So you have built your Rat Rod, and Now You Need To Know How to Protect It.

We have all seen them – the car that looks as if it’s cobbled together with  baling wire, an old fence gate, and $4000 worth of engine and upgrades. When you look at them, you wonder why someone would drive such a monstrosity – but when you notice the details, you quickly realize that Rat Rods are more than the parts that are tack welded together. They are truly rolling works of art, with no two exactly alike.

Is this custom or practical? Maybe both.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like art, a Rat Rod must be insured properly. We talk to lots of folks that only have liability insurance on these unique rides. When you look at how inexpensive full coverage collector car insurance can be, it doesn’t make any sense to drive with liability only.

Despite the rust, this thing cost some money to assemble.
 

 How cheap can it be to insure a Rat Rod – and how do you value that insurance? I’ll address the cost in a minute, but for now, I want to talk about how to value it. I find that most people who build cars (whether glossy restorations or rusted rat rods) have a pretty good idea of what they have in the car. Their significant others may be kept in the dark, but the person who built it knows exactly what is in it. We write rat rods like any other classic, on an agreed value policy. If you tell me your rusty 1950-something truck is worth $60k as it sits, then we submit that to the company, and that is what it is insured for.  Lots of companies won’t insure a car with “flat” paint, or with external rust – but because we have so many companies available to us to write classic and modified, we have someone who is interested in giving you a good rate with excellent coverage – guaranteed.

It only looks beat - this truck is worth five figures.

 What do rates look like for these types of cars? That’s an excellent question, and one that is hard to answer in generalities, but I’ll try. Take the car below for instance. This car is valued at $25,000, and with a full coverage, zero deductible policy, the rate is only $250 a year.

Baggin'
 

Here is another example without as many fancy parts. Valued at $10,000, the insurance rate for this nasty beast is approximately $160 a year. That rate also includes flat bed roadside assistance and limited (but not restricted) miles. What does “limited but not restricted” mean? Unlike some classic companies who want you to restrict your driving to shows only. “Limited but not restricted” means that while you choose your mileage plan, you may use those miles for anything you want – not just car shows. In addition, if something happens, the insurance company will allow you to do your own work. There aren’t many Rat Rod body shops out there, so this way you can know your car is done to your satisfaction.

You can even take some friends to the circus.

 

So if you are building a rat rod, don’t let your own project fool you into thinking it’s only worth liability coverage; you have some money in this, and should protect your investment. No one needs to know you have a shiny new insurance policy protecting your carefully ratted out ride. However, if someone gets distracted by the “cool” factor of your street rod and runs into it, you need to be able to repair it. You’ve spent the big money in building a rat rod – make sure you can be made whole if the unthinkable happens and your car gets a dent that you didn’t intend it to have.  
 
There is really only one kind of rat rod we have a problem insuring – anything with two horsepower becomes an issue.
 
Alternative fuel.