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Insurance Published: 29th Apr 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Penny to a pound that you have completely forgotten or plain ignored this little matter! But if the worst happens, you could lose the lot

No matter that your dream classic is right now little more than a rolling wreck or scattered about in assorted boxes, it doesn’t mean that the vehicle shouldn’t be suitably insured. Where there’s muck there’s brass as they say – and they’re right with barn find Astons valued at up to £200K and MGAs worth at least ten grand!

Apart from the legal issues, your classic is at risk even when it’s off the road – say at a repairers. Believe it or not, but a trade or workshop isn’t bound by law to be insured for its contents and if anything happens – such as a fire or theft at the premises – then you could lose everything if you didn’t have it covered (we have experience of this-ed). Furthermore, we know of an enthusiast whose vehicle was involved in an accident while a garage repairer was driving it (to the MoT station ironically) and, as the vehicle’s body was only half finished and looked scruffy, it was marked well down in its perceived value meaning the owner lost big money upon payout plus had to get repaired once again…

In other words, don’t think that insurance is only something that you have to worry about until it’s really ready for the road.

So thank heavens for a new insurance scheme by Footman James called Restoration, Storage and Transit; it covers your vehicle not only when it’s in the garage but when transported anywhere – for less than £100 pa.

If you’re planning modifications, then declare them otherwise cover is at risk. The good news is that, unlike conventional policies, classic insurers are much more relaxed and understanding about any deviations from standard (for example, 1275cc Morris Minor and Spridget engine upgrades, disc brakes, and such like), although wild V8 conversions are another matter. And like all policies, you need to be honest when declaring ‘material facts’ such as your age, number of drivers, where the vehicle is to be kept overnight (ie in a garage or on the drive) convictions… even a quite innocuous change of employment – or your cover may be invalidated just when you need it the most.

One of the several beauties of a classic car policy is that, due to their specialist nature, plus the small percentage of claims made, then make and model is not as important as it is with a modern. For example, it may cost roughly the same to insure a Triumph GT6 as it would a slower Spitfire, which is why it’s wise to chat to an old fashioned broker first. That’s another fast diminishing benefit of going to a dedicated classic car policy; the chance to talk to a human being rather than simply click on to a soulless computer!

Having said all that, by-and-large, a typical classic car policy should be regarded as more a bolt on to your normal insurance, providing stricter cover and usage than a mainstream type. Mileage will be limited, storage stipulated plus it probably will not cover you to drive other ‘third party’ vehicles as a conventional insurance does.

Indeed, if you want to use your classic as a daily driver then you’d better inform any type of insurer beforehand as classic policies weren’t designed for this. As in all walks of life, you get what you pay for… so by all means shop around for a good deal but don’t let the price become the dominant factor– it pays in the long run, believe us.


Can multi-car cover it?

An increasing number of classic owners are adding their classics to a multi-car policy. While it may well save money, ensure that you have the cover a classic needs – many will not offer the agreed value that’s paramount for example

Choose the third option

Most classic policies work on the principle of a fully comprehensive cover; third party (Fire & Theft) may be cheaper up front but doesn’t include your personal damage, nor the cost of repairs if the accident was down to you; dear in the long run…

Comprehensively best?

Fully comprehensive cover is by far the best policy even if it costs (although not much more these days); aside from the peace of mind factor, other benefits may include authorised classic repairers which may be crucial in an accident

Five top tips

What’s around

Study the market and don’t be afraid of using the several comparison websites. Yes, we know it seems like you’re forever filling in details to obtain a quote, but once that’s done, quotes can be endlessly tweaked quickly

It’s in the budget

Just as you would owning a normal car, you should consider the cost of insurance as part of running costs, so, even if you don’t own a vehicle yet, speak to an insurance specialist to gain a rough idea of the future costs

As you go along

Even if you’re not going anywhere fast in your project – yet – some level of storage insurance is vital to protect against fire, etc – the new Restoration, Storage and Transit scheme launched by Footman James is ideal for you. Also, as it’s in your garage, perhaps it can be covered as part of ‘house contents’ so speak to your home insurer. Most importantly also ensure that if your vehicle resides elsewhere, such as a specialist, make sure that their insurance covers you for any loss – some do not so if your vehicle lacks any insurance then you doubly lose out!

Agreed value

Most owners think that this only relates to finished vehicle. It doesn’t – so as the project evolves, then you may have to raise its value accordingly

The small print

Due to their specialist nature (not forgetting the lower premiums), classic insurance policies are usually different to normal mainstream cover and offer less services, such as driving other vehicles. You need to confirm the level of cover you are actually getting for your money

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