If you own a classic car, you need more than a standard auto insurance policy. The same is true if you own an antique, vintage or collector car.

Why shouldn’t you get standard car insurance for a classic car? Because while most cars depreciate in value over time, antique, classic and collector cars often maintain or even increase in value over time.

Specialized auto insurance policies for vintage vehicles usually pay out a negotiated “agreed value” if these older cars are damaged, destroyed or stolen. Standard policies, on the other hand, pay out the actual cash or stated value in such situations. If you buy standard car insurance for a classic auto, the policy may not fully reimburse you if the vehicle is in an accident or if something else happens to it.

That’s why you should buy classic car insurance that provides special coverage for your collectible auto. This article covers all you need to know about insurance for everything from hot rods to muscle cars to historic vehicles, including:

What are the best classic car insurance companies?

If you’re looking for the best classic car insurance companies around, you have plenty of options these days — from specialty providers like Grundy and Hagerty to household names like State Farm and USAA.

Each of the providers highlighted below offers agreed value coverage. With agreed value coverage, you and your insurance company’s underwriters determine the value of your classic or collector car together. If someone steals your car, or if something damages it and causes it to be declared a total loss, your insurer pays you that agreed amount. This is a far cry from what happens if you buy stated value coverage for your classic car. In that case, depreciation and subjective valuation impact your payout after a claim.

For example, let’s say you and your insurance provider decide your classic car is worth $150,000 for the purposes of agreed value coverage. Then your car is involved in an accident and the insurer declares it a total loss. You’ll be paid $150,000, no questions asked. On the other hand, if you bought stated value coverage for your vintage car, you might only be paid $50,000 for a total loss due to depreciation and other factors. Stated value is sufficient for standard cars, but it often doesn’t accurately account for an antique or collector car’s rarity.

With all that in mind, here are the best classic and collector car insurance companies to consider while shopping for this special kind of auto coverage.

American Modern

American Modern is a specialty insurance provider for collector cars. It is partnered with GEICO. That means it could be an easy transition if you already have standard auto coverage through GEICO.

Some of the benefits that make American Modern one of the best collector car insurance companies:

  • Variety of mileage plans. American Modern offers 1,000, 3,000, 6,000 or unlimited mileage plans. So, there’s flexibility no matter how often you drive your collector car.
  • One flat-rate liability charge. Most standard car companies charge liability for every vehicle on a policy. American Modern charges a flat rate for all vehicles on a policy.
  • Coverage for spare parts. Stolen and lost spare parts are covered up to $2,000 or higher.
  • Several additional coverage options. Nationwide roadside assistance, full safety glass and foreign transport are all coverage options you can add to your policy.

Grundy

Grundy is best known for insuring hot rods, though it also insures modern muscle cars and exotic cars of all years.

To get collector car insurance from Grundy, you must:

  • Keep your vehicle in a fully enclosed garage.
  • Have a clean driving record.
  • Have a separate car for daily driving.

The last two bullet points apply to all drivers of a collector car, not just its owner.

What makes Grundy a top collector car insurance company? Two examples:

  • Unlimited miles for pleasure driving. Grundy sets no limit on the number of miles you put on your collector car for pleasure driving or similar activities. You just can’t use it for daily driving.
  • Trip interruption. This policy perk reimburses you for hotel and repair costs up to $600 in the event of a breakdown. It also reimburses you for towing and labor charges up to $250.

Hagerty

Hagerty offers classic car insurance for vehicles from 1979 and earlier, and collector car insurance for vehicles from 1980 and later. It partners with Progressive through the Progressive Classic Car by Hagerty program. If you have a standard policy with Progressive, ask your agent about getting collector car insurance.

These key points help make Hagerty one of the best classic car insurance companies:

  • No fixed mileage restrictions. Like most classic car insurers, Hagerty doesn’t let you use your antique auto for daily driving. You can use it for exhibitions, organized meets and some pleasure driving, though.
  • Hagerty Drivers Club. This is a 24/7 full-service roadside assistance program designed specifically for collector cars.
  • Customized policies. Hagerty allows you to travel with your classic car, insures a car you’re restoring, and even covers automobilia and other valuable parts and tools.

J.C. Taylor

To qualify for antique and classic car insurance through J.C. Taylor, your older auto must be the factory original, in good or restored condition, kept in a locked and fully enclosed garage, and be used as a hobby vehicle.

J.C. Taylor is considered one of the best antique and classic car insurance companies because of benefits like:

  • Coverage while traveling. This covers your classic car in the U.S. and Canada. Special arrangements can be made if you want to take it overseas.
  • No mileage limitation. J.C. Taylor’s antique and classic policy allows unlimited mileage for hobby purposes.

State Farm

Like most providers of collector car insurance, State Farm requires that you only drive your classic or antique vehicle on a limited basis. If you have a standard car insurance policy from State Farm, ask your agent about this special coverage.

Why do some owners of vintage vehicles consider State Farm to be among the best classic car insurance companies? Here are two reasons:

  • 24-Hour Good Neighbor Service. No matter what time of day or night, a State Farm agent is available to discuss your policy needs.
  • Spare parts coverage. Spare parts for your collector or classic car are covered up to $500.

USAA

USAA works with a leading classic auto insurance company to offer coverage for your antique, collector or vintage car. To qualify for a USAA classic car insurance policy, you must limit how much you drive your vehicle, not use it for racing, and store it in a locked and enclosed garage.

USAA is a top classic car insurance company for those who are eligible because of these and other benefits:

  • Flexible mileage options. In most states, you can choose from a 2,500-, 5,000- or 7,000-mile classic car insurance plan. This is a great option for collectors who drive long distances for events and shows.
  • Automatic coverage. Qualified vehicles are automatically covered for up to 30 days for up to $100,000 when you add them to your collection.

How is classic car insurance different from regular car insurance?

Classic car insurance is different from regular or standard car insurance in one important way: classic car insurance policies pay out a guaranteed or agreed value rather than your vehicle’s actual cash value.

Some classic car insurance policies are different from standard policies in other ways, too, such as by:

  • Limiting how much you drive your classic or collector car.
  • Covering original parts.
  • Charging lower premiums.

What is considered a classic car?

Whether or not a car qualifies for classic car insurance depends on several factors, including the vehicle’s age, the condition it’s in, where it’s stored and how it’s used.

Age

How old is a classic car? Or when does a car become a classic? For most companies, a car qualifies as a classic, and thus qualifies for classic car insurance, if it was manufactured at least 25 years ago. Others won’t sell you classic car insurance coverage unless your vehicle was manufactured at least 30 or 40 years ago. And some won’t sell you antique car insurance unless your auto is 50 years or older.

Condition

Most insurance providers require a vehicle to be the factory original, or at least restored with original factory parts, for it to qualify for collector or antique car insurance. They also usually require your classic car to be in good or restored condition. That said, some classic car insurance policies cover autos that are being restored.

Storage

Auto insurance companies often require you to store your vintage auto in a locked and fully enclosed garage.

Usage

Insurance companies typically require any auto they cover with classic or collector car insurance to be used only as a hobby vehicle. That means you can’t use it daily as a commuter car. Also, some insurers require every licensed household member to have a commuter car so they can guarantee the collector car isn't used regularly.

Your driving record

Providers usually won’t sell you classic car insurance if you have any major driving violations on your record. Some only consider infractions from the past five years, so don’t assume anything. Check with your insurer to learn about its requirements in this area.

What does classic car insurance cover?

In a nutshell, classic car insurance usually covers:

  • Physical damage to your classic car.
  • Damage or injuries you might cause while driving your classic car.

Classic car insurance policies also often cover disabled vehicles via roadside assistance programs.

What does classic car insurance cost? 

Classic car insurance typically costs less than standard car insurance. How much less? In general, classic car insurance costs 39% to 50% less than standard auto insurance.

This is because people who own classic or collector cars don’t drive them much. Of course, many companies require this when they sell someone a classic car insurance policy. They often don’t let you drive a classic car daily.

At any rate, how much you pay for classic car insurance coverage depends on several factors, including:

  • Where you buy it.
  • Where you live.
  • Your vehicle’s agreed value.
  • How much you drive your vehicle.
  • Where you store your vehicle.
  • Whether you qualify for any discounts.
  • Your policy deductible.

To get your best rate for classic car insurance, take the time to compare quotes from several companies.

Compare quotes from top companies and get your best rate for classic car insurance

How to get the cheapest classic car insurance

If you want to get the cheapest classic car insurance possible, try one or more of the following:

  • Drive less.
  • Consider getting a policy with a mileage limit, or a lower mileage limit.
  • Raise your deductible.
  • See if you qualify for any discounts.

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