Feature Article

Classic Car Insurance and Multi-car Policies

If you own a classic car, then finding the right level of car insurance cover is vital. However, is it possible to get the cover you need without paying over the odds? Here we look at your options, including multi-car policies.

How to find the right insurance for your classic car

To find a competitive deal on classic car insurance you must first understand how these policies work. Classic cars are divided into a number of categories by insurers which are used to assess their values, risk level and premiums. These are:

- Veterans: Vehicles manufactured up to December 1904.

- Edwardians: Vehicles manufactured from January 1905-December 1918.

- Vintage: Vehicles manufactured from December 1918-1933.

- Classics: Vehicles typically manufactured pre-1974.

- Cherished: Collectible or rare cars that are five-10 years old.

Many conventional insurers will offer quotes for cherished vehicles, but for classics, vintage, Edwardian and veteran cars you may need to consult a specialist insurer.

This is because specialists offer a number of features that are designed for classic car owners including:

- Agreed valuations: This ensures that you will receive a fixed payout for your classic car in the event that it is written off or stolen. Without an agreed valuation, your classic car may be assessed on market value and you may not receive the payout you would expect.

- Increasing valuations: As the value of many classic cars increases the older they get, several specialist insurers will adjust their valuation year on year.

- Laid-up insurance: Cover against theft and mishaps if your classic car is a project that you are working on.

- Wedding/hire cover: Cover in case you want to rent out your classic car.

- Track/rally cover: Cover for rally, hill climb and track events.

How can you get your classic car insurance at a competitive rate?

You may expect all of these additional features to cost more money, but in reality many classic cars are cheaper to insure than conventional vehicles because they generally travel fewer miles, are kept in better condition and are normally stored in a garage.

There are also a number of steps you can take to lower premiums further including:

- Increase security: Many insurers offer discounts if you fit modern security systems such as alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices.

- Limit mileage: If you use your classic car as a secondary vehicle you may be able to agree to limit your mileage annually in return for a discount on your premium.

- Owners' club discounts: Several classic car insurers offer discounts if you are a member of a manufacturer or owners’ club.

- Park safely: Keep your classic car in a garage overnight.

- Pay annually: To avoid monthly interest charges, consider paying premiums annually.

- Increase voluntary excess: Classic car insurance policies carry a ‘compulsory’ excess – an amount set by the insurer that you have to pay in the event of a claim. In addition to this there is usually a ‘voluntary excess’ – an additional amount that you agree to pay, when the insurance is taken out, in case a claim is necessary. Increasing the excess lowers premiums, although it should only be set a comfortably affordable level.

Taking these steps will lower your risk to an insurer, but as risks are assessed differently by each provider premiums can still vary widely. As such you should use a comparison website to compare the deals available from a range of insurers and seek out additional quotes from specialist companies. By comparing as much of the market as possible you can rest assured that you are receiving a competitive deal.

What about multi-car policies?

As many classic cars are used as secondary vehicles, you may consider taking out multi-car insurance – this is when you insure more than one vehicle with the same insurer, and usually entitles you to a discount. With some insurers you can place as many as five vehicles under one policy, as long as they are registered to the same address.

While in theory a multi-car policy could help you save money, you should still compare a variety of quotes to see if you would be better off insuring your classic vehicle separately. Also consider whether the multi-car policy offers the right level of cover for your classic car – you may miss out on some of the benefits offered by classic car specialists.

In addition, there are several issues to be wary of with a multi-car policy. For example, pay attention to the renewal dates as they may be set together for all vehicles, which could be expensive if your insurer doesn’t offer a monthly payment option. Also check how the no-claims bonus is affected by having several cars on one policy; and bear in mind that you will only be able to drive cars you are registered as a named driver for.

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