Ask a Pro: What to know about insuring a classic car

branded content

Insuring a classic car is different than covering a 2016 Ford Explorer.

That’s mainly because classic cars that are used strictly for pleasure — such as weekend cruising and the occasional car show — may qualify for auto insurance under a classic car policy.

These policies can provide excellent coverage with premiums that are much lower than standard auto policies. This is due to their low annual mileage as well as the fact that these vehicles tend to be very well-maintained.

We sat with expert Rick Braile at the Bay Harbour Insurance Agency in Patchogue to ask him five key questions about classic car insurance.

Q: What type of add-ons do classic car owners need?

A: Besides price, the main difference between classic car insurance and standard auto insurance is the method of valuation used.

Under a standard auto policy vehicles are valued at “actual cash value,” which accounts for depreciation of your vehicle in the event of a claim, resulting in a smaller payout than you anticipate.

Classic car insurance allows you to insure your vehicle at a stated value, or an agreed value, and will pay based on that amount in the event of a claim. Depreciation is not a factor.

Q: What if my car can reach very high speeds? Does my premium go up?

A: Short answer: No. Premiums for the most part, are based on a number of factors — with the most weight given to vehicle value.

Some insurance carriers may not insure the vehicle if it is considered a high- performance car (think Ferrari, Lamborghini), however other companies will.

Q: My car is garaged during the cold and wetter months, from November through April. Should I cancel my coverage during these times and restart it?

A: In New York State, you must maintain liability insurance if your car is registered. Turning in the plates and re-registering the car in the spring may not be worth the money you save on insurance.

Q: What constitutes a classic car?

A: The rule of thumb for a vehicle to be considered a classic car is 25 years or older, however we can insure newer autos in these programs, even brand-new ones if their production is limited. 

Q: What can the Bay Harbour Insurance Agency do to help me insure my classic car?

A: There are a number of different insurance companies in the marketplace that write different types of vehicles that might be considered classic cars. There are some that insure antique autos, others that insure exotic or high-performance vehicles and others that insure limited edition vehicles. Give us a call at 631-758-1550 and we’ll be happy to provide the right policy for your auto, and answer any questions you may have.