|The MGA With An Attitude
INSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS - BUY-104
Declared Value vs Agreed Value
Declared Value insurance has the ability to make you a loser on both ends of the value range. Surprised? But it's not necessarily all bad. Basically you declare the value and pay a premium based on that value. If the car is worth more than the declared value when it gets totaled out, the insurance will not pay any more than the declared value, so you lose. If the car is worth less than the declared value when it gets totaled out, the insurance will only pay for the actual amount of the loss, being the actual value of the car, so you lose again by having paid too much for the premiums. Additionally, you may have to prove the prior value of the car after it has been wrecked, generally not an easy thing to do.
The only advantage I can see is that you can get the insurance without having to have the car appraised. That little convenience can be important for any car more than about 10 years old and "off the books" for insurance value. It is also important for any car that has a value substantially different than "book value", whether the value is greater or smaller.
In essence, in order to always pay the appropriate premium for the correct value of the car, you need to have it appraised. Then you can buy an "Agreed Value" insurance policy based on the appraised value, and the insurance will pay out that amount if the car is totaled.
If the car is worth a lot of money, getting it appraised for insurance purposes could be very important. If the car is not worth too much, and you're getting classic car insurance at a reduced rate anyway, the difference in premiums may not be worth the effort and/or cost of having it appraised regularly.
And about Vintage car policies...
If you only drive the car for shows, exhibitions, club activities, and maintenance purposes, and maybe a little as occasional personal use, and you can show that you have another car available for a daily driver, you should be able to get reduced rates on the insurance, and maybe also the license fees. If you store the car in a locked garage the rates will be lower. If you drive fewer miles the rates can be lower depending on the insurance company. If you're under age 25 many of the classic car insurance providers won't write the policy for you anyway. Sorry.
If you're driving with classic vehicle license plates that have restricted driving privileges, always have a good reason for being where you are in case of being stopped by the police. In many cases with these plates the police do have a right to stop you just to ask you where you're going, and it will likely happen occasionally. And the more unique the car is, the more likely it is to happen. Sometimes a cop just wants a close up look at the car and a nice chat. That cop will most likely be a State Police officer within your own state (not always), as these licensing things are primarily a state affair in the USA. And the local cops or out of state cops are not much interested as it is generally not their domain (not much take for writing the ticket).
Also for your insurance company, if you are involved in an accident you should be able to explain why you were on the road at that particular time, and exactly what club event or vehicle maintenance was involved. Please do not ever say "It was such a nice day that I was just out for a pleasure cruise, 75 miles from home". With all this understood, and if your primary use for the car is for collector activities and club events, then collector car insurance can be a very good deal.