How to Buy Insurance for Your Classic Car

Buying insurance can be almost as exciting as going to the dentist.  But since many classic car owners tend to be a little more emotionally involved with their “baby” than with the commuter car that gets them to work…it might be a more passionate endeavor when it comes to insuring them.

classic cars exotic cars

Here are the basic topics we’ll cover:

  • What is classic car insurance?
  • Top 5 classic car insurance companies
  • What qualifies as a classic car?
  • Coverage options available for classic cars
  • How to find the best classic car insurance

What is classic car insurance?

Classic auto insurance differs from a standard auto policy in a few ways. There are not only certain eligibility requirements for classic cars (which we’ll discuss below), but there are also key differences in how an insurance company pays out claims for these vehicles.

Unlike regular-use vehicles, classic cars appreciate in value over time rather than depreciate. To account for this, classic car insurance providers will often reimburse drivers with an agreed value in the event of an auto collision.

Usually, an agreed value takes into account the car’s value over time as well as interest and a professional appraisal of the vehicle. With regular car insurance, companies will only reimburse the vehicle’s replacement cost and deduct any depreciation.

Classic car insurance also has annual mileage restrictions. Since these specialty vehicles are only intended for occasional pleasure driving or auto shows, car insurers cap how many miles the vehicle can be driven per year. This also means that classic car owners are expected to have a separate vehicle for daily driving.

Top 5 classic car insurance companies

While a classic car insurance policy is often cheaper than standard auto insurance, choosing the right insurer is still an important decision. Whether you own a vintage Porsche 911, a hot rod or a muscle car, it’s a good idea to consider multiple insurance companies for your classic auto insurance coverage.

Below, we’ve outlined our top five picks for classic car insurance and collector car insurance. Most of these companies cover collector vehicles, antique cars and exotic cars as well.

CLASSIC CAR INSURANCE COMPANY                         ANNUAL MILEAGE LIMIT                CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RATING

1. Grundy Insurance                                                                 Unlimited                                                               8.5
2. Hagerty Insurance (Progressive)                                         Unlimited                                                                8.5
3. American Collectors Insurance (USAA)                                7,500                                                                     9.0
4. American Modern Insurance (GEICO)                                Unlimited                                                                7.0
5. Heacock Classic Insurance                                                     6,000                                                                   9.0

 

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Get Excited…Top New Cars for 2021

2021 is gonna be a great year for new cars! Especially with the 797 HP Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Red Eye, the Audi E-Tron GT and the Lucid Air which has over 1,000 HP!

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Best New Cars for 2021-2022 | Latest Cars, SUVs & Trucks | Updates, Improvements, Pricing & More – Edmunds

The experts at Edmunds bring you the best new cars, SUVs and trucks for 2021 and 2022. The best new cars video is an annual tradition over at Edmunds HQ, and we are back again this year to show you the vehicles you should have in mind — and the ones you shouldn’t — for your next purchase. From Acura to Volvo, we cover all the new and important 2021 and 2022 vehicles you’ll be seeing at dealerships next year. If your favorite vehicle isn’t on this list, head over to Edmunds.com to find it.

Read more here: https://edmu.in/2V44toe

Key Car Specs to Understand…Before You Buy

When you watch car commercials on TV…you’re often presented with alot of car specss…many of which you think you should understand, but probably don’t.  Some car specs make total sense. Eight airbags means eight airbags. I’m gonna run down the top dozen or so specs make them real simple and most importantly, tell you the ones you can largely ignore starting with 0 to 60…

Zero (0) to 60 is the holy grail of performance benchmarks.

It is obviously how fast a car can go from a standing stop to 60 miles an hour. The quickest it can do that, either with a really good driver on a manual transmission, or relying on automatic transmission. The thing about zero to 60 is you never do that. How often in real life do you go from a standing stop to 60. Nonetheless, it’s a good benchmark because it encompasses a lot of acceleration phases of a car. You see cars don’t accelerate as quickly through all ranges of speed. They may be quicker 15 to 23, then slow down a little bit 24 to 46 and then speed up again 46 to 60. It’s kind of a wavy curve, 0 to 60 captures all that in totality and gives you kind of one big lump number… Horsepower, good grief.

They spent a lot of time screaming about this in car advertisements and specs don’t. Horsepower has this arcane definition from way back in the day. It’s the power you need to lift 550 pounds, one foot off the ground. In one second, there’s a time factor there because it expresses work, horsepower and even more peripheral number than 0 to 60 time. You care about things like acceleration field, fuel economy, towing capacity. Those things are all related to horsepower but they’re not expressed literally by the number.

There is another number I do want you to get more caught up in. Torque. This is how hard the car’s engine can twist something and twisting is the whole idea behind moving a car. The engine twist the guts of the transmission which twist the drive shaft which twist the wheels and off you go. Torque is measured in pound feet. A pound foot is when you have, let’s say, a one foot long lever. This wrench, for example, and I apply one pound of force at the end of it. The one foot mark that is one pound foot, okay? That might undo something that might not. For example, I’ve got a bolt sitting here inside this vise. Stick my socket on it. I’ve got my one foot wrench here. And maybe or maybe not, this one foot-wrench with a pound of force is gonna undo it. If it doesn’t, what am I gonna do? Gonna get a bigger hammer, or in this case, a bigger wrench. Here’s a two-foot wrench, more or less. As you know from experience, if I drop that guy in, and now apply the same one pound of force. I’m probably going to undo that bolt, right? Leverage makes a big difference, more torque. Imagine this wrench was actually 266 feet long, huge thing way out there. And I take a long walk I go to the end of it and I still apply my one pound of force.

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Sunglasses for Driving…Really?

Especially if you are accustomed to wearing normal vision/reading glasses… you may have wondered if wearing driving sunglasses is really worth the effort. One of the biggest benefits is being  prepared for a variety of weather and climate conditions that exist…especially in seasonal geographic locations…and weather that may be unexpected.

Because driving is primarily a visual experience, your eyes must be able to see clearly at all times. Driving sunglasses make it easier to see what’s around you as you drive, and to stay safe on the road. The right kind of frames, combined with the right kind of lenses, work together to make the best driving sunglasses.

Frame Selection
When picking out the frames for your driving sunglasses, it is important that they are designed to keep out stray light, which can be very distracting. The frames you select should be comfortable to wear, fit close to your face, and be large enough to give you good peripheral vision.

Frame materials
Frames for driving sunglasses can be made of many different durable materials, including:

  • Plastic
  • Polycarbonate
  • Nylon
  • Carbon
  • Acetate (a plant-based plastic)
  • Titanium
  • Beryllium
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Metal alloys

The most popular and functional frame styles for driving sunglasses include:

  1. Wayfarer: Since 1952…these traditional frames are usually black plastic with dark lenses that are wider at the top. The Wayfarer is a good choice for driving because of its large lenses and wide field of view outward.
  2. Aviator: These use thin metal frames with large teardrop-shaped lenses to provide good coverage and visibility. The Aviator has been popularized by military pilots, whom they were originally developed for, as well as movie stars and other celebrities.
  3. Wraparound: These use curved frames and lenses that “wrap around” from the front to the sides, giving you excellent peripheral vision. These provide very good outward visibility and light protection, making them a great choice for driving sunglasses.
  4. Oversized: Popularized by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, this women’s style is significantly larger than your average sunglasses. The frames and lenses can be round, oval or square in shape. They provide excellent protection from the sun and great outward vision. This makes oversized a worthy design for driving sunglasses, as long as the temples (the side pieces) do not block your side vision.

Selecting lenses
The lenses in your driving sunglasses have two primary functions: – To allow you to see clearly – To protect your eyes

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Tire Myths You Should Know

Your vehicle’s tires have a huge functional impact on its braking, handling and overall ride experience.

83% of drivers aren’t “tire smart” (don’t know how to properly check tire pressure) ~~ Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) 2015 survey.

Since tires are the final extremity of you car that separates you from the road, taking proper care of them is one of the most important safety factors you can master. Here are the top five tire myths that you should be sure you know.

 

A Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Ensures That Your Tires Are Always Safe – A TPMS electronically tracks and displays tire pressure via a gauge, pictogram display or a warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard. “These have lulled most drivers into believing that if the warning signal is off, everything is fine,” says Pat Goss…a master mechanic and automotive radio show host. Since a signal is only triggered when tires lose 25 percent of their inflation pressure (aka “dangerously low” tire pressure), you could be driving on tires that are underinflated enough to cause unnecessary wear, waste fuel and in some cases, decrease cornering ability while increasing stopping distances. Goss advises that you should check tire pressure every 30 days the old-fashioned way: manually, with a tire pressure gauge. (Watch the quick how-to video below)

The Correct Tire Pressure Is Listed On The Tire Sidewall – 50% of all drivers believe this is true. But these numbers actually tell you the maximum cold inflation PSI the tire is rated for—not the recommended pressure for your vehicle. The CORRECT information is actually listed on a label inside the vehicle’s driver-side door or in the owner’s manual.

All Cars Come With Spare Tires – approximately one third of all new cars DON’T come with a spare tire in the trunk. Instead, you’ll get a “temporary mobility kit” with a tire sealant and a tire inflator or run-flat tires, says Goss. If your tire is punctured, apply the sealant through the valve stem then use the inflator to re-inflate it, he explains. The downside? If the damage is more severe than a tiny hole (think nail size), the mobility kit probably isn’t going to cut it and you’ll have to be towed. Go check your trunk now, so you’re not surprised in an emergency.

Tire Rotation Should be Done About Once A Year – The correct answer…Tire rotation should be performed every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, which also coincides with the typical oil change recommendation.

Flat Tire While Driving?…Never Continue Driving – “Run-flat tires” — which let you keep driving after a puncture so you can make it to an auto shop—are becoming more popular. “Many manufacturers are using them because the additional cost of four run-flats is less than the cost of a spare tire, wheel and jack,” says Goss. Run-flats vary as to how far they can be driven and at what speed, but generally speaking they can be driven for up to 50 miles at a reduced speed (usually about 50 miles per hour), he explains. You can tell if your car has run-flats by looking inside the driver’s door, in your owner’s manual or checking the tire sidewall for one of the following codes: RFT, DSST, ROF, RFT, EMT, XRP, ZP or ZPS.

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Car Detailing Tips

For the next level of clean and pristine appearance for your vehicle…way beyond washing and waxing…a professional auto detailing job is a virtual guarantee of satisfaction.  Of course, DIYers can try their hand by themselves…but usually end up taking much longer to complete with sub par results.  Only a true professional has the weather worn expertise and bag of tricks to come close to restoring your vehicle to it’s original condition…interior and exterior.

 

Benefits of Professionally Detailing Your Vehicle

  • Convenience – Consider closely the value of your time and peace of mind…and the cost of any mistakes you might make that a professional likely would not.  Saving yourself time, money and hassle can often be priceless.  Delivery service is often offered by many auto-detailing shops.
  • Higher Resale Value – A well maintained vehicle will always command a higher selling price…especially regarding its appearance. An exterior that’s been cleaned and waxed regularly will show less wear and tear and the paint and clear coat will be more durable in the long run. Inside, regular detailing will help a car hold its new-car feel.
  • Peace of mind – Professional expertise to help removing spills, stains or other accidents using tried-and-true methods not only saves you elbow grease, it also ensures the stain or spill has been removed or neutralized as effectively as possible.
  • Fewer penalties – Returning a leased vehicle often brings surprises to lessees…when penalties for sub par vehicle maintenance (including paint job, interior and upholstery) gets assessed. Regular detailing can be a worthwhile investment to avoid lease-return penalties.
  • Faster sale turnaround – A car newly and thoroughly detailed will sell faster than one that hasn’t been cleaned by a professional.

Cost of having your car detailed

  • Risk of Damage Reduced – You, a non-professional are much more likely to make a mistake than a professional car detailing companM
  • Common misconception about auto detailing work — it’s just too expensive. But extending the life and resale value of your car actually pays off long term.  Investigate pricing…investigate reviews. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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More Auto Detailing

What Does Certified Pre-Owned Really Mean?

What’s the major attractive benefit to car buyers who are considering Certified Pre-Owned vehicles as a purchase? Answer: They’ve been through an exhaustive multi-faceted inspection and had any found issues already addressed. What’s whole point of the process?  The thorough inspections and ultimate CPO designation states that although the vehicle is no longer new, it’s still in premium working order…thereby justifying its premium pricing  compared to similar non-CPO vehicles.

Before any part of the inspection process even begins…it’s important to identify the vehicle as legal and legit…by making sure the VIN (vehicle identification number) matches what’s on file at the DMV…verifying a clean title. Carfax, AutoCheck, or some other vehicle history report is usually included for the buyer as a prerequisite.

What actually gets inspected?

  • Maximum mileage and age criteria…determined by each automaker individually. These thresholds reassure  buyers by creating high uniformity among the CPO vehicles being offered for sale.
  • Aftermarket add-ons – carmakers criteria range from zero tolerance for evidence of past aftermarket modifications…to allowing only those that “don’t compromise safety, emissions, or operation of the vehicle.”
  • Safety, emissions, and operation are all delved into deeply in every automaker’s CPO inspection. Major areas that get a close look are the braking system, transmission components and operation, and most everything inside the engine compartment. Fluid levels are checked. Individual components are inspected.
  • Cosmetic checks – items like front & rear bumpers and fascias, emblems & nameplates, moldings & appliqués, door handles, running boards & side steps etc.
  • Vehicle Interiors – safety equipment such as seatbelts and airbags as well as basic functions on the dash such as the stereo and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. There’s also some fairly extensive cleaning that typically takes place, … Several automakers include cleaning the ashtray and cigarette lighters on their checklists… concerned with smell and makes sure that vehicles are “free of odor, including heavy fragrance.”
  • Hybrids typically have additional checkpoints such as the condition of the battery and a check of more specialized parts such as electric motors and the anti-theft vehicle-immobilizer system.

So…How do you know that the vehicle was actually put through this multipoint scrutiny the carmakers are promising? CPO inspection checklists end with a series of signatures of those responsible for the inspection process, as well as that of the customer buying the car. So, if you are ready to purchase a CPO car or truck and you aren’t offered an inspection checklist to sign, something is amiss.

Generally, the vehicles’ inspections are a fairly extensive list of checks that should give consumers added reassurance that a CPO vehicle is a better bet than its traditional used car scenario. Need more encouragement that CPO is the way to go? Here’s 5 good reasons CPO might be your strategy.

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Avoiding Direct Repair Shops (DRPs) – 5 Warnings

Direct Repair Programs (DRPs) are constructed relationships that Insurance companies create with auto body repair shops. The bottom line is that the insurance companies usually send (or “steer” as it’s called in the industry) the participating DRP shops more insurance related business in exchange for agreeing to cut corners during the repair process…thus saving the insurance company money.  Sometimes called “Network shops” or “Select Service shops” …these participating repair shops are actually “graded” by the insurance company as to how fast and cost effective the repairs are done…with quality all too often taking a lower priority.  Insurance companies put in place many rules and regulations for body shops who are on their “list” and sometime force the shops to do things that they would not otherwise do.

Comical depiction of Insurance Company “Steering“…that may not turn out as funny in real life.

Here are 5 reasons you may want to consider avoiding DRP repair shops:

  1. They work directly for the Insurance Company, not you …and not necessarily for your best interests.
  2. If your vehicle is declared a Total Loss, the DRP shop be pressured by the Insurance Company to cheat you on the Actual Cash Value (ACV) settlement you are owed.
  3. Diminished Value you’re owed after repairs – DRP shops may be encourage not to inform you about it.
  4.  Repairing parts instead of Replacing them as they should have been…again, saving the Insurance Company money.
  5. Using Aftermarket/Imitation/Counterfeit or Junkyard Parts on your car…obviously, not to your benefit.

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Should You Go CPO? 5 Merits of Certified Pre-Owned

Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options. ~ Chris Rock

If  you’re considering buying a new (or kinda new) vehicle…having more options and more money left over are always good things.  New or used…private seller or car dealer…and in recent years, something usually sold by new car dealers called “certified pre-owned” (CPO).  CPO can be considered as a compromise between new and used that most often has a better warranty (because it’s been thoroughly inspected) and low to modest mileage.


Here are some compelling arguments that a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle may be your best bet:

1. Thoroughly Inspected Vehicle

Imagine the feeling you get from seeing “As-Is” on a vehicle’s For Sale sign…or the complete set of “unknowns” that come with buying a car from a private seller. Your first instinct should be to take your prospective purchase to a trusted mechanic and have it thoroughly checked out…for a fee.  That’s what CPO effectively does for you in a more formal and convenient way.  Ford and General Motors have 170+ items on a checklist that technicians must complete before allowing pre-owned vehicle to be designated as CPO.

2. Warranty that’s Manufacturer-Backed

So you’re effectively paying a premium for a manufacturer-backed warranty. But like any kind of insurance…not all warranties are created equal. So buyers need to pay special attention to the warranty specifics. “Powertrain-limited warranties”… “bumper-to-bumper warranties” and even combinations of the two.

Powertrain warranties typically span longer periods, such as six years or 100,000 miles from the date the vehicle was purchased new. A bumper-to-bumper warranty may last for one year or cover 12,000 miles and could include a deductible of $50 to $100. When shopping for a CPO, buyers should be sure to inquire about the length of the warranty, the details regarding types of repairs that require paying a deductible, and the list of items not covered at all. Also, pay attention to whether the manufacturer has a fee to transfer a CPO warranty should you want to sell the car or truck before the warranty expires. (BMW, for example, charges $200 for the warranty to be transferred to a subsequent owner.)

3. CPO Is Less Money Than New

The most obvious reason why people consider CPO is money…and CPO is less money than a new vehicle. Typically, two-year-old CPO vehicles are 25 percent cheaper, and four year old CPOs are about 40 percent less expensive. But remember… CPO vehicles do carry a premium over their non-CPO used vehicles. So the question for buyers becomes: Do the additional benefits of buying a CPO justify the higher price?

Like to see a couple more reasons?

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Paint Damage from Falling Leaves?

Fall weather tends to turn our thoughts to shorter daylight, more football, Halloween and the Holidays.  Some may even make a special trip to the mountains or countryside just to see the beautiful array of colorful leaves as they turn and begin to drop.  So many vibrant colors…but maybe you weren’t aware that those spectacular Autumn leaves can actually damage to your car in multiple ways?  Yes, one or two won’t cause Armageddon…but if allowed to collect unchecked and unremoved…those leaves can do some serious damage to your vehicle’s paint job, especially if it’s clear coat has more than a few years of wear and tear.

parked cars with yellow fallen tree leaves on hoods

Paint Damage? How Can Leaves Cause That?
Fallen leaves contain small amounts of sap and pollen that when rained upon…causes acid to leech out of the leaves and penetrate your car’s clear coat…resulting in dull spots and paint peel. If left unchecked, wet leaves can even cause rust to form, especially when they get trapped between moldings and trim.  Maybe you’ve even seen a wet leaf left sticking to the hood of a car until it dries…creating an actual leaf print in the paint.

Leaves Cause Other Damage Too?
Leaves left trapped between the body and hood can cause damage to your vehicle’s HVAC (air conditioning & heat) system by pulling in tiny pieces of leaf debris.  Accumulated leaves left unchecked can block air inflow and damage the engine or heating system. Also, mold and mildew can easily form from rotting leaves.

How Do You Prevent Fallen Leaves Damage?

  1. Don’t park directly under trees…if at all possible.  It helps avoid leaf buildup.
  2. If/when leaves do appear on the hood, roof & trunk of your car, hose them off ASAP. Don’t just wipe them off with your hand or a brush…that actually scratches your paint.
  3. Open the hood and use an air compressor or high power vacuum to remove any leaves or pieces of leaves that you see.  Ask your trusted auto mechanic to inspect the engine compartment and ensure no unwanted leaves have accumulated.
  4. Wash & Wax regularly. Visit your car wash and take advantage of undercarriage sprayers and high-pressure wands to get to every nook and cranny of your car. Apply a coat of strong, durable wax to help protect the paint from acid and sap in leaves.

Following these protective steps will allow you enjoy to the spectacle of the Autumn foliage when you head out on that road trip to the countryside…without worrying about car damage.  Your Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy will taste even better while you enjoy the landscape!

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