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 Buying classic car insurance, that is, car insurance for a secondary, vintage vehicle that does not often leave the garage, is an option available to the public, but it follows a different set of rules than a policy for a primary automobile.

Depending on the state in which you live, a car may need to be a minimum of 15 to 25 years old to qualify for classic car insurance.   The car must be a secondary vehicle, and the insurer will ask that you provide proof of an insurance policy for the first vehicle.  The insurer may stipulate that the car be likely to appreciate in value rather than depreciate in order to qualify as a collector’s piece.

The classic car cannot be used commercially, that is, for the purposes of commercial transportation or business-related personal transportation.  If the classic car is a display or museum item, the owner may purchase a policy for art or static collector pieces instead.

Special storage regulations may exist.  The insured will probably be required to keep the automobile stored under certain minimum garage conditions (for which the owner will have to provide proof of ownership).  Classic car insurance is not available in certain areas where either crime is particularly high or the required storage conditions are not possible.  The insurance policy will probably also set a maximum on the number of annual miles that can be driven.

While these conditions may sound very restrictive (and expensive), they are necessary to lower the coverage of a very expensive vehicle which is driven only infrequently to a level that easily justifies keeping it.  Even fairly expensive vintage cars, if properly maintained, usually cost less than $500 annually to insure.

This Financial Services article was written by Mark Karavan on 10/14/2009

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