• Pauline Handy

How To Protect Your Prized Antique Car


Purchasing an antique vehicle is exciting. Maybe you just bought the 1966 Ferrari model you’ve dreamed about for decades — or a Ford Mustang identical to the one you sold decades ago, but always regretted letting go of. No matter the type of car you have, protecting your investment is critical.

A vehicle is typically considered “classic” when it’s at least 10 years old, is rare, or has special historical interest due to fine workmanship or limited production. A car that is at least 25 years old may be considered “antique.” Securing the right insurance for your vehicle ensures that you have the coverage you need in case of an unexpected event. But how can you determine the vehicle’s worth and the best type of insurance?

Determining your vehicle’s value

Many factors influence your vehicle’s value. The highest-valued car is one that doesn’t have damage; however, a rebuilt or restored vehicle has the potential to retain its value. It’s helpful to have your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) in order to determine its worth. If your car was manufactured before 1981, when standardized VINs were not used, an online VIN decoder can help with this information.

Additionally, knowing the answers to the following questions will help you gain a greater understanding of your car’s worth.

  • What type of engine does the car have?

  • Does it have any special trim options?

  • Does the vehicle have factory air conditioning?

  • Was the vehicle stock or has it been modified or enhanced in any way?

There are several online sources that are also useful in determining a car’s valuation, such as Kelley Blue Book, Old Cars Price Guide and Marti Auto Works.

Understanding your insurance options

There are a variety of insurance options for antique vehicles. Many collectors prefer a “guaranteed value” or “agreed value” policy, which is determined by you and your insurance company based on appraisals, photos or other relevant documentation. If something happens to your vehicle, your insurance company pays the agreed-upon value.

Alternatively, “stated value” is coverage that is “stated” at the onset of the policy. You tell your insurance company what your car is worth (with documentation to validate the amount), and it’s insured for that amount. For example, let’s say that you own an antique vehicle valued at $200,000. The stated value of your insurance policy is $100,000. The “stated value” is what the policy would pay if the vehicle were totaled.

Additional coverages you might want to consider include:

Towing. Towing coverage is a wise purchase if you have an older vehicle that might break down. Consider coverage that includes a flat-bed truck for collector vehicles.

Parts. Parts for older cars can be difficult to find. As a result, have you considered purchasing extra parts as you find them? Some insurance companies offer “parts and memorabilia” coverage for spare parts.

Under construction. Are you working on restoring your vehicle? If so, your insurance company may offer coverage for vehicles under construction. In this case, the insurance coverage increases at regular intervals assuming that the value of the car increases as it’s restored.

Tools. Restoring older vehicles requires special tools. Some insurance companies provide coverage for these specialized tools.

Selecting the right insurance coverage is a critical step in safeguarding your investment in an antique vehicle. You likely take great pride in the condition of your car. Having the right coverage in place protects your investment and prevents future heartache in the event of damage.

Need help insuring your antique vehicle? An insurance professional is only a phone call away and is your best resource for navigating the insurance process and better understanding your options.


Reach out to an insurance professional at V.F. McNeil Insurance if you have questions about your personal insurance needs, including antique vehicle insurance. Request an appointment or call today at (203) 481-2684. They'll have the answers and the protection you need.

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