New York law requires all classic car owners to insure their vehicles. Residents must meet minimum insurance standards to avoid facing penalties. However, you may choose to exceed the insurance minimums to enjoy additional coverage on your vehicle. Read on to learn everything you need to know about classic car insurance in New York.
Essential Insurance for New York Classic Car Owners
The state of New York requires every resident who owns a classic car that’s at least 25 years old to hold at least:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability insurance
Most insurance companies bundle these policies together for your convenience. These bundled policies may also cover bills for lawyers or court costs if someone prosecutes you after you caused an accident.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Bodily injury liability insurance pays out if you cause a car accident that hurts someone else. Here are some of the expenses this insurance helps to cover for injured parties outside of your vehicle:
- Medical expenses
- Recovery treatments
- Lost wages due to time off for recovery
- Funeral costs
Property Damage Liability Insurance
Property damage liability insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing items damaged in a car accident you caused. Some items generally covered under property damage liability insurance are:
- The other driver’s vehicle
- Property inside the other driver’s vehicle
- Fixtures damaged in the accident, such as fences or buildings
Extra Insurance Coverage
As classic cars are often more sentimental and valuable than cars people rely on for their regular commutes, many owners take out additional coverage. You may increase the value of your bodily injury or property damage liability insurance, secure extra policies, or choose a specialized policy. Getting more than the minimum insurance increases your coverage for more peace of mind. Here are some of the extra insurance options available to New York classic car owners:
Collision insurance covers the cost of repairs to your own vehicle if you have an accident and are at fault. A good collision insurance policy works to restore your classic car to its pre-accident state if you have an accident and are at fault. Any repairs to your vehicle sustained during an accident that is someone else’s fault are usually covered by their insurance.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you’re involved in a car accident caused by another person who doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage, you’ll wish you had uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage takes care of your car repairs and any medical bills you incur if the at-fault driver doesn’t have an insurance policy that can handle them. Think of it like a combined bodily injury and property damage liability insurance that covers you, rather than other people.
Classic Car Insurance
Classic car insurance is a tailored insurance plan that provides the necessary liability insurance and extras that classic car owners look for. These policies recognize that people use classic cars differently from commuter vehicles. The best classic car insurance policies include what classic car owners need without charging them for features they don’t. Classic car insurance policies vary between providers, but may include the following:
- Flexible mileage plans which only cover owners for the miles they drive
- Higher coverage limits
- Discounts for secure garages, mature drivers, and multiple vehicles under the one policy
- Agreed value policies that ensure owners get what their classic car is worth
- Spare parts coverage to help you pay for expensive replacement parts
- Roadside assistance with flatbed tow trucks to protect the classic car
- Discounts on car club memberships and security features like alarms and VIN etching
What Cars Are Classic Cars?
Classic cars are cars used mostly for leisure purposes that hold or appreciate in value. According to the New York state definition, a classic car should be at least 25 years old. Some insurance companies may insure newer cars under their classic car policies if they are exotic cars, military vehicles, or replicas. Some insurers only insure cars that are mostly used for exhibitions and club activities under their classic car policies. They may also only insure classic cars stored in fully enclosed and locked garages.
Some insurers also make a distinction between classic and antique cars. A car with historic interest aged between 10 and 24 years may get called a classic car. Once a car with historical interest is 25 years old or more, it becomes an antique car.
Factors Impacting the Price of Your Classic Car Insurance in New York
Classic car insurance policies are usually between 40% and 70% cheaper than regular car insurance policies, as they protect drivers for a car they drive less than a standard vehicle. However, a range of factors can influence the final price of a classic car insurance policy, such as:
- The insurer
- The car’s model year
- The car’s existing mileage
- The mileage tier
- The stated or guaranteed value
- The driving record of the owner and other named drivers
- Optional extras, such as roadside assistance and spare parts coverage
Penalties for Driving Without Minimum Insurance
If you’re caught driving your classic car without the required insurance, you could face a range of penalties. Possible penalties in New York include:
- A fine of up to $1,500
- License suspension or revocation
- A $750 fee to restore a revoked license
- Vehicle impoundment
- Jail time
Penalties become more severe with repeat offenses. You may also face additional financial consequences if you have an accident in your uninsured or underinsured vehicle. With all of these potential penalties, it’s important to comply with the state’s financial responsibility law and purchase at least the minimum insurance for your classic car.
Different insurance companies offer different rates for classic car owners, so it’s important to shop around. You may obtain your insurance policy through a traditional insurance company, such as GEICO, or one that specializes in coverage for classic cars. The cheapest policy isn’t always the best, so it’s a good idea to compare inclusions and decide on the best option to protect your pride and joy.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.