Eric and I corresponded with the owner of a ’67 Beetle which had been wrecked. The owner immediately had contacted his insurance agent who sent an adjuster to view the damaged vehicle. The result was a declaration of a “total loss” with an offer of a small dollar amount for the depreciated vehicle. With reason—the owner was incensed. He knew that his car had value. He argued with the insurance company—to no avail.
Our Beetles fall into a class of vehicles known as “Classics” or “Collector Automobiles”. Their value cannot be ascertained by going to the Kelly Blue Book or to some other commonly know valuation chart.
Since this is true, insuring one’s vintage vehicle requires study before implementation.
When a person decides to insure his vintage Beetle with a “regular” insurer, he finds that the vehicle falls under the rules of the game for any other vehicle on the road. He may apply Collision, Comprehensive and Liability Insurance. But the dawn explodes when it comes time to file a claim.
The Insurer will send a claim adjuster to view the damaged car. The adjuster is used to assessing damage and applying the normal rules of a claim upon cars. As in the real-life example above, some have discovered, to their horror, that this type of insurance claim is going to adjust according to a value which the Insurer will unilaterally apply. Suddenly, you find your vintage Beetle’s pre-accident worth only a shadow of what you thought.
Your vehicle for which you paid THOUSANDS! How can this be?
The mistake was in not insuring the Beetle with a Collector or Vintage Insurer—a company which specializes in vintage vehicles. Such insurance is determined by a careful assessment of the vehicle based upon its age and value on the collector market—not as a household or business vehicle which has a calculated annual depreciation value plus condition.
Vintage Vehicle Insurers provide State-required insurance–and much more. Not only will your vehicle be protected against liabilities (claims presented by other parties of personal and/or property damages), but also its own inherent value will be protected by a “stated” or “agreed-upon” valuation. This is a process in which you, the owner, play an all-important part!
The agreed-upon valuation will depend upon your doing some homework. There are numerous helps for assessing the value of a car. But, before you look at any of these resources, know your Beetle! Do not leave this in the hands of another.