"Selling classic car insurance is definitely a leg up," says independent agent Kelly Haynes, "because clients call us for their regular auto or homeowners, and they don’t realize their local agent can offer classic car insurance too."
Spencer Agency Inc.
Candor, New York
How did you get started at your agency?
I was working for a State Farm agent a little way away from my home in Candor, New York but knew I wanted to be closer to home. I reached out to the principal broker at an agency across the road from where my children go to school and it just happened that he was looking for a new customer service representative and was putting an ad in the paper that day. It worked out very well because I took over the agency as the principal broker in 2017.
Why did you get into classic car insurance?
David Belair, who I took over the agency from, already had the classic car segment so I continued offering the line and have grown the business. Offering classic car insurance is something that you round out a lot of accounts with—one more piece of business that a lot of people have, and they don't realize they can come to their local agent to get.
Biggest industry changes?
The biggest changes are what is considered “classic." What the younger generation considers “classic and collectible" is different from what the baby-boom generation sees as classic and collectible. I see a lot of companies modifying the definition of what was once considered a classic car. Additionally, a lot of people are starting to use their classic cars on a daily basis: they no longer want a parade car.
One of the biggest challenges is agents not understanding the underwriting requirements and the time these policies can take to write before agreeing to offer to underwrite them.
Future trends in classic car insurance?
The market will continue to change as we watch how cars are defined. As this younger generation grows, we're going to see a shift in what's considered classic and collectible. We're also going to see a shift in the value of current clients' classic cars.
Advice for a fellow agent?
Learn all you can about underwriting requirements, and be well-versed in the type of classic cars you are underwriting before selling the insurance. People want that roll-back coverage that is automatically included in most classic car policies. They want to know they have low deductibles and they are as they are stated in the policy.
Favorite success story?
Selling classic car insurance is definitely a leg up because clients call us for their regular auto or homeowners, and they don't realize their local agent can offer classic car insurance too. When you're having that initial conversation with a client, it's really good to be able to offer classic car insurance and know what you are talking about.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.