Collector Car Insurance vs. Regular Car Insurance

Did you know there’s a huge difference between collector car insurance and regular car insurance? We’ll explain these different coverages and why you wouldn’t want to insure your collector car like a regular vehicle. This includes: 

  • How vehicles are valued.  
  • Driving restrictions. 
  • The cost of coverage.  
  • Ability to do your own repairs. 
  • Storage requirements.  
  • Driver requirements.  
  • Emergency roadside assistance. 
  • Claims handling. 


How Vehicles Are Valued 

One of the biggest differences between collector car insurance and regular car insurance is how the vehicles are valued. Regular car insurance value your vehicle based on the price you purchased it for or its current market value (purchase price plus depreciation). However, a collector car insurance policy values the vehicle based on an agreed value. This means the collector vehicle is valued based on an appraisal or its true market value. This is important because collector vehicles don’t depreciate like a regular vehicle.  

For example, let’s say you bought a 1970 Mustang in rough shape for $2500 from a relative years ago. You’ve spent a lot of time and money restoring it and it’s finally ready for the road. Since you’ve done a full restoration of the vehicle, you get an independent appraisal which values it at $30,000. With collector car insurance, your vehicle could be insured for its true agreed value.  

Driving Restrictions 

Generally, the way collector cars and regular cars are used is very different. Collector vehicles are usually only on the roads when the weather is nice. They are not often used for everyday commuting or driven huge distances each year. Some collector car policies may place restrictions on how you drive the vehicle, such as that it may not be used for commuting or there is a maximum amount of kilometers you can drive each year. Others do not have these types of restrictions.  

For regular car insurance, you tell your insurer if you’re planning to commute to work and how far you expect to drive each year.  

The Cost of Insurance 

Collector car insurance is usually cheaper than regular car insurance. This is because collector vehicles are usually used less, not used for commuting, only driven in good weather and are therefore at lower risk of being in an accident. You may also be able to pay a lower deductible for collector car insurance. 

Ability to Do Your Own Repairs 

Collector vehicle insurance providers understand that many have the experience and knowledge to do their own repairs. Therefore, if your collector’s vehicle is damaged in a covered claim, they will allow you to do your own work (and provide payment to you for the labour). This is unlike a regular car insurance company which will generally require the work to be done at an authorized shop or professional.  

Storage Requirements 

In some cases, a collector car insurance company will have storage requirements for your vehicle. This includes storing it in a fully enclosed garage or storage facility. Alternatively, this may simply give you a discount on your insurance. This isn’t required or offered with a regular car insurance company. 

Driver Requirements 

Some insurers require a minimum number of years of driving experience and no major driving infractions to be eligible for a collector vehicle insurance policy. You may also need to prove you have a second vehicle with regular car insurance to confirm your collector vehicle isn’t your everyday commuter.  

Emergency Roadside Assistance 

Many collector vehicle insurance policies include emergency roadside assistance which includes flatbed towing service – an absolute must for a collector vehicle. Regular car insurance may offer this as an add on but it is generally not included.  

Claims Handling 

One benefit to specialty collector car insurance is expert claims handling. The insurance company’s adjusters are familiar with these special vehicles and trained to deal with these unique claims. This includes offering original stock replacement and staff that source these parts. As above, they may also allow you to take care of the repairs yourself.  

Regular car insurance may not have claims adjusters who are familiar with these special vehicles. The process may be more frustrating because of this.  

Do I qualify for collector car insurance? 

As long as you meet the insurance company’s driving experience requirements, have no major driving infractions, are not driving your collector vehicle as your daily driver/commuter and have a vehicle that meets their collector or classic definitions, then yes, you can qualify for collector car insurance. Usually, vehicles must be at least fifteen years old (some companies require twenty-five years old) or have specialty status such as a limited release. Certain vehicles with modifications like lowriders or tuner, those used for commercial purposes, or those used for racing events may not be eligible. 

Speak to your broker if you have questions on your or your vehicle’s eligibility.  

Should I have collector car insurance or regular car insurance? 

If you have a vehicle eligible for collector car insurance, meet their driver requirements, and do not use the car as your commuter or daily driver, we do recommend having collector car insurance over regular car insurance. The benefits of agreed value, specialized claims handling, lower premiums, and customized coverage are great!  

Contact a broker today to discuss your vehicle and insurance needs.