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Hello all!

I'll be taking delivery of my Vintage Motorcars Speedster next week!!!

This forum has been an amazing resource. i've scoured years of posts. You guys/gals are awesome.

I have a question regarding insurance:

For very similar policies, three different companies have come back with wildly different quotes: (all in SoCal)

- Grundy quoted me:  $440 / year

- American Collectors: $700 / year

- Hagerty - $1415 / year

All the companies have the agreed upon value set to full paid price. Each has exactly the same liability/medical/towing/etc parameters.  Grundy and American were cagey regarding usage while the gentleman i spoke to at Hagerty was adamant that I could use it as a pleasure car, not just car shows and meets.

I'm trying to gauge why Hagerty is double the price of the other two? Is insurance with them that much simpler/easier to handle should something arise?

Any help is appreciated.

(And of course, i'll be sure to post pics once she arrives)


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The reason is likely because, although the other guys aren't saying the car can be used for pleasure drives and other uses, Hagerty has it in writing. Just be wary of what they say because unless you have it in writing they aren't going to stand by it.

I had American Modern, which is through GEICO (IIRC), and they had it in writing that I could use it for pleasure drives. I only had about $30K in coverage a the time because the cars weren't getting crazy expensive and I paid about $475.00 per year.

Have you talked with  your regular car insurance company?  I shopped Hagerty at the Barrett Jackson auction after I got my Vintage Speedster from Greg, checking to see if they could beat the deal I got from my general coverage for vehicles, home, etc. from State Farm.  They weren't even close.   I also contacted several other companies.  For State Farm I needed to provide photos, proof of mileage (annually) and had to agree on an replacement/agreed upon value, based upon that X number of miles driven per year.  The difference was substantial.  Might be worth a try.  After all, you're an existing customer if you use the same company for a number of policies, including umbrella, etc.  It's only a phone call.  They may even have a recommendation.

@LBoogie posted:

Lane & Robert,

the value was $66k, price plus tax. When i questioned why he was so expensive, he claimed it was because Hagerty (unlike others) would never deny a claim, never impose usage rules, knows we want to enjoy the cars, etc. It was a nice monologue, i'll give him that....but not for more than double the others.

That's about what mine's insured for, so I still surprised at the cost.  I need to increase my value since I've discovered what the true replacement cost would be, but since it's about to go on the market I'll probably take the risk.

@LBoogie because you have ‘scoured years of posts’ then you have likely read opinions on specialty insurance coverage vs. coverage provided by your ‘normal’ carrier.  It appears you are comfortable with using Grundy, Hagerty and the likes.  Ok.

I have a 11 month old VMC speedster and bought my insurance policy through Hagerty last February.   I live in Southern California.  My annual mileage estimate/limit is 2500 miles (the next higher offering was 5000).  The agreed value (Guaranteed Value) is $56,000, which is a bit more than I paid, but was justifiable at the time I purchased my policy.  I have a clean record.  The policy lists myself and my wife as co-drivers (and the registration is the same).  It is titled as a ‘74 Beetle.  Coverage is $250k/$100k/$5k/$250k/$500k.  The annual policy for me is $626.  I recently received a renewal letter, the premium remains at $626.

When I was considering Hagerty, I too was lead to believe that I would be able to use the car for pleasure drives, as well as an occasional drive to work and such.  I spoke with two different agents over the course of a few calls, and I took careful notes after each call.  I was left with the distinct impression that ‘Hagerty wants me to get out and drive.’

Here are some excerpts from the pile of paperwork I received after I paid for the policy.

On a sheet titled Policy Highlights: “Flexible Usage - Our custom designed policy doesn’t restrict usage to just parades and car shows; we encourage you to drive your classic just for the fun of it.”  Sounds good.

But on the policy itself, I found this: “Classic Vehicle” and “Antique Vehicle” mean a motor vehicle of unique or rare design and of limited production that is an object of curiosity and: 1. Is maintained primarily for use in car club activities, exhibitions, parades, other functions of public interest or for a private collection; and 2. Is used only infrequently for other purposes.”  Wait…what?

I find these two descriptions somewhat at odds with each other.

But absolutely the primary reason I maintain my car is for the monthly cars and coffee events I attend, meet-ups with fellow car enthusiasts, test drives in support of upgrade/maintenance/repair validation, and trips to the best gas station in town (not my fault it is on the other side of town).  Any drive I take ‘for other purposes’ will be such that their infrequency will not cause annual mileage overage, and any pleasure I take from such drives is purely incidental.

A few thoughts for your consideration:

the devil is in the detail of the policy.   Read not only the coverage but the defined terms and exclusion clauses under each rider for a clear understanding of what is covered and what is not,

My experience since 2013:  only American Modern was willing to provide me a specific “commuter rider” in writing, in addition to a modification of the definition for “pleasure use” to delete commuting from the exclusion of coverage articles.   Occasional Pleasure Use and Commuting are defined terms in most policies, and exclude things like picking up your kids from school, running to the grocery store, in addition to commuting to/from work.  basically daily life driving is excluded from most policies.

My specific commuter rider allows me to commute two days per week (on a 52 week calendar year policy)… not to exceed 102 consecutive days per calendar year.  Basically nearly every day during the warm driving season.  I start counting in April, and typically hit 102 days by late September (rainy season in the PNW).

Neither Grundy nor Hagerty have been willing to put this level of clarity in writing in their policy,  I ask every year and provide them a sample of what revisions I’m looking for at renewal time ( I like to shop things out  before renewing every year).

My cost per year is ~500$ on a 45k agreed value and 6000 mileage yearly cap.

IMHO, whatever it is you want coverage for make sure to get it in writing.  Happy to message you more details if you need them,



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Here is the direct wording from Hagerty's policy that I was sent via email:

1. My vehicle(s) will be used on a limited basis consistent with the operation of a collectible vehicle such as occasional pleasure drives and club / hobby activities.

2. My vehicle(s) will not be used frequently for regular driving such as driving to and from work or school, shopping, errands, general transportation or back-up use.

This gives me pause, as the agent on the phone was so much more open about the limitations or lack-there-of. But as I've learned from this forum....whatever is in writing is law.

I'd love to drive my speedster to work every once in a while. I'd love to go to the farmer's market, etc.

Feel like I'm back at square one.

@LBoogie posted:

Here is the direct wording from Hagerty's policy that I was sent via email:

2. My vehicle(s) will not be used frequently for regular driving such as driving to and from work or school, shopping, errands, general transportation or back-up use.

The policy DOES NOT state that once in a while to work or grocery is excluded. The key word is frequently. Obviously, a specialty car should not be a daily driver. It is also REQUIRED that you own another car and have it insured with conventional insurance.

Be smart. If you have a wreck, don't talk too much. If you drive very often, don't say that. Just speak about the one instance/claim.

I have had three claims with Hagerty.

1. Rear-ended at a stoplight(left turn only lane) waiting for the green arrow. On my way back from dinner on one of the first dates with a girlfriend.

2. Stopped to eat at a restaurant on the way home from Lime Rock Vintage Festival. Car was clipped by some jerk in the restaurant parking lot under a street light.

3. Had a total loss hitting a guard rail on the interstate after being cut off. The interstate(which I try to stay off of) is one of two ways to cross the Hudson River to get back home.

Hagerty paid all three claims: 2006, 2010, and 2016. I am NOT shopping for insurance every year. I'm loyal to them, they've been loyal to me.

I pay about $900 a year for the Spyder AND my Cayman. Hagerty insures more than specialty cars now.

Last edited by DannyP

LBoogie, Hi, I'm insured with Hagerty (15 years); I increased the agreed-upon value of my CMC from $22K to $40K  (Canadian dollars) last year and my annual rate went from $400 per year to $800, which didn't seem out of line to me. As other guys have stated, Hagerty does let you drive the car for pleasure as well as shows etc. I personly know Hagerty is a stand-up company when it comes to claims. A buddy of mine had his 32 Ford 3-window coupe hit last year and they had to lift the body off the frame to repair a frame rail. While the car was apart they delivered the motor no-charge to my friend's place so he could freshen it up. The car is back on the road now and he has only good things to say about how they treated him. Go with Hagerty!

Last edited by jesse postill

I recently went w Hagerty on my spyder purchase  mostly because of the fact that I have no mileage limitations and they ensured for stated value which is probably higher than 90% of the spyders out there considering what I wound up paying. I’m paying $981/yr for 100/300/100 coverages.

I also signed up for their roadside assistance for an extra $10/month or whatever it is and when my spyder broke down they had a great tow guy there within the hour no questions asked.

Wanted to provide an update:

I decided to go with Hagerty (for this year at least) for a few reasons, even though they were so much more expensive.

Grundy and American Collectors were ADAMANT that any overnight stay in a garage/parking spot/whatever that was NOT my home was not covered. Hagerty agents (and i spoke to 3) were clear that it was covered.

Grundy, even though they state that they want you to "drive the car" were fairly strict about usage. I provided a few scenarios and all were met with "probably not covered."

As @Jon T stated, that "frequently" wording in Hagerty's policy makes all the difference. All of their agents were positive that it meant that I could use the car as wanted, short of making it my daily driver. They were clear that they very rarely ever deny a claim.

My umbrella package insurance agent (2 homes, 5 cars, life, buildings ) was clear that I should go with Hagerty, even at the high price. He has 30 years of history dealing with them and praised their overall coverage and claim handling, even though he has nothing to gain from them and does not deal with them in any way.

They were able to underwrite the policy immediately after i provided pics, VIN, and registration. So I'm covered in preparation of the Monday delivery.

I guess my only question is why my policy differs in price from @Jon T, even though we have exact same parameters.

Hagerty can be cancelled at any time and will prorate the policy time left and cut a check, so I'm not too stressed. I can always change over if I find something better.

Thanks again everyone who chimed in. I'd be lost without you as a resource.

Just for reference, American Modern will cover parking away from your locked garage, just ask them for both the declaration and full coverage documents to review... then start re-lining exlusuons in the document in your negotiation to get the coverage you want ;-).   

My speedster insurance journey started with Allstate, then eventuakly Grundy, Haggerty and since 2013 American Modern/Classic.   Loved Hagerty but had one bad experience ( not with the VS but with our MG) and decided it was best to have the coverage I wanted in writing going fwd.


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OK, here's my usual post whenever insurance comes up.

Most of the membership here focus on getting enough money back from an insurance claim to cover the replacement cost of their cars. For that, you need one of the specialty companies already mentioned and an 'agreed value' clause.

I, and a nutball minority, are more interested in driving with no restrictions and the  simplicity of including the car in the existing coverage we have for our 'normal' cars from a traditional insurance company. You can do that if you're very clear with the company about exactly what this car is. But, full disclosure, none of them offer 'agreed value' coverage.

In California, my car is registered as a 1969 Volkswagen, but I had to carefully explain to my company (AAA) that this is NOT a '69 VW. They have a classification for such cars (for AAA, it's insured as a 'Kit' car).

When I signed up, after speaking to the sales rep, I also spoke to a claims rep and discussed with them at some length how they would proceed in case of a claim. They explained they'd use normal procedures to establish market value, so comparable sales in a specific location play a big part in the process.

This means I'd probably get a bit less than replacement cost, but a lot more than for a '69 VW, especially now that prices for our cars have risen substantially over the past few years.

I was a lot more concerned with liability coverage and feel I'm on firmer ground there with a large, conventional insurance company. I can afford a few thousand to replace a car, but not a few million and my house for a liability claim against me. I'm not saying Hagerty or one of the other specialty companies would be less dependable there, but, for one, I'm more comfortable this way. Again, that's just me (and a few others here.)

So, this is a legitimate option to consider. The big companies will insure our cars with the same unrestricted driving you do in your Toyota. Just be clear up front about what you're insuring and make sure they understand.

You can drive the Ventura highway in the sunshine as far and as often as you want (one of our members does just that), without fear of not being covered.

And, since the nights are stronger than moonshine there, you won't have to worry about any open container busts, either.


Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I've been with State Farm for my personal insurance since I bought my Speedster in 2005, because of just what Mitch was talking about. SF allows me to use my speedster for whatever I want, as long as it's garaged and falls under the annual mileage limits. When I gave them my Speedster, I moved everything (daily drivers, houses, rental houses, etc.) over as well, for a package discount.

I've got big-boy liability ($500k) coverage on everything I drive, as well as a $1M personal (and business) liability umbrella. SF is not cheap, but I liked their lack of limitations. Their handling of claims however, gave me some pause - they've got something of a reputation in the business of cheaping out when the chips are down.

Several years ago (10 now?), I began switching lots of my insurance over to @Marty Grzynkowicz. It started with health insurance (I'm on the union plan now), but now he's my agent for anything business related - liability, work comp, and commercial vehicle insurance. He's been great at finding me good companies that provide solid value. We switched work-comp/business insurance this year and saved $5000.

I just got a quote from him for classic (and conventional) car insurance on the personal side with Safeco/Liberty Mutual. The coverage is great (there is a rider so you can actually use the classic cars) and the rates on the daily driver stuff are solid. The kicker for me is that will insure my limo with full coverage - as a personal vehicle on a commercial chassis Cadillac (something SF would not do). We're still nailing everything down, but I've been super-impressed.

My point is that these threads are useful beyond the usual "stated vs. agreed" value and Grundy vs. Hagerty discussion. With multiple vehicles being insured (and the attendant discount), the quoted rate from Safeco/Liberty was less than half the online quote I got from Hagerty for $65K of coverage on the Speedster, with higher liability limits and none of the restrictions baked into the Haggerty/Grundy cake.

Just throwing it out there.

Last edited by Stan Galat

I appreciate the info on here from the other posters, I'm going to have this problem in the future too.

I have about a dozen vintage cars with Hagerty, and they've done great, but I asked them in advance about my current project, and they told me they won't be able to cover it.

Kitman coupe I'm building as a daily driver/thrasher, (bombproof drivetrain/chassis built the way I always wanted a simple, no-frills personal car to be, will see salt, outdoor parking,  offroad, hard use, etc. so I'll do galvanize dip, nickel flame-spray and liberal stainless) and Hagerty noted they can't do it since its homebuilt by me, not VM, VS, IM SE 'production' shops.

I still keep one winter beater insured with State Farm, as Hagerty requires you have at least one 'normal' car, even if you use your vintage fleet a lot. Costs $120 a year with State Farm, but it fulfills the requirement.

Years ago, I used to have all my vintage stuff with State Farm, but when the value of VW Microbuses started skyrocketing, I updated the 'stated value' from the $5K they had been languishing at for years, to the current reality $40/80/100K of 21-window deluxes. Their first salvo was to charge me $400/month for the 21 Window I drive Chicago - LA on Route 66 every summer, but denied my stated value of $45K. I asked about than and they replied with their "Kelly Blue Book Value" of a '67 21 Window Microbus as only worth $500, and told me to get an 'independent appraisal' if I didn't agree with $400 a month on a vehicle they pretended was only worth $500.  So, 10 cars, $250 each for the appraisals, and they all came back HIGHER than my valuations which State Farm initially disagreed with. So, after spending $2500 on appraisals that only reaffirmed what I already knew regarding what my cars were worth, they summarily dropped my vintage fleet.

The thrasher Kitman coupe will probably fall into every insurer's uncomfortable zone: homebuilt, daily-driven, parked outdoors, unlimited miles, $50K+ value.

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