I write a lot of insurance policies. “That’s great, braggart”, you say, “But what does that mean to me?” Most people buy insurance 8-10 times in their lives; I buy that many policies every week, so my knowledge of insurance tends to be more up to date, and that makes it easier for me to help customers maximize their insurance dollar. Some people call me an insurance “salesman”, but I prefer to think of myself as an educator; I do much more teaching than selling. Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and other “fast” cars present a bit of a challenge when it comes to insurance, because the same car can be a daily driver for one person and a dedicated track machine for someone else. In today’s blog, we will address how to cover a car that you do not run on the track, whether it’s a daily driver or a weekend only sunny day car.
If your fast car is your primary mode of transportation, you probably have it on your regular auto policy, which is great when it’s a new car, and easy to value, but not so good when it gets a few years old and value becomes a little more subjective, according to the “market”. (Cars have value markets as well- early Porsche 911’s are gaining value daily – and they are worth 2x what they were just a few years ago.) Most standard every day driver policies are based on an “Actual Cash Value” form, which means that if you total your car, they are going to pay market value of your car. That’s fine if your car is more valuable today than when you bought it, but problematic if you are upside down, or if your car has not begun appreciating yet. This isn’t ideal, but if you are driving your car every day, you don’t have a whole lot of choice. There are some coverages that you should discuss with your agent to make sure you get maximum value in the event of a claim; make sure you get OEM parts coverage, Roadside assistance, and glass coverage. You are most likely to use the latter two, and they can save you pretty good money in the event of a nuisance claim (broken windshield or breakdown).
If you have a modern (less than 15 years old) fast car, but only use it as a sunny day/weekend driver, you can cover your car with an “Agreed Value” policy as a modern collectible. This type of policy is the best kind for a special vehicle, as you decide up front what your car is worth in the event of a loss, and that is the amount you get, not subject to market or bluebook values. These types of policies are available on a limited or restricted mileage program, and often include greatly reduced deductibles and coverage for spare parts, as well as roadside assistance. Most policies even allow for you to drive your car to work a few days a month, if showing off for your peers is your thing. In order to insure your car with a policy like this, you must have a daily driver car on a regular insurance policy. Agreed Value specialty policies tend to be a bit cheaper overall, because the company knows it’s not insuring a car that is exposed to a ton of risk, driven by someone who is taking extra care and precaution with their special car.
Most important, when you discuss coverage for your exotic car – or just your really fast Subaru, make sure you talk to an expert. Sure, lots of insurance agents CAN write you a policy on your exotic, but is it the right policy? I’ll give you an example to help you understand why (in most cases) your regular agent is not qualified to write your specialty policy. You wake up one morning and find a growth on your face. Are you going to just any doctor to see what to do about it? Probably not – you are going to find an expert who ha lots of face growth experience, and can speak about the situation from knowledge. Sure, any doctor can just whip that thing off with a scalpel, but is that what you are looking for when it comes to a growth on your face? No. You want to know that it’s something that doctor has dealt with in the past, and has some experience with. Treat your insurance the same way. It doesn’t take much to get an insurance license; that’s easy. Being an expert, on the other hand? That’s tough. We are classic, exotic, and racecar insurance experts – and we are not going to ever tell you something you want to hear to make a sale. We are going to help you make a wise decision based on what is realistic for your special auto, and your needs.