Classic Car Insurance: What Is It and Do I Need It?

Classic car insurance offers specialized protection for everything from antique cars to exotic imports.
Written by Sarah Gray
Edited by Jessica Barrett
car insurance
offers more specialized protection than a standard auto insurance policy for classic, vintage, or high-value vehicles. With this policy type, your high-performance or high-value vehicle will be insured for its actual appraised value, not just its current market value.
  • “Classic car insurance” is a catch-all phrase for policies that offer agreed-value protection for a variety of collectible and/or high-value vehicles.
  • Classic coverage policies are often less expensive than regular car insurance because of low mileage and eligibility qualifications.
  • Based on our research, some of the best providers of classic car insurance include Hagerty, Grundy, and American Modern.

Classic car insurance: The basics

Classic or collector car insurance is made to fit the unique and specific needs of drivers with unique and often high-value vehicles. What qualifies as a classic car will vary by provider, but this umbrella term often applies to everything from antique pickups to modern exotic sports cars.
Classic car coverage offers a combination of special features and standard insurance products tailored to meet the needs of drivers with one-of-a-kind vehicles. Plus, even with all its specialized features, classic cars can often be some of the
cheapest vehicles to insure

Special features of classic auto insurance coverage

Agreed value coverage: The single greatest difference between standard and classic car insurance is agreed or
guaranteed value coverage
. Put simply, it’s the appraised value of your vehicle and the amount that your insurer guarantees they will pay if your classic car is deemed a total loss after an accident.
What makes agreed value different? In a traditional coverage scenario, insurance agencies use an equation that includes fair market value and depreciation to determine your car’s actual cash value for a total loss payout. This equation doesn’t apply with an agreed value policy—if you and your provider set your car’s value at $50,000, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that’s what you’ll get as a total-loss payout unless you adjust the value.
Rising value coverage: Depreciation doesn’t usually apply to classics the same way it does to standard vehicles. Rather than losing value, classic vehicles’ values often increase over time—so many auto insurance companies allow policyholders to adjust their vehicle’s agreed value as it grows. 
Cherished salvage coverage: With a standard auto policy,
if a traditional vehicle gets totaled
, the insurer usually takes over possession. Classic coverage policies often allow you to keep your totaled vehicle and still get a payout, minus your deductible and the salvage value of the vehicle. 
Cash settlement option: If your vehicle is stolen or declared a total loss, classic coverage policies often allow you to opt for a cash payment without the requirement to repair or replace your vehicle.
Specialized roadside assistance: Not every situation results in a total loss—sometimes, you just need a little help. Classic car policies include
roadside assistance
with all the basic perks, plus guaranteed flatbed transport, or the option to request it at no additional charge.
Spare parts, automotive tools, and automobilia coverage: From tires, valves, and tools to maintain your classic to vintage gas pumps, hood ornaments, and automotive literature, many collector policies allow coverage for items lost in a covered event, even if they’re technically not part of your vehicle.
No attendance clause: Car shows wouldn’t be much fun if you had to stay velcroed to your vehicle the whole time. Classic coverage policies usually include a “no attendance clause” that ensures your vehicle is protected when it’s on display.
Auto show medical reimbursement: Some policies include coverage for injuries that occur at or on your way to or from an auto show. 
Restoration coverage: Many classic car insurance companies offer coverage for vehicles throughout the restoration process. These policies often provide periodic increases to keep pace with your restoration work, and they may even cover tools and parts.
Extended mileage: Most classic auto policies include mileage and usage restrictions that allow you a certain number of miles annually for pleasure driving and attending car shows, parades, or car club activities. Though most providers won’t offer classic coverage with the option for daily use, some offer increased mileage to give you more time on the open road.

Classic car insurance includes state minimum insurance coverage

If you plan to hit the open road, you need car insurance that meets your state’s minimums for coverage. Classic car insurance policies typically offer basic coverage options similar to those you’d find for a regular
auto insurance policy, including:

Eligibility for classic car insurance

Classic car insurance is designed for rare, collectible, and high-value vehicles. Because these policies can sometimes offer hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coverage (or more), both the vehicle and driver must meet certain requirements to qualify.

Vehicle eligibility

According to the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA), a classic car is a high-priced, top end limited-quantity vehicle built between 1915 and 1948.1 When you consider that many providers sell classic car insurance policies to cover everything from a retired fire truck to a brand new Ferrari, it becomes clear why the term “classic car insurance” is a bit of a misnomer.
Most providers use this as an umbrella term to cover policies designed for the following types of vehicles:
  • Classic cars: Vehicles more than 10 years old, but more commonly at least 19 to 24 years old, that are still in good working condition or restored, and average a greater value than other vehicles of the same model year and make. 
  • Antique cars: A vehicle at least 25 years old and restored or in good working condition. In some states, like
    , a 20-year-old vehicle is considered an antique for registration purposes, though it may still be classified as a classic by your insurer.
  • Kit cars and replicas: A replica or reproduction of a classic or collector vehicle.
  • Modified cars and customs: A vehicle that has been significantly altered from its original condition in a way that could positively, or negatively, affect its value or safety. (e.g. a stock
    Honda Civic
    equipped with nitrous oxide or a hot rod
    Model T.)
  • High-performance, exotic, and import cars: Modern muscle cars, exotic cars, imports, and other high-value vehicles of any model year.
Though these categories may be labeled as “car types,” classic auto coverage can be purchased for just about anything with wheels and a motor. This includes:
  • Motorcycles and scooters
  • Antique and classic tractors
  • Vintage military vehicles
  • Some providers, like Nationwide, require drivers to own a registered regular-use vehicle for commuting and other daily driving to qualify for classic car coverage.
  • Many classic car insurance policies require policyholders to store their vehicle in a locked garage or storage facility to be eligible for coverage.

Driver eligibility

In addition to vehicle guidelines, most insurers also have qualifications classic car owners must meet to be eligible for classic car coverage. Typically you must:
  • Be at least 25 years old 
  • Have at least five to 10 years of driving experience
  • Have a good driving record with no more than one at-fault accident or moving violation recorded in the previous three years
  • Agree not to race your insured vehicle

The best car insurance providers for classic car insurance

Most major insurance providers offer classic car insurance coverage, but many partner with specialty insurers to underwrite their classic coverage policies. 
This opens up a whole realm of possibilities when it comes to bundling discounts, but it can lead to a lot of confusion when it comes to deciding where and with whom to shop. To help you decide, we’ve gathered information on some of the top classic car coverage providers below.
Why we love it
  • A+ BBB rating and 4.4 stars on Trustpilot
  • Offers coverage for restoration projects at all stages
  • In-house “carcierge” to help you find replacement parts for your vehicle.
  • Underwrites classic car policies for
    , and
    which increases bundling options
Grundy Insurance
  • Super-low rates
  • No mileage limits (as long as each insured driver has another vehicle for general use)
  • MVP programs for insuring daily drivers
  • Largest provider of coverage for hot rods and other modified vehicles in the US
  • Trip interruption coverage
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Over 50 years of experience
  • Up to 27 miles per day of unrestricted use with no alternative vehicle requirement
American Modern
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Wide range of coverage options, including unlimited mileage plans
  • $2,000 in standard spare parts theft or damage coverage (four times the standard $500 coverage offered by most providers)
  • Inflation guard to ensure full-value coverage as your car increases in value
  • Underwrites classic car policies for AAA and
    , which increases bundling options
American Collectors Insurance
  • A rating on BBB 
  • 4.9 stars on Trustpilot
  • Offers coverage for all your collectibles, from antique vehicles to vintage wines
  • Easy underwriting process
  • Available C.A.R.E. plans that offer a variety of roadside assistance, towing, labor, replacement parts, and spare parts coverages.
  • Underwrites policies for
    , which increases bundling options for active military, veterans, and their families who qualify for coverage through USAA.
Heacock Classic Auto Insurance
  • A+ BBB rating
  • 5.0 stars on Trustpilot
  • Highly rated by customers for professionalism and competitive pricing
  • Up to $2,000 in spare parts coverage available
  • No appraisal required
  • Policies underwritten by American Modern Insurance
  • One of the few traditional providers that underwrites its own classic and collector car policies, streamlining signup and service, and increasing bundling options
  • Agents available 24/7


Our selections are based on a comparison of top nationwide popular and specialty providers. Carriers selected for recommendation offer the widest options for discounts, coverage and deductible customization, and vehicle usage. 

Average classic auto coverage rates

Insurance rates for classic car coverage usually average between $400 and $1,000 a year. As with traditional auto insurance policies, your classic car coverage premium will depend on a number of factors, including:
  • Your driving record
  • Your age and marital status
  • Your location
  • The amount of coverage and additional options you choose
  • Your vehicle’s value
Classic car insurance premiums and deductibles tend to be significantly less expensive than the
national average
for standard auto insurance policies for similarly-valued vehicles. This is largely thanks to lower risk provided by limited mileage and strict eligibility requirements.

How to keep your classic coverage rates low

Classic car coverage already tends to be less expensive than standard auto insurance, but you can
make your insurance downright cheap
by following
these tips
  • Take advantage of bundling and multi-vehicle discounts 
  • Equip your classic with an anti-theft device
  • Lower your coverage or raise your deductible
  • Keep a clean driving record
Finally, compare
car insurance quotes
from at least three to five providers before settling on a policy. Just download the free
app to compare rates on the cheapest classic car insurance coverage in minutes.


Generally speaking, classic car insurance costs substantially less than traditional car insurance. Since classic cars are driven fewer miles and owners have to have a good driving record to qualify for coverage, the risk associated with classic coverage is lower, which leads to lower rates.
Hagerty insurance is one of the top rated auto insurance providers on Trustpilot, and they’ve earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. With nearly 40 years of experience underwriting classic, exotic, and other specialty policies, they’re one of the most-recognized specialty insurers in the industry.
Yes. AAA offers classic car coverage through a partnership with Hagerty. 
Any model year car can be considered a “classic” since “classic car insurance” is less a description of coverage than a catch-all phrase for specialty coverage for high-value, collectible cars. If a car is to qualify as a “classic” for car insurance purposes though, it generally needs to be anywhere from 10 to 25 years old depending on the provider.
Generally yes. Most insurers limit drivers to a set number of miles per year—often between 7,500 and 10,000. Limits are also placed on the type of driving an owner can do. Driving to and from car shows, parades, and other activities is permitted, while using your classic for commuting and errands generally is not.
Compare car insurance quotes
Get free quotes from top companies.
Find Savings
4.7/5 App Rating · Trusted by 2M users

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free