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Insuring your muscle car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing

Insuring your muscle car

March 3, 2014

It is vital that you fully insure your high-performance muscle car. Getting a good insurance policy is essential, so shop around. Because muscle cars are powerful vehicles they will cost more to insure. This is due to two main reasons; first, insurance firms believe that drivers are more likely to have an accident, and second, muscle cars are often more costly to repair. Classic cars, such as the Pontiac GTO and Buick GSX are rare vehicles with fewer safety features than modern cars, so expect higher insurance premiums.

Shop around for companies that specialize in insuring classic cars, and look for deals that have discounts for low annual mileage if you are only driving for leisure at the weekends. This can help save a lot of money on your insurance premiums.

What to do if you are in a car accident

There is nothing worse for a proud owner of a classic muscle car than being involved in an accident; even it is just a fender bender.

For minor damage to a car it is sometimes best to get it repaired yourself without notifying your insurance company. Often the increase in insurance premiums following a claim far outweighs the cost if you arrange repairs; so always carefully check how bad the damage is before making an insurance claim.

However, as sgplaw.com point out in their article on the subject, it is vital to ensure that you obtain the details of the person who collided with your car and ideally find a witness too. Always take photos of both cars involved in an accident, being careful to photograph both the damage to the cars and the position of the vehicles. Photos can prove that you were not to blame for an accident.

You should also note down the exact time and date. If a dispute arises this can be very useful information for an insurer. If the driver is in a company vehicle, take both his personal and company details. Also note down the registration details and make notes regarding the state of the vehicle. If they have made modifications to the car write this down and ideally photograph it too.

It is also a good idea to make a note of weather and general driving conditions. They may have been driving too fast for the current conditions in their vehicle. Note the number of passengers in the car.

Also, file a report with the police so that if you do decide to claim through insurance it is clear that you were not to blame for the accident. If a police officer attends the scene of the accident, get their details too - their name and identification number.

Additional notes can help your claim; include details of speed and direction the cars were traveling in, the type of road surface and a general description of the scene of the accident. Also make a note of the appearance and attitude of the person who collided with you. Note if they were aggressive, passive, appeared in good health or were injured.

How to claim on car insurance

If the damage to the car is so great that you need to claim on insurance then you should phone your insurers as soon as possible to start the process.

Provide them with all the notes and photos you took, ideally write the notes into email format and send to them to form part of the claim. The insurance firm should take over from there and you will hopefully receive full costs of repair work.

Some insurance companies will be happy for you to use your local, or your preferred, repair service. Some, however, will arrange for the repairs to be carried out by one of their preferred garages. This can be frustrating, especially if your local garage knows the car well and has been repairing and servicing it for many years.

If you are new to insuring a muscle car, it is a good idea to speak to other car owners first for more advice. Seek out classic car forums and owners’ clubs - members are always more than happy to help other owners.

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