Tuesday January 26, 2016
Congratulations, you’ve taken the plunge and bought your classic car! Whether it’s a first purchase or one to add to the collection, entering the world of classic insurance can be a minefield. We’ve put together a guide giving some useful benefits to help ‘steer’ you in the right direction for your classic policy.
1. Agreed Valuation
Setting an agreed value is incredibly important on your classic cover. A standard insurance policy will only pay out your car’s current market value, which can be a painful experience. When arranging insurance, or renewing your cover, talk to your Classic Insurance broker about the agreed value option and how you obtain it. This will ensure you receive the vehicles true and full value in the event of a total loss. Classic vehicle values can fluctuate greatly, so this should be reviewed annually to ensure maximum protection.
2. Repairs after a claim
With a damage related claim, your insurer usually has an approved repairer but do they understand how to repair a heritage vehicle? You can specify a garage you’d like to use but you must say this upfront when reporting the incident. You may be asked to obtain two estimates, and you won’t be given an automatic courtesy car, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure your cherished classic is returned to its former glory.
3. Salvage Retention
Your vehicle has been deemed a write-off by your insurers, but what happens next? Depending on which category your vehicle is placed in (A, B, C or D) will determine what can happen with the salvage and your right to buy it back. A and B mean it’s unsafe to put on the road but you may be allowed to buy it back for parts only, whilst C and D means you can buy the vehicle to repair and eventually put back on the road. You must be upfront with your insurer and tell them you wish to retain the salvage at the point the vehicle is deemed a write off. They will then calculate the cost of the salvage and deduct this from your agreed value (if applicable), or market value and you will then be given the vehicle back along with the difference between the two, as a cash settlement.
4. Cover when your hood is down
This area strikes up many a debate as to what is and what isn’t covered but ultimately it comes down to a ‘Duty of Care’. If you take your classic convertible for a drive on a sunny day and park up in a show field or pop in to the petrol station and leave the hood down, you are more likely to be covered than if you parked in a multi-storey car park for a few hours. Your insurer would expect you to take reasonable care to safeguard your vehicle and to ALWAYS lock contents in the boot whilst your vehicle is unattended. If you are in any doubt with regards to the level of cover you have, either refer to your policy booklet or ask your insurer.
5. Spare Parts Cover
It goes without saying that parts are covered when attached to your vehicle, but what about if they are stored in your garage? The simple answer is yes, but it may be a limited cover. Once you’ve established your type of cover and how much it is, ask yourself if that sum can replace all of your parts if they were damaged or stolen. If no, it might be worth seeing if you can purchase additional cover with your insurer or checking the T&Cs on your household policy.
6. Garaging Cover
A ‘Garaging Clause’ means your vehicle must be garaged when at your home address between specified times for cover to be in force (usually between 10pm - 6am). There will be times where this isn’t possible, i.e. when your car isn’t at your home address. Again, this comes down to a duty of care on your part to ensure everything is done to safeguard it. Even if your vehicle is going to be un-garaged at the home address for one night, advise your insurer immediately.
7. Car Club Membership
A car club membership has many benefits, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people, it can be an invaluable source of technical advice and it can also provide a significant discount on your classic policy. Insurers recognise the important part that car clubs (big or small) and their members make to the classic car movement, which is why they often provide discounts accordingly.
8. Time Trials
Always check your cover before you take part in a time trial as it is very specific on a classic policy. If the event involves going from point to point in the fastest time you may struggle to obtain cover, however when it comes to reliability rallies i.e. driving from point to point whilst obeying all road laws, insurers are far more receptive.
9. Track Day Cover
For those who prefer life in the fast lane and an adrenalin rush, there’s nothing better than putting your classic through its paces at a track day. Most insurers will not offer this cover as standard, so check with your insurer to see if you can add it. If it’s a club organised event, you may be able to purchase it on the day - then the fun can begin!
10. Multi-Car Policies
If you own two or more cars, then a multi-car policy may be for you. You can insure a minimum of two cars (all classics or a mixture of modern and classic) and add as many vehicles as you like throughout the year. You’ll pay a proportionate amount to cover them to the end of the term but the benefit is, only one renewal date to remember!
The above insurance benefits are just a few that are available to classic car owners but we recommend checking with your insurer to confirm your exact levels of cover. If you would like a quote on your vehicle/vehicles, please contact Lancaster Insurance on 01480 220097 or go online towww.lancasterinsurance.co.uk.