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Modified Classic Car Insurance

Here's what you should know...
  • Your vehicle must meet certain qualifying factors in order to be considered a classic car
  • Buying from a specialty insurer rather than a mainstream insurance company is usually better for classic car owners
  • Classic car insurers may limit mileage, so check for one that allows greater distances and also allows you to choose your own body shop for repairs

One of the popular hobbies today is owning, working on, and showing classic cars. This can be an expensive pastime in itself, but you also need to insure your car, which raises your expense. In order to cut costs, you need to find the best modified classic car insurance for the most affordable price.

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Modified classic car insurance has its own special niche in the insurance market, and it’s often better to buy from a specialized insurer rather than a general insurance company. However, your specific circumstances can make the difference.

Basic Qualifications for Modified Classic Car Insurance


Modified classic car insurance is a unique form of insurance, and you and your vehicle must meet certain requirements in order to qualify. A car is considered to be classic if it’s 15 years or older. The age requirement varies from state to state.

  • In order for your classic car to be eligible for modified classic car insurance, you must not use it for everyday transportation. You can drive your car for recreation, like to clubs, car shows, etc., but you can’t use it to commute to work, do errands, or for similar daily activities.
  • There is usually a limit of 2,500 miles per year, but you can always buy modified classic car insurance with more miles. The only way you can drive your classic car regularly is to buy normal car insurance for it.
  • A car has to be in its original condition in order to be considered classic. If it’s not, you must restore it before insurance companies will insure the car as a classic.
  • The last requirement for your car is for it to be stored in a garage or locked storage facility. It cannot be stored in a carport. This protects the car from vandalism, theft, and the weather.

Insurance companies also have qualifications you personally have to meet. In order to get modified classic car insurance, you must be 25 years old, have at least 10 years driving experience, and have a clean driving record. After you have determined you and your car meet all these requirements, you are ready to search for the best modified classic car insurance policy.

Types of Modified Classic Car Insurance Policies

Car insurance policy

There are three types of modified classic car insurance policies for you to consider: standard actual cash value policies, stated value policies, and agreed value policies.

  • The rates of a standard actual cash value (ACV) policy are calculated by only considering the age of the car. Your classic 1965 Honda would only be insured as a 45-year-old drivable vehicle, regardless of how good of shape it is in.
  • Stated value policies allow you to state the value of your car, but the insurance company is not committed to pay the full amount if your car gets damaged. For example, if you insure a car for $200,000 and at the time you make the claim the car is worth $90,000, then that’s all the insurer is obligated to pay.

Neither type of policy will consider the value of all the modifications you did to restore your car to peak condition when determining your insurance rates. In agreed value policies, you discuss the value of your car with an insurance agent and decide what your car is worth. Once you set an agreed value, your insurance company has to honor it and pay the appropriate amount in the case of an accident.

In order to negotiate an agreed value, collect documentation of your car’s market value and save the receipts for all the parts you bought to restore it. Keep in mind that even if you bring all this paperwork when you meet to decide on an agreed value, the worth you settle on probably won’t equal the actual value. Still, the price of an agreed value insurance policy is usually a lot better than the prices of stated value or standard ACV policies.

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Factors to Consider While Researching Modified Classic Car Insurance Policies

There are many variables you should consider during your search for modified classic car insurance:

  • Some insurance companies offer agreed value rates, while others will only consider the actual value of the car when deciding your insurance rates.
  • Do you plan on modifying your car during the term of your policy? If you do, make sure to choose an insurer that will consider these changes and adjust your rates accordingly throughout your term.
  • Many people who own classic cars like to drive to car shows that might not be in their immediate area. If you’re one, pick an insurer that will offer you a policy allowing more mileage – some offer up to 6,000 miles per year. But if you don’t need many miles, don’t get a policy that has a lot. More mileage equals more money.
  • Be sure to decide on a company that will let you choose your own repair shop. Otherwise, you might be forced to have your car fixed by the cheapest repair shop in town. This is not the best choice for a classic car.
  • As always when buying any kind of insurance, be sure the company you buy from is legit and has good backing. If you make a claim, you want to know that someone who’s knowledgeable about modified classic cars is appraising the damage. Also, you want to make sure that your company is in good financial standing with a positive outlook; this will guarantee that it can handle any claims you might need to file in the future.

The Difference Between Standard Insurers and Specialty Insurers When Buying Modified Classic Car Insurance

man with car documents outside

When you consider purchasing a classic car, you should think of it as an investment. Before you buy the car, research modified classic car insurance policies. You can buy modified classic car insurance from general insurance companies like Geico, Progressive, or State Farm, or you can go to specialty insurers. While most insurance companies offer policies to insure classic cars, it is often better to use an insurer that specializes in modified classic car insurance.

  • Specialty car insurance companies will realize that the car’s worth on paper is less than it’s actual value and will work with you to come to a reasonable number to set for its worth. They also will put less weight on the car’s mileage than generic insurance companies would because they know that driving is not the main purpose of a classic car. Specialty insurers can usually give you lower rates on modified classic car insurance than you’d get from most car insurance companies because of the limited use, protective storage, agreed value, and your own age and driving record.
  • People who own modified classic cars take great pride in what they have done with them. You might have bought parts and done a lot of work to restore your vehicle to mint condition. Or you could be still in the process. Regardless, you want your modified classic car insurance to take all the money, time, and effort into account when developing a policy and setting your rates. Specialty car insurance companies will be willing to do this, but normal insurance companies may not.
  • Regular insurance companies might not even want to insure your car because of your unique situation. They will give you quotes and take you on as a client, but they might discourage you from being insured through them by charging higher premiums for mediocre coverage.

Unlike specialty insurance companies, they might not consider your car’s unique value and instead give you a generic policy.

If you decide to get a modified classic car insurance policy from a regular insurer and your car needs repairs, the insurer could send you to a typical body shop that might not have the specialized tools needed for your car.

This might do the vehicle more harm than good.

You could save hundreds of dollars by using a specialized insurance company that will treat you on an individual basis rather than going to a mainstream insurer that might not even want your business.

Whichever type of insurance company you decide to go with, there is one universal piece of advice: shop around. Don’t buy the first good car insurance policy you see. Browse the Internet for good deals and compare them.

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