5 Questions to Ask When Insuring Collector Cars

For those who collect or restore classic cars, it isn’t just a hobby. It’s a passion—maybe even an obsession.

Much like renovating a home, a lot of thought goes into every detail of a collector car, from picking the perfect paint to selecting the engine and exhaust specifications. Your customer may not see the car for months while work is being completed. It’s truly a labor of love.

Here are five key questions to ask your customers to ensure you’re offering the right coverage:

1) What’s the fair market value? In short, what would a complete stranger pay for it? Look for similar vehicles that are up for sale on collector car websites. For rarer vehicles, you can obtain an appraisal—much like getting an expensive piece of jewelry appraised.

2) How do you use your car? Not all carriers view usage the same. Some carriers are very restrictive, allowing the car to be driven to and from a car show only. Some allow the car to be driven for pleasure use on weekends, while others allow it to be driven daily. 

3) What’s the condition? Every car model has a wide range of potential value based upon the current condition. Some cars show their age with scratches in the paint and tears in the upholstery. Others are flawless inside and out, like they just came off the showroom floor. Condition is a significant determiner of value.

4) What’s special about your car? Collector car enthusiasts can and will tell you everything about their cars. Besides condition, a few other factors impact value:

  • “Survivor cars”—those that are completely original—are often worth more than their fully restored brethren.
  • “Numbers matching cars”—vehicles that maintain original major components like engine or transmission, but have been restored—are worth more than those with replacement parts.
  • Cars with unique equipment, such as special badging or limited production, are generally worth more than similar vehicles.

5) How is your car modified? Modifications impact value and how different carriers will rate the vehicle. Common modifications include switching out the engine, modernizing the interior and safety equipment, and custom paint.

Safeco Insurance’s specialty underwriting team members are experts at classic cars. We’ll answer questions, help you figure out what a car is worth, or walk you through a quote. We insure a wide range of cars with a broad usage allowance. We even insure daily drivers!

Safeco insures collector cars at full agreed value, and we offer 24/7 flat-bed towing. We also make it easy for you, offering fast and easy quoting and $100,000 of instant binding.

If you’re like many independent agents, you may not be completely comfortable talking about collector cars. You may even broker the policies to another agency to do the underwriting for you.

But with your independent agent superpowers of ease, choice and advice, you’re ideally suited to help collector car enthusiasts—and Safeco is here to help you!