Collector Car Coverage Essentials

There are thousands of auto gatherings every year in the U.S. They range from grand exhibits, such as the Pebble Beach or Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, to small, informal get-togethers in a high school parking lot—where local collectors show off their favorite rides and ogle what friends have acquired. 

No matter the level of participation, the popularity of these events points to an ongoing love affair with the automobile. For many enthusiasts it’s a life-long passion. If you fall into this category, you may have begun your collection for sheer aesthetic enjoyment, to diversify an investment portfolio or just to satisfy the itch to own a particular car you first noticed as a teenager.

Whether your goal is to collect numerous examples of a single marque or acquire that one particularly elusive automobile with an unmatched pedigree, it’s equally prudent to consider the kind of protection needed for these special vehicles. Collector cars aren’t like their more common counterparts. They require more intensive risk management and loss prevention efforts to preserve value and prolong your enjoyment.

When weighing the options for your collector car insurance, look for the following features:

  • Agreed value coverage – This feature ensures you won’t be penalized for depreciation during your policy term.
  • Market appreciation coverage to account for rising values – Unlike your everyday cars, collector cars can increase in value. A policy with the flexibility to pay up to an additional 50% of the agreed-upon value protects you if your car appreciates but is damaged before the value is updated on you policy.
  • Diminution in value coverage for partial loss – Once a collector car is damaged, its value may take a substantial hit, even if the repairs make it run like new again. Look for a flexible policy that includes coverage for the difference in a vehicle’s value before and after a loss.
  • Automatic coverage for new purchases – If you make a new acquisition at an auction far from home, insurance may not be top of mind. If your policy offers immediate coverage for newly acquired vehicles, you’re protected during the time it takes to add that new car your policy (typically up to 90 days). 
  • Worldwide coverage – If you take your prized vehicles outside the US for any reason, you’ll want a policy that provides worldwide coverage. Many collector car policies don’t. Also, be sure to work with a company that can seamlessly arrange the necessary international liability coverage and paperwork.
  • Full transit coverage – Similarly, you’ll want protection while shipping vehicles from place to place, whether that means a second home in another state or an historic rally in another country.
  • Comprehensive liability coverage – One policy should be able to cover the entire collection.

An independent insurance advisor can help you source the coverage solutions that not only measure up to your prized acquisitions but also work in lockstep with the rest of your personal insurance profile.