August 20, 2008

I just saved $470 on classic car insurance.

The other day I was talking about shopping around for car insurance. I took my own advice and ended up saving quite a bit.

I have a classic car. Its a fully restored Dodge from the 1960's. Its a fun car to own and drive. Since its a classic car I do not drive it regularly and usually only take it out a few times a month during the summer. The car is a classic so its not depreciating and its likely to at least hold its value if not appreciate in the future. I bought it over a year ago and have already had an offer from someone willing to pay $3k more than what I bought it for. Ok admittedly these are mostly excuses to myself to rationalize buying what amounts to a big "toy" but I feel its better to go with a classic than a newer car so you at least don't get hit with depreciation. But as with any car you have to have it insured.

When I originally bought the car I just had my insurance company add it to the existing policy that I had for my main car. I was in a rush or just being lazy and I failed to shop around originally. With my normal car insurance policy I was spending $313 for 6 months or $626 annually. I get a high liability limit and I had the car fully insured for collision and comprehensive.

I might have been able to save a bit by shopping around with other insurers. But the main problem was that they insured the car as if it were a normal daily driving vehicle. They probably assumed I'd be putting 10,000 miles or so on the car each year like most people do with their cars. But since the car is a classic car I drive it less than 500 miles a year.

What I needed was a car insurance policy that was specially designed for classic or antique cars. Thats where classic car insurance comes in. There are a few insurance companies that specialize in classic car insurance. A couple I found were Hagerty and Grundy Worldwide. These companies know that classic and antique cars are not driven frequently and are generally very well taken car of by their owners so the companies can tailor more cost effective insurance policies for this niche market. They offer features of the policy that are more suited to classic cars such as full value replacement, agents that understand classic cars, choice of repair shops, flat bed towing and many other such features.

I did some searching to try and check out the options for companies. I found a review of Hagerty online. I also found this blog article about Hagerty versus Grundy that has a positive experience with Hagerty : "They paid quickly when my 1965 T-bird burned up and it was a "no hassle" settlement and that means quite a bit." I also liked the webpage for Hagerty. In the end, Hagerty insurance is the company that I settled with.

I got a quote from Hagerty online. They do have specific requirements and ask questions about how much you drive the car, if its garaged, if you use it as backup transportation, etc. They also require details of your normal insurance policy for your regular use vehicle. I ended up having to call them to ask a question and the customer service was excellent from that one interaction. They answered quickly and were very friendly and efficient. My policy was quickly approved and they e-mailed me the insurance cards right away. Overall I had a great experience with signing up with Hagerty.

The best part though is the price. For 1 year of coverage I'm paying just $156 with Hagerty. Thats a $470 annual savings over my regular policy from Safeco!!

Obviously this kind of thing won't help most people save money. Few of us have classic or antique cars they need to insure. But you might have a motorcycle or RV or other unique vehicle and it might help to shop around for a specialty policy or separate policy.

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