay for the spares you need.
On top of that, the insurer will only pay for spare parts under certain conditions, like if those spare parts were damaged in an accident, fire, or if thieves stole them.
But here's something important to consider: the reason I keep saying 'usually' and 'generally' is because insurance policies are highly customisable in nature, especially with specialised insurance products like classic car insurance.
Since these policies tend to be tailor-made, the first thing you need to do is understand the options at your disposal.
With that in mind, the rest of this article will help you understand the ins and outs of classic car insurance. Once you know what your options are, you'll be able to have a more productive discussion with your insurer to get the ideal level of insurance coverage for your classic car; not too little, and not too much.
What Is Classic Car Insurance?
Let's start with the basics. What is classic car insurance? It's simple, really. That's a form of auto insurance just like you'd get for any other car. The difference is that the protection is tailor-made only for vehicles that fall under the 'classic car' category.
Of course, 'classic car' is an inclusive and sometimes vague term. The general understanding is that you can consider any car older than 15 years a 'classic' car. Still, you and I know that not all 'classic' cars are the same.
That's why in Australia, classic car insurance usually falls into one of four categories. They include:
- Veteran Car Insurance - The oldest cars you could own, made between 1905 and 1919.
- Vintage Car Insurance - Relatively newer models, but from way back between 1919 and 1930.
- Prestige Car Insurance - These are your high-end, flashy cars from Europe or the UK. The kind of classic high-performance vehicles that you'd consider to be 'supercars'.
- American Classic Insurance - Classic American cars also get their own category in this regard. These would include All-American vehicles like the Ford Mustang and Pontiac Trans Am, among many others.
When it comes to classic car insurance (or any other insurance products, for that matter), always remember that the terminology tends to change over time. To be competitive, insurance companies might use slightly different names for their policies to help them stand out.
But of course, if you tell the insurance agent or company that you're looking for classic car insurance, they'll know exactly which insurance products are suitable for your vehicle. They'll know how to advise you further.
As with anything else in life, always read the fine print to know what you're paying for before you sign on the dotted line.
What's Considered A 'Classic' Car?
Typically, you can consider any car above 15 years of age to be a 'classic' car. But of course, they're not all the same. As we've seen earlier, classic cars can fall into several different categories, including veteran, vintage, prestige, and classic American cars.
What Does Classic Car Insurance Cover?
Classic car insurance will offer you pretty much the same comprehensive protection that you'd get on regular auto insurance. You can even get additional protection for third-party protection damage and third-party fire and theft, just like you would from similar insurance products.
The difference here is that classic car insurance is tailored-made specifically for your vehicle. The dollar amount of the protection it offers is probably going to be higher than newer models. Plus, some classic car insurance might help you with finding specialist mechanics to work on your vehicle.
After all, a vehicle as unique as your classic car deserves an equally individual protection policy, doesn't it?
Which Insurers Provide Classic Car Insurance?
You can get classic car insurance from almost any auto insurance provider. All you have to do is give them a call or send them an inquiry, and they'll point you to their insurance products which are tailor-made specifically for classic cars.
Together, you'll agree to a dollar-value of your classic car, and how much protection you'll want for it. Generally speaking, the more insurance coverage you buy, the higher your monthly or annual premiums will be.
Getting the Right Amount of Classic Car Insurance
When it comes to paying for classic car insurance, the key is to strike a balance. Think about it: you don't want to blow most of your cash on insurance, leaving nothing left over to pay for other expenses. To do that, you need to make sure your classic car isn't under- or over-insured.
Over-insuring means that you'll be paying higher premiums to protect against things that have a small chance of happening (like getting flood insurance when you live in a desert, for example).
Under-insuring is the complete opposite. Sure, you'll pay lower premiums and save money. But if you're in a position where you need help paying for those hard-to-find car parts, you might not get enough money from the insurance company to do so.
Here’s a Little Help in Searching for Classic Car Parts in Australia
If you'd like to search for classic car parts yourself, check out Carpart.com.au, where you'll be able to browse listings for used parts in excellent condition from all over Australia. If you can't find what you're looking for, submit a request through the Parts Finder. Parts sellers who have what you need will get in touch with you and send you their quotes.
By Ray Hasbollah