A kit car is an automobile that is made available in “kit form.” You can buy kit car insurance through any specialty insurer or traditional insurer that offers this specific coverage.
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That means that the owner does not buy a full vehicle; instead, he or she buys a set of parts. From this “kit”, the owner assembles the vehicle, saving a lot of money in the process. More importantly, he/she builds a custom-vehicle, specified down to every last detail.
What is a kit car?
A kit car is a car that the policyholder has built themselves. The pieces for the car come in a kit and the policyholder assembles them. It is basically a real-life model car that you can really drive.
The amount of time that goes into building a kit car depends on the kit itself, but is usually pretty extensive. Since so much time and money goes into these cars having the right type of insurance for them is very important.
The Challenge of Kit Car Assembling
In most cases, important engine parts are actually taken from several vehicle types. The kit may vary in complexity. The original idea of a kit car dates back to the year 1896, a concept almost as antiquated as the first automobile itself. The idea of a kit car, though very old, and certainly not mainstream, is nonetheless a legitimate notion.
While creating a car does require a great deal of effort (the average time for construction is between 100-1,500 hours), and does require mandatory quality control inspection, it is legally possible.
Now let’s consider how this relates to insurance. Obviously, insurance for a kit car is handled a bit differently than it would be for a standard Ford or Toyota model. If you are creating a car from scratch, or are in the process of rebuilding a car, look up insurance companies that specifically work with kit cars.
You will need insurance from the very beginning of the project, even before you assemble the car. Insurance is available for completed cars as well as cars sentenced to stay in a garage for a few years.
Differences Between Traditional Insurance and Kit Car Insurance
It is important to note that kit car insurance is not as flexible as traditional car insurance. For example, some insurance policies require that owners not drive the vehicle in excess of a given mileage within a year’s time. This limitation could be anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 miles a year. Once you exceed the mileage, you would no longer be covered by the policy.
How do you proceed to order kit car insurance today? First, start by identifying a company that specifically cites kit car insurance options. Once you find a company you can work with you will want to do some preliminary research. You can choose to start the policy as soon as you begin collecting parts or perhaps get your plans and parts appraised. When the vehicle is completed, you must then get your completed car appraised.
You can find an appraiser within your hometown or by searching online. Once you find a company that has a fine online reputation and proven experience in covering kit car insurance, analyze your contract. Compare the policy features and take note of any specifics on mileage.
Pay attention to what parts specifically are covered. Does your policy state all parts are covered or only major engine parts?
Remember that some kits will actually appreciate in value over time.
If you are not observant, you could find yourself underinsured for the project you are undertaking. There is a clause for such a risk in most common kit car insurance policies.
Special Considerations for Kit Car Policies
After determining which features are best for your vehicle, get quotes from different auto insurance providers. Even if you find a company you can work with, you should continue to reevaluate the contract, ensuring that you are getting standard market kit premiums or less.
When it comes to saving money for the month, it may be advisable to lower your deductible. This allows you minimize your out-of-pocket expenses if someone else hits you. Since you’re dealing with delicate and expensive parts, a lower deductible policy may be a pricier option to consider.
Usually, car owners who have kit cars in the first place have special adoration for the vehicle. The car owner builds the car by hand, piece by piece, and lovingly works long hours to restore his/her “baby.” The owner attempts to drive carefully and responsibly. Paying high prices for kit car insurance may come with the territory, since individual parts may have to be specially ordered and reinstallation can be a headache.
The major difference between traditional insurance and kit car insurance is that an insurance policy is not based on the make and model of your vehicle. It is based on the money you put into the restoration and the estimated value of each part.
It is customary to have a pre-vehicle insurance policy for when you assemble the car, because unforeseen events can happen when you are putting pieces together.
After assembling the vehicle, then the policy becomes something like a standard mechanical coverage plan.
How should I find the right car insurance provider for my kit car?
The first thing someone who is building a kit car should do is call the insurance provider they use for their normal car to see if they offer some type of specialty kit car insurance. Just because the company with which they are already doing business has a kit car policy does not mean the policyholder should just choose to go with them out of loyalty.
Once the policyholder knows if their present insurer has a kit car policy they should get a quote from them. With that quote in hand the policyholder should then research other car insurance companies as well. It is also important to look at companies that deal exclusively in this type of specialty car insurance.
Once you have quotes from all of these companies you can then make a more informed decision. It is important for the policyholder to not make their decision on price alone. They should call these insurance providers and ask more specific questions like how long the company has been in business and how long they have dealt with this type of insurance. It is also important for the policyholder to read the policy in full to make sure there are no hidden charges.
After finding the right policy for their kit car the policyholder should also invest in making their kit car as safe as possible. Investing in a storage space, garage, or anti-theft device is the best ways to protect against car thieves.
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