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How to Protect a James Bond-Style Ride

Aston Martin is selling new versions of James Bond’s “Goldfinger” car for $3.1 million.  While collectors pay millions for their dream vehicles, insurance gaps can result in huge losses. Learn how to protect these classic car investments.
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Aston Martin recently announced it would make 25 continuation versions of the DB5 that appeared in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger.” The vehicles will be priced at $3.1 million each, with deliveries beginning in 2020. Porsche’s Project Gold 993, meanwhile, recently sold for $3.1 million at auction, making it the most expensive 993 Turbo in history.

These vehicles and other collectible cars are high-end examples of the value of a collector car policy. Collectible cars are usually either an investment or a passion of the owner. But a car’s value can fluctuate rapidly in either direction, making it critical to purchase proper insurance and monitor values.

A standard auto policy would provide coverage for the current market value, which generally depreciates each year a vehicle is on the road.

What differentiates a collector car policy from a general auto policy is guaranteed value, says Tim Weadock, senior manager of vehicle database operations for Hagerty, which is widely regarded as one of the leading global insurance agencies for collector vehicles. Guaranteed value through a collector car policy gives the insured protection that is guaranteed for the insured value of the vehicle, minus any deductibles.

“We encourage clients to reevaluate their insured values for collector cars, because in this market, they can change rapidly,” Weadock says. “If the value of the collector car rises, you may be underinsured. If the value falls, you may be paying too much for your policy.”

Tailored coverage for classic cars ensures protection for what is often a significant financial investment. A collector car policy provides fully comprehensive coverage, agreed value insurance, and even classic car and bike club memberships. Discounted premiums are possible, with additional savings when insuring more than one vehicle.

Weadock adds that even if a valuable vehicle is not being regularly driven on the road, a collector car policy is recommended since a guaranteed value would not be covered under a standard homeowners policy.

“So, if you stored your classic car in a garage or somewhere on your property, but you took insurance off it because it’s being restored or housed for the winter, you wouldn’t be covered if there was a fire,” he says. “It’s a risk.”

Or consider the risk of a flood: Approximately 10,000 collector vehicles were lost in the Houston floods during August and September 2017, according to Burns & Wilcox.

A collector car policy is considered a specialty policy that requires deep knowledge of the market and the trends that impact values, says Bill Gatewood, corporate vice president and director, personal insurance, Burns & Wilcox.

“You need an insurance carrier that specializes in this area. It’s not a policy you can just dabble in,” Gatewood says. “The value of the car means everything when selecting the right insurance. It’s similar to collectibles in the art world. If you get an artist that becomes popular, values can rise quickly, and you need insurance that can keep up. The same is true of collector cars.”


Sunday, August 2, 2020
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