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Collector car insurance

parmparm Member Posts: 724
edited April 2014 in General
Anyone have experience/advice with regard to selecting insurance for a collector car? The main companies I'm aware of are Grundy, Hagerty and J. C. Taylor.

I'm looking at purchasing a collector car and need to make arrangements for insurance. This obviously won't be my daily driver, but I would like to drive it during the middle of the week once in a while to run errands around town (ie., not to a car show/event or on a club driving tour - which the collector car insurance companies would cover). It appears most of the collector car insurance companies are pretty fussy about where/when you're allowed to drive the car. Not saying I'd want to drive it to work, but perhaps on extremely rare occassions, I might.

So, what kind of insurance coverage on your collector cars do you have? Who do you recommend, and why?


  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    I have insurance with Hagerty, and have been happy with them. Their main stipulations are that you store the car in a locked garage when not in use, and that you have a regular daily driver with normal insurance on it.

    So did you finally settle on a collector car, Parm? If so, what are you getting?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Our 66 Mustang GT has been with Hagerty for over 10 years.

    One of the coverages I suggest is Underinsured Motorists BI & PD.
    The UMPD provides up to $10,000 & the premium is minor.

    As for infrequent driving, a classic should be driven two or three times a month during the off season of car shows.

    Hagerty & others may require you have "Collector" plates, another primary vehicle, and the insured vehicle be in a secured storage facility.

    To qualify for "Collector" plates in WA, the car has to be at least 25 years old.

    Naturally, we who read these posts are interested in the car you choose. :)
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,134
    I have Hagerty too. No complaints - affordable, coverage looks adequate, I think there's a good 2500 mile/year allowance, and they use an agreed value, which for me is better than paying to have an appraisal done.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Well, I don't actually have the car yet. It's mine to buy and we've agreed on the price. Problem is, the car is 12 hours away and I can't get there until the end of January. If the car was closer, I would've already bought it by now. I don't want to reveal too much because this car is listed for sale and there's a risk the car could be sold out from underneath me before I can get there. Though the seller has said no one else is pursuing the car and given the distractions that come with the holidays, it seems unlikely that someone will beat a path to his door before I can get there to inspect it and hand over the check. I asked if I can put down a deposit to hold the car, but he's letting me buy the car for $1,000 less than his advertised price which he's stated is "firm". So, he's not willing to agree to holding it when it's conceivable someone could come along and offer him his full price. Yeah, yeah, I know. If his price is THAT firm, how come he's letting me buy it for $1,000 under his asking price. Well, he and I have been talking for a while now and we've formed somewhat of a kinship - and he knows how passionate I am about this particular marque. Plus, I think he's more willing to deal right now given that it's the winter season (an issue for those of us who have to deal with snow).

    You old time members who remember me from the former Edmunds classic car message board can probably guess this car's make. Trust me, when the deal is done, I will post plenty of photos here for you all to see.

    With regard to insurance, based on feedback I've picked up from other boards, the main contenders for collector car insurance seem to be Hagerty, J.C. Taylor and American Collectors. The first two I'm familiar with, but the last one I'll have to research. I'm rather surprised no one I've heard from has said they use Grundy. I thought they were a pretty big outfit.

    Anyone know about J.C. Taylor and American Collectors?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Insurance Providers

    • American Collectors Insurance Inc.
    498 Kings Highway N, P.O. Box 8343
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
    800-360-2277, 856-779-7212

    • American Hobbyist Ins. Agency
    2501 SE Aviation Way
    Stuart, FL 34996
    800-395-4835, 772-287-9363

    • Condon & Skelly
    121 E. Kings Highway, Suite 203
    Maple Shade, NJ 08052

    • Great American Insurance
    Classic Collectors Program
    P.O. Box 429569
    Cincinnati, OH 45242-9569

    • Grundy Worldwide
    P.O. Box 1957
    Horsham, PA 19044

    • Hagerty Classic Insurance
    P.O. Box 87
    Traverse City, MI 49685

    • J.C. Taylor Antique Automobile Ins. Agency
    320 South 69th St.
    Upper Darby, PA 19082
    800-345-8290, 610-853-1300

    • Sneed Insurance
    PO Box 34698
    Memphis, TN 38184-0698
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Thank you for posting this information. It is very much appreciated and a great reference source. Kudos!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Finally pulling the trigger!!

    Good for you and, yes, I can guess...ah...a Studebaker?
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Well, had the seller not agreed to sell it to me for $9K, I probably would've walked. I've lost my heart to tons of cars, but this one has the rare combination of originality/condition, options, appeal (to me) and price. Other cars I've lusted after always lacked the last element. Had it not been for this specific car at that price, I would still be on the sidelines . . . . . which, technically, I still am because of what I outlined above.

    LOL!, Nope, not a Studebaker. Actually, that marque has never been on radar. But, the car I'm getting is domestic . . . . . . . and it is big. ;-)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Ohh Nooo, not another Imperial!!! :lemon:
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    Not that this will narrow it down much, but is it something that I would like? :P
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Nope, not an Imperial either. Strike Two!

    Andre, yes you'll like it. My wife even likes it (note: she doesn't LOVE it - but she probaby wouldn't love a GTO either. LOL! . . . . . no, it's not a GTO, sadly). Believe me, I'm dying to tell you guys, but I just don't want to "queer" the deal.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I do remember, even after, what? ten years?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    I think I might have an idea too. Parm, when you do finally get the car, or at least have it guaranteed that it will be yours and not sold out from under you, you should have us guess on it!

    Good luck with it! Late January will be here before you know it!
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Yes, definitely. The 'ol guessing game. That sounds like a plan. Though, perhaps Craig has "picked up the scent"?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    Could I email you privately and tell you what I think it is? I promise I'll keep the secret. And I couldn't buy it out from under you even if I wanted to. Our economy has seen to that. :sick:
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Email away. Naturally, should you publicly divulge this car's identity, "the secretary will disavow any of your actions."
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Well, the car I was trying to buy got sold out from underneath me this past Sunday. The car in question was a very nice and very original (yes, these two CAN go together) 1963 Cadillac Coupe Deville. Andre has seen photos. It's nice. In short, about a month ago (after having been talking with the seller for a month before), the seller agreed to $9,000, but before I could get out there, someone else came along and gave him $10K. I would've gone higher, but the seller never extended me the courtesy of letting me know. He just emailed me one day (less than 2 weeks before I was to drive 12-13 hours to inspect it) and simply said the car was sold. Sounds, pretty tame on the surface. But, I'd been communicating with the seller since November and had made an emotional investment in the car. I even set up an inspection by a pro and was to pay for everything. I'm not upset the seller got $10K, because the car was worth it and I would've paid that - and more. But, when the guy offered it to me for $9K, why would I say, "Nah, that's OK, I'll pay you $10K". No, what I'm extremely pissed about is that the seller played me off another buyer who, at the last minute, fell bassakwards into a deal I'd been working on for two months. But, even worse, the seller didn't let me know others were looking or that there was a sense of urgency.

    Not saying I got totally screwed, but I literally had my checkbook out willing to pay his price. Unfortunately, due to the holidays and other family commitments, I couldn't get out there as soon as I would've liked. When this other buyer stumbled along, the seller used me to prompt the eventual buyer into pulling the trigger. He basically told the guy, "If you want it, you better buy it now, because a guy is coming out soon with a check to buy it." - and, I'm fine with that up until the point when I don't get the opportunity to meet or beat his new offer.

    I did everything right this time. But, timing is everything - and this time it was out of my control. Now, excuse me while I cry myself to sleep. :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You gotta be ready to go on these things or they get squirrely very quickly.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Yeah well, I did everything I could short of buying the car unseen in person - and actually probably would've done that for this car if I knew I needed to. Some people are just a@@holes (pardon my Portuguese) because they can be.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,134
    That's too bad. The seller is certainly a jerk for not letting you know about the new bid.

    If you want one of those, I am sure some of us who post here can keep an eye out.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well without a deposit all bets are off. I won't hold a car without a deposit.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,134
    And you shouldn't...but the guy could have at least given him a chance to match the offer, as they had been communicating for some time.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Actually guys, I did offer the seller an earnest deposit to hold the car for me at $9K. But, he declined. Even though he agreed to sell me the car for $9K, he was holding out for $10K. Keep in mind, this was right before Christmas and I felt pretty safe nobody was going to swoop in - and nobody did at that time. Again, I had no problem with him holding out for $10K between when we agreed on $9K and when I could get out there. I just wanted the opportunity to make a counter.

    The car was first advertised in November. So, considering other cars I've seen which has sat for months (if not years), this car didn't sit on the market all that long because it was priced right. Having said that, these things are typically easier to buy than they are to sell. Turns out the seller was very fortunate - as in, he should buy a lottery ticket lucky. Because he not only found one needle (me) in the haystack in a relatively brief period of time, he found two. :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well look, his personal ethics aside...if you don't have a deposit on the car, you don't have a contract. Verbal agreements in the year 2009 are as suicidal as verbal agreements from a car dealership that "don't worry, just buy the car now, and next time you come in we'll take care of that howling noise in the differential".

    I've learned all this the hard way and now I take nothing for granted in a car deal....NOTH-ING. If I want the car, I nail it firmly to the deck as soon as possible, and I actually presume the deal is going to unravel unless I do that.

    The seller was under no legal obligation to you, and so he took a flyer---as is human nature to work in one's self-interest sometimes.

    When a deal drags on, the odds of it going sour begin to soar with each passing day.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I don't disagree with what you're saying. But, I wasn't really dragging things out. Had the car been within a more easy reach or if it wasn't the holiday season, trust me, I would've gotten out there very quickly. I had a professional inspector all lined up to meet at the car in less than two weeks. So, the seller knew I was serious and that I'd buy the car assuming the car didn't have a cracked frame or something unusal like that.

    I know all about "first come, first serve" and "strike when the iron is hot", etc. and I fully understand the seller was under no legal obligation to call to allow me to counter. But, it would've been nice. I would've gotten the car I wanted and the seller would have additional money in his pocket right now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I can't even deal with a car that's 2 hours away, much less 12.

    Well you didn't even see the car so maybe no regrets are necessary. You'd be amazed how radically different cars are in person from their ads or descriptions. Digital cameras are devilishly good at hiding things (intentionally or not).

    As an appraiser, I'm disappointed in the "real life" car more often than not, despite glowing descriptions and beautiful photos.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    If the seller had 'phoned to say, "Another guy with $10,000 is very interested." A lot of folk including you would think he's just trying to "UP" me.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    Yeah, that is a good point. I wonder how the seller would be able to PROVE that he had a buyer at $10K?

    Anyway Parm, sorry it didn't work out for you. It really was a nice car from what I could see in the pics. But, sometimes things turn out the way they do for a reason.

    As Benny Hill once said, about women...they're just like buses. Miss one and another will come along! ;)
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Oh definitely. The "bus" analogy has always been my mantra. And, at this price, my head tells me the market is full of other cars that will tickle my fancy. I mean, it's not like this car was a 1 of 1 or anything like that. But, I've been watching early to mid-60's Cadillacs for an awfully long time (10+ years) and I've not seen many in such good original condition with such a long list of options AND at a reasonable price.

    I know I'll eventually get something I'll love. But, I told my wife just this evening that until the day I die, I'll probably always think of that '63 Coupe Deville with remorse as the "one that got away". :(
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,134
    I'll keep an eye out for you. Decent cars with little to no rot turn up here now and then.

    Any specific colors or options?
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    My tastes are pretty much 1960's domestics. Would love a convertible, but the ones I'd want (aka, nice ones) are more $$ than I want to spend right now. I always keep coming back to Cadillacs with the 1963-1964's being my favorite. Perhaps for me to better answer your question, I'll start a new thread for those cars. See you there!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Have you taken a look at the site below? There is a real nice convert for $16,500, but remember everything is negotiable. A more economical hardtop is listed below.


    to see a lot more dial in www.autotraderclassics.com
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    In case you come into some money, here is the site of the convertible for you.

  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    OK. I know I'm picking nits here, but the turqoise 1963 convertible is a Series 62 which was the entry level model (replaced by the Calais in 1965). I'm only interested in the Deville line. Having said that, in 1963, if you wanted a Cadillac convertible, you only had two options. The Series 62 and the top of the line Eldorado. In 1963, there wasn't a Deville convertible. In 1964, the Deville convertible came to be. However, all that aside, compared to the Series 62 models, Devilles where more nicely equipped, nicer interiors, etc. and in 1964 they were also different mechanically in terms of their engines and transmissions.

    All that aside, the turqoise 1963 Cadillac convertible has some issues. It's not one I'd want. Not saying it's a "total piece", but it's not what I would term "nice".

    The silver Coupe Deville is a "strike out" (for me) for the same reasons. It's not all that nice and appears to be a mild custom at that.

    You'll find that I'm pretty picky. But, having said that, I am NOT unappreciative of your efforts to forward leads my way. While I would be surprised if you guys find a 1963-64 Cadillac from the mainstream collector car classified websites I've not already seen, PLEASE keep'em coming!

    BTW, I started a new discussion thread entitled 1963-1964 Cadillacs that includes the link to a '64 Sedan Deville worth considering. But, I see it's not yet been posted. Probably needs to be "sanctioned" first which I totally understand. But, Mr. ShiftRight, if for some reason this new thread didn't go through, please let me know and I'll try again.

    In the mean time, let's see what else you guys can throw at me. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Nope your new topic didn't post. Try again. There's no review on this board of new topics, so if you don't see it, it didn't happen for some reason.
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    Dang. That is bringing me back aways.

    When I was a young teen driver a friend's mother had a nice, yellow 62 Caddy convertible. For a while that's what they let said friend drive around in. (They later got him a new 72 Datsun 510 wagon.) Well, for reasons that remain a mystery to this day they told him that he was not to let friends drive the car with one exception. That would be me. Funny thing is he hated the car because he thought it was too flashy. I loved the thing.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    Funny thing is he hated the car because he thought it was too flashy. I loved the thing.

    I always loved the '61-62 Cadillac, but to me it was the lack of flash that turned me on to it! The car seemed a lot more trim and cleaner than the over-the-top 1959-60 models...downright sporty in comparison. For 1963 the car seemed to mature a little bit. Still a gorgeous looking car, but it seemed to trade off the sporty flair for a more prestigious aura.

    Oh, speaking of collector car insurance, my bill is coming due soon. I wonder if I should up the value I have stated on my '67 Catalina? I think currently have it valued at $8-9K, but I just sunk a ton of money into it. With luck, it comes back from the mechanic today. As of yesterday, he was just waiting for four weather seal pieces to be delivered. I'm really looking forward to not having to put the top up and down manually...that sucker can be a real back-breaker!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A clean driver would be worth about $9K and a #2 (local show quality) upwards of $15,000.
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