Should I Consider Specialty Classic Car Insurance?

Published: September 14, 2015

Updated: May 15, 2018



In the province of Ontario a vehicle is considered to be classic when it is at least 10 years old and can be described as vintage if it is over 25 years old. You may not think the 11 year old SUV you are lugging around is a classic, or that 25 year old banger is a vintage, but those are the criteria under Ontarian regulation.

Of course, if you have a true classic or vintage vehicle you probably already know it, bought it as such, and also realize that its value is not the same as a normal daily driver. Classic cars do not depreciate like normal cars do, and in fact many of them gain value and do not depreciate at all. With that in mind a regular insurance policy with Actual Cash Value coverage is not advised as you will likely lose a lot of money in the event of a total vehicle loss.

However, many drivers still don’t realize this and in fact more than 50 per cent of classic and antique car drivers still use their normal personal car insurance. There are some benefits to this (such as being able to use the car whenever you want to), but if you are serious about protecting the value of your classic car you should consider specialty insurance. This type of coverage is typically offered by a company that specializes in offering policies for classic and vintage vehicles and offers different benefits.

Are specialty insurers expensive?

In many cases they are actually not. Normal insurers have plenty of risk factors to consider and know you are using your vehicle as a daily driver, so need to have a premium to cover potential loss. Classic car insurers do not assume the same risks as their policies demand drivers use their vehicles a set amount of time, and that means in some cases coverage can be 500% cheaper than a normal policy. Of course, there are exceptions with high end vintage vehicles.

Are all specialty policies the same?

While normal insurance companies tend to have roughly the same policy points and benefits, classic car insurers are more specialized. Yes, there are some standard things that you will see everywhere, but some company may offer different rates, services, and benefits to another.

What insurance do I get?

Specialty insurance companies offer what is called Agreed Value Coverage (AVC) which means you and your provider agree on the value of the vehicle when opening the policy and the insurer will pay out to that value in the event of a total loss.

So, is my 12 year old SUV eligible?

The simple answer is no. While it falls under Ontario guidelines for what is thought of as a classic car, specialty insurance companies tend to have lists of cars that they will consider. It is not enough for a vehicle to be classic or antique by age alone, it also has to be considered a collectable.