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Take Good Care of Your Baby!

In this section we try to bring informative articles to our visitors about topics that relate to our hobby.  We have recently had an article submitted to us by Terry Kohl, of Media Management Marketing…. With a lot of valuable information about insurance for your car.



Take Good Care of Your Baby !


by  Terry Kohl


It's getting to be that time of year again. Your classic has probably been under wraps for several months and the urge to turn over that  engine and hit the streets is almost painful. But wait...are you taking every precaution possible to be sure that beauty is insured correctly?

If not, you could be heading down a very expensive, dead-end road. American Collectors Insurance (ACI), recognized by the old car hobby and the insurance industry as the country's premiere provider of collector vehicle insurance, offers the following tips: First, what type of vehicle qualifies for "classic car" insurance? No, it's not that rusty old Pinto your Aunt Gladys drives to the super-market, blue smoke from the exhaust blinding small animals.

For the most part, although guidelines may vary somewhat among specialty insurance providers, a collector vehicle is at least 15 years old (25 years old in Massachusetts), in good to excellent condition (original or modified) and driven on an occasional basis for pleasure drives and hobby activities (e.g., car shows, cruise-ins, etc.) Classic auto policies come with some restrictions. First, you are limited to driving the car no more than 2,500 miles per year. Second, there can be no "regular use" of the vehicle. No running errands or driving to work, for example. Third, the driver must have at least 10 years of driving experience. In other words, if the owner's 17-year-old son was in an accident while driving dad's '57 T-bird, sorry.... no coverage (and probably no 18th birthday, either). Last, the car must be kept in a locked garage. For most owners these restrictions are not a problem, as they already take such precautions.

If you should buy another classic auto, ACI's policy provides 30 days of  automatic physical damage coverage (values up to $25,000). Obviously, you should report new acquisitions as soon as possible, especially if they are worth more than $25,000.

A classic auto policy provides all the traditional coverage that a regular auto policy does - liability (bodily injury and property damage), physical damage (comprehensive and collision), underinsured/uninsured motorist and PIP (Personal Injury Protection). Classic auto policies, however, insure vehicles on an agreed value basis, rather than for actual cash value. Considering that some of these cars are very valuable, it makes much more sense for a collector to buy  a classic auto policy instead of adding an antique car to his or her regular auto policy. If you placed your 1970 Corvette on a regular auto policy, it might, in the event of a total loss, be depreciated to only a few thousand dollars - a very unpleasant surprise should such a claim occur. (For the record, a '70 Corvette convertible in "very good" condition is currently worth about $17,000. For the same car in "excellent" condition the value jumps to about $38,000.)Collector vehicle value may be established a number of ways:

1) Purchase price (if recently purchased)
2) Reference manuals (e.g. collector car pricing guides)
3) Professional appraisal

American Collectors Insurance will consider an applicant's requested value and generally does not require appraisals. In any case the value will always be agreed upon before binding.Liability limits generally range from the statutory minimum up to $250,000/500,000. Physical damage rates are based on the age of the vehicle. With a zero deductible (that's right,...$0!) vehicles that are 15 to 19 years old have the highest rate at $17.00 per $1000, then the rate drops to $15.00 per $1000 for cars 20 to 24 years old, then drops again to $6.00 per $1000 for cars 25 years & older. ACI offers other deductible options for even lower rates. A 25 year old + vehicle worth $10,000 can be fully insured for about $130 per year.The information needed for the application is much the same as for a standard auto policy: name and address of the insured; number of drivers in the household; year, make, model and VIN number of the vehicle; and whether the driver has been involved in any accidents. The insurer also needs to know the value placed on the car and the number of miles on it. If the car is kept at a separate storage facility, the garage's address is also needed. At least one recent, clear color photo of the vehicle is required. If the vehicle is customized and/or of high value ($25,000 and up) four photos are required (two exterior, one interior and one engine shot). If an applicant has too many accidents, tickets or even one DUI, the specialty provider may decline the application.

You should always get several quotes and never assume that what your buddy has is also the perfect policy for you. Have access to the Internet? You can get an instant quote on line from ACI at  their website

Or call them at  1 (800) 360-2277.

In addition to antique and classic cars (late 19th century through to model year 1987), ACI has a market for custom cars, street rods, classic trucks, military jeeps, antique motorcycles, and even antique farm tractors and fire trucks. They will work with you on a direct basis, or through your local insurance agent. Are you a club looking for "goodie bag" items? Contact ACI's Marketing Department (extension 207 OR 217) for more information. American Collectors is headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and is available to answer your questions Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

America's Most Wanted Classic Cars!
Fun stuff to know:
Think the Chevy Bel Air is still America's most popular classic car? Think again.
Take a look. You might be surprised at some of the rankings:

The Top 10 Most Desired Cars in America.
1) Ford Mustang-1964-1970
2) Chevrolet Camaro -1967-69
3) Chevrolet Chevelle -1970 coupe
4) Chevrolet Impala - Any convertible from the sixties
5) Cadillac Yes Cadillac! - Mid-late fifties
6) Corvette-Any year
7) Pontiac GTO - Coupes and Convertibles from 1964 through 1970
8) Chevrolet Bel Air - Of course it was the '57 two door coupe
9) Pontiac Firebird - Mid to late 70's
10) Plymouth Barracuda & 'Cuda - coupes from 1969-71