Q – I just spent a lot of money restoring my car and I was wondering about my insurance coverage since I have now spent three times what any other car like mine is selling for. What do you suggest? Mark
A – Many of your fellow hobbyists are in the same boat (or tub, if that’s your flavor). The first thing I recommend is forwarding copies of your receipts to your insurance agent to put him on notice of your expenses. I prefer to fax them or email since this stamps them with a time and date for reference. Next you need to ask if your present carrier offers coverage for your project. Many don’t offer the coverage that I prefer which is “agreed value”. Your receipts, an appraisal, and pictures of the car bolster your valuation if you experience a loss. Even if your car is not done, it should still carry agreed value insurance.
Many companies offer “stated value” coverage. I have found this useful to at least let the adjuster know that my car was not just a (in my case) garden variety Rabbit. When my car was “totaled” (their opinion) I was paid in full for the needed repairs and allowed to keep the car. I fixed it and it still wins “best of show” awards 25 years later. Beauty is in the eyes of the motorhead. I don’t recommend stated value coverage since the adjuster will want the value proven to him/her. If you suffer the trauma of a loss, the last thing you want to do is debate the wisdom how you spent your money to a bean counter.
“Actual cash value” coverage is what the majority of policies contain. For a collectible car, this is worthless unless you like arguing with an adjuster about why your car is special. For your daily driver, it’s no big deal unless you have tricked it out.
These topics are expanded on in an excellent article about insurance written by Dennis Denyer a few years ago. Dennis kindly agreed to freshen it up for a future P4 so stay tuned for more. –CM