Tips for Licensing and Insuring Antique and Classic Cars
by Heather Mosher

Tips for Licensing and Insuring Antique and Classic Cars


Now that spring is finally here, one of the more common calls we receive in our office is from our clients who have classic or antique vehicles and need to apply for insurance.  What many people don’t realize is the insurance can differ greatly depending on if it is a classic car or antique car.

Let’s look at an example.  The State ofMichigan (where we are located) allows someone to license a vehicle as an antique if it meets these requirements:

  • 26 or more years old – based on the model year
  • Owned solely as a collector’s item
  • Used only for events such as historical club activities, parades and car shows
  • Cannot be used for routine transportation

When you apply for insurance, we will specifically ask how the vehicle is licensed.  If it meets the antique guidelines, you may receive special reduced insurance rates due to the low annual miles put on these types of vehicles. In order to be better prepared, here are some questions you might receive when calling to insure an antique auto:

  • What is the year, make and model of the car?
  • What is the current resale value of the car?
  • How many miles do you anticipate driving annually?
  • Where is the vehicle stored during the winter months?
  • Is there a verifiable VIN associated with the car?
  • Has anything been done to increase the value of the car?
  • Can we obtain a photo of the item?

The other category of specialized vehicle is a classic or customized car.  Classic cars don’t necessarily have a defined age restriction.  In fact, unlike their antique counterparts, the state DMV doesn’t even have a set licensing standard for classics.  These types of cars are often modified or customized to increase the value by significant amounts.

When calling to insure one of these vehicles, here are some questions you might be asked:

  • What is the year, make, and model of the car?
  • What have you done to increase the value of the car?
  • What is an estimated resale value?
  • Is there a verifiable VIN associated with the car?
  • Is the engine modified in a way that will significantly impact the speed?
  • Have there been upgrades or additions to the electronics in the vehicle?
  • How many miles do you anticipate driving annually?
  • Have you kept record of repairs, upgrades and modifications?
  • Can we obtain a photo of the vehicle?

Answering these questions is a good way to determine how your special vehicle should be licensed and insured.  Remember to ask your agent if there are reduced rates for putting storage on these vehicles during non-driving months.  Keeping a good record of your investment into the vehicle will help to insure you receive a fair settlement if a claim does occur.  Have a safe and happy summer on the roads!

To learn more or insure your antique or classic vehicle, contact Heather Mosher | 906.315.7235 | heatherm@vastsolution.com.

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