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Adam Aiken, Editor
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Of course, if you haven’t got adequate insurance then you need to take action immediately. If nothing else, you could be breaking the law – even if you are not using the vehicle.
But that’s only half the story. Although making sure you have basic cover is a good start, when it comes to classic cars there are a number of particular factors to bear in mind – and a number of things you can do to bring the cost down, too.
For a start, it’s probably worth using a broker that specialises in these policies. Things such as comparison sites can be useful for standard cars, but you will invariably get a much better deal from a specialist.
“For many people, their classic car is as much a part of the family as their dog or cat,” said Gerry Bucke, general manager at broker Adrian Flux.
“Hours spent polishing, tweaking, oiling and often just admiring their cherished motor are almost as important to loving owners as actually taking to the roads.
“But whether it’s a humble Morris Minor or a vintage Rolls-Royce, accidents happen and owners need to make sure they have the right insurance in place should calamity strike.”
Mr Bucke offered a few tips for classic-car owners who want to keep their premiums down without scrimping on cover.
Being a member of a classic car club can prove valuable in more ways than one. As well as getting the chance to meet like-minded enthusiasts, you can earn insurance discounts of up to 15pc – often enough to cover the membership fee of the club.
Don’t overestimate how often you use your car. Limited-mileage policies can lower premiums significantly, so if you drive your car only 1,500 miles a year, don’t insure it for 5,000.
Mr Bucke said owners of classic cars were at risk of falling foul of new laws aimed at catching uninsured drivers. From this summer, all vehicles that are taxed must also be insured, so if you have insured your car only for the summer but have not declared it off-road with the DVLA, you could receive a hefty fine – even if it is tucked away safely in your garage for the winter.
If you hire out your car for weddings, make sure you declare this to your insurer because cover for this comes as an optional extra on most policies.
Modifying your car might not affect your premiums, but if you modify it and fail to inform your insurer, your vehicle will not be repaired on a like-for-like basis in the event of a claim – and you risk having your cover declared void.
If you leave your car in the garage during the winter, either maintain your comprehensive insurance policy or opt for laid-up cover to protect it in the event of fire or theft.