When it comes to insurance for classic cars, there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all”. In many cases, these vehicles are viewed as one of the family and have their own distinct requirements. It makes sense to go with a specialist, who understands classic cars and how much they mean to their owners. Senior classics underwriter Steve Simpson at specialist motor insurer ERS, shares his top tips for getting a policy that provides the right protection.
Bespoke Means Broker
While the ‘classic car’ tag may evoke similar visions for most motorists, the reality is that every classic has its own unique history, not to mention any repairs, restoration work or modifications over the years. Most insurance websites just aren’t built for such nuance. Classic car brokers have a far better track record than price comparison websites of serving the individual needs of their customers, and know the right insurers to approach on your behalf.
Seek Agreed Values
Whether you own a ‘modern classic’ Peugeot 405 or a vintage 1927 Bentley, finding the right insurance policy can be a headache because many motor insurers simply don’t have any experience of these vehicles. In a recent survey we commissioned of classic car owners, they said getting the right agreed value was the most important feature of their insurance policy. Agreed values are a vital component of classic motor insurance policies as they remove the possibility of having to negotiate with an insurer or supply evidence of a car’s value in the event of serious damage or total loss. Getting agreed value cover as part of the policy guarantees the replacement value should the worst happen. However, bear in mind that some insurers may charge extra for this (although ERS doesn’t), so make sure you do your homework.
Track the Market
Many classic cars continue to appreciate, with some subject to sizeable rises over time and scarcity becomes an issue. It’s therefore important that you keep track of your vehicle’s value and ensure that your policy is regularly updated accordingly. It is hard to predict which cars will become classics, so it pays to keep across the market and see how yours is performing.
Many drivers feel aggrieved by the insurance industry, particularly where premiums might be higher based on a factor such as a previous claim or where they live. Hence people can get tempted into adjusting certain details in the hope of securing a lower premium. At worst, this is an act of fraud, but even if it’s seemingly ‘trivial’ information it could still render your policy redundant - a disaster if you own a valuable classic for which repairs can be costly. The good thing is that your broker can do all this legwork for you – taking their knowledge and understanding of your individual profile and requirements to find you the cover you need at a competitive premium.
Prepare for Winter
The UK climate unfortunately does not generally allow your classic to be driven every day of the year and many may be stored away for a number of months outside of the washing the underside and topping up the anti-freeze, to core seasons. There’s a special knack to keeping your classic safe and in good condition during the winter months, from having an appropriate storage space and keeping humidity at a safe level to washing the underside and ticking the engine over every now and then. By tending to your vehicle properly, you can avoid the potential for delay when the good weather returns. That said, don’t ever cancel your insurance policy over the winter as fire, flood, storm-related damage, vandalism, and theft can happen at any time of the year.