Sure, we think all Corvettes are collectable but it came as a surprise to me that new Corvettes, and relatively new Corvettes, can qualify for the much lower collector car rates. How much lower? Collector car rates are generally one third to a half of family auto policy rates. As a rule of thumb, collector car insurance policies run less than one percent of a car's value per year. The policy for a $15,000 car might run around $150 per year, but there is a minimum amount-policies are seldom written for less than $100 per year. On the other end, for high value cars, policy costs decrease even further to around six dollars per year per $1,000 of the car's value. For example, a Corvette valued at $60,000, might be insured for about $350 a year.
Another important advantage is that Heacock Classic doesn't steer their policy holders to particular shops. If repairs are needed, the owner can select their preferred repairer. Having you and your car treated right when a loss is incurred is perhaps the most important measure of an insurance company. After all, that's why people buy insurance. Heacock's claim unit is comprised of experienced collector car guys-enthusiasts who own and restore collector cars themselves. Ford Heacock believes this is the real test, where the rubber meets the road so to speak, and states that their staff likes to help to get things fixed correctly and as soon as possible.
To learn more about what is available today, I spoke with Ford Heacock, President of Heacock Classic Collector Car Insurance. Ford was at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, one of the many events that Heacock Classic attends as a vendor and sponsor. Corvette owners will like to know that he is a serious automobile enthusiast. As a native of Sebring, Florida, Ford's family was intimately involved in the heyday of Sebring's international sports car races. His grandfather (Ford Sr.) was the first local chairman of the Sebring 12 Hours of Endurance. He enjoyed watching many Corvettes, including the SS, wailing around Sebring. After college, Ford III, took an active interest in the vintage sports car racing hobby and founded the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), a national organization for vintage racing.
The Heacock family has been in the insurance business since the '20s. This makes a good place to start to gather additional information on how Corvette Fever readers might be able to reduce insurance cost while actually increasing coverage. Considering the current economy, Ford Heacock recommended looking at three areas to conserve money. First, can the car be insured as a collector car? Changing from a family auto policy to a collector car policy provides tremendous savings. Second, how is the car used? If it's driven less now than before due to gas prices, the economy or other reason, it may be able to be insured in a lower mileage per year policy for further savings. Third, if a car is insured with an agreed-value policy, are there any changes in market value? If the value has gone down, reducing the coverage will keep more money in your pocket.
For those who have more cars, there are more ways to save. Heacock Classic only charges for liability coverage on the first car they insure. There are no liability coverage charges for additional cars on that policy. This makes a meaningful difference in money for anyone with multiple cars in their collection. By comparison, in a family auto policy, every vehicle is charged for liability coverage.
Besides substantial savings, collector car insurance has another important advantage: an agreed price. If there is a total loss, the company won't argue with you on the value. With most family auto policies, the car is valued is its fair market value-and that is subject to debate.
The collector car insurance policies offered by Heacock provide a number of other advantages. All policies come with instantaneous, automatic insurance coverage when a new collector car is purchased. This means you can go ahead and purchase a car at night, on a weekend, on a holiday-or at an auction. As soon as the sale is completed and they hand you the keys you can drive it, insured to $50,000. Of course, you still have to call within a reasonable amount of time to get the newly purchased car listed on the existing policy.
Road side assistance is also offered and that is an option worth considering for older cars. For $10 a year, flatbed towing is covered if the insured car breaks down, needs a jump-start, runs out of gas, gets a flat or the keys get locked inside. If the car isn't ready for the road yet, it's good to know that it can be insured during restoration. For race cars, old or new, Heacock Classic offers a special insurance policy which covers the vehicles during storage, transit and while in the paddock. And for car clubs, they have developed a new program which offers $1,000,000 general liability insurance for car shows.
Heacock Classic is a specialty niche provider that is part of Heacock Insurance Group, which offers all lines of insurance from personal and auto to home and business. Although Heacock Classic doesn't require or even ask car collectors to switch their family auto policies, they do now offer coverage plans for motorcycles and boats (classic or contemporary) as well as recreational vehicles. The home office is in Lakeland, Florida, but they can insure cars anywhere in the country. Customers can deal direct or through any of nearly 2,000 local independent agents.
Collector Car Insurance can help many Corvette owners obtain better coverage and save a lot of money. After all, there are much more pleasant things to spend that money on. New parts and accessories. Road trips. Track time. And if you need any more suggestions on what to do with that saved money, just contact any of our advertisers.
Requirements for Collector Car Insurance
No matter what the age of the car, the most important consideration is how it's used. All the drivers in the household need to have a daily driver to substantiate that the car will be used like a collector car. In other words, the car will be used only for special occasions like car shows and Corvette meets. It still can be used occasionally to go to dinner or take friends for a ride, but it can't be used for a daily commute to work.
How the car is used is more readily apparent for some makes than others. For example, there's not much question when it comes to a Ford GT. It's a good bet that it won't be used as a commuter car. However, late-model Corvettes are very user-friendly and easily driven so don't be surprised if an insurance company needs assurance on how it will be used. One thing that is reassuring to the insurance company: more than one collector car in the garage. This is because the profile for the best policy is a person who has more than one collector car.
The documentation required to obtain collector car insurance is straightforward. A copy of the family auto policy declaration page is needed to show the drivers in the household and the cars they use. As mentioned before, there has to be an insured daily-use car for each driver in the household. The declarations page also shows the current insurance limits which helps in choosing the limits for the new collector car policy.
Heacock requires photos of each car on the collector car policy and a photo of the garage where they are (or it is) stored. Heacock Classic seldom needs an appraisal because their team has a broad knowledge of market values. The only time they require an appraisal is when they are not comfortable with the value the customer wants to insure a car for.
The amount of mileage the car is driven each year can affect policy costs. With some collector car policies, the insured can save money by selecting different mileage ranges. The lowest rates are for cars driven under one thousand miles per year, such as trailer queens. However, other Heacock Classic policies offer the choices of 3,000 and a remarkable 6,000 miles per year. There are also special rates for race cars and museum collections.