Ask the Expert: On the road again

Stacey Kennelly Nester

When the Camp Fire broke out in northern California last fall, my family evacuated with just moments to spare. Some, but not all, of their classic cars made it out. My aunt, bless her heart, rode the clutch of my uncle’s 1969 Camaro in gridlock traffic for more than five hours—with the gas light on.

The Camaro survived, but my Dad’s award-winning ’69 Chevelle did not. Sad, yes, but everyone was safe. Fortunately, Dad had done his homework and had the right insurance. He was able to recoup his losses, and now there’s a ’63 Corvette sitting in his new garage, just waiting to hit the streets.

Insurance for classic and collector cars is different from conventional car insurance in several ways. If you’re thinking of purchasing a vehicle of yesteryear, here are some things to know:

  • Increased value Unlike everyday vehicles, classic and collector cars tend to increase in value over time. Still, insuring them tends to be cheaper because they are driven fewer miles each year.
  • Eligibility requirements These tend to differ from conventional car insurance. For instance, many carriers require the policyholder to be at least 25 years old and store the vehicle in a safe location.
  • Different insurance types Different policies exist for different types of cars. For example, classic car insurance is for vehicles in good working condition that are 19 to 24 years old, while antique car insurance is for vehicles at least 25 years old.
  • Modification impact While you may want to make your car your own with some modifications, big changes can have big insurance implications. Keep your agent informed to make sure all your work is covered.
  • Kit cars and replicas These types of cars can be hard to quote, as it’s difficult for agents to assess their value like they would a regular vehicle. Be prepared to provide details about the car’s specifications and how you will use the car.

If you have a classic or collector car you need to insure, reach out to one of our AAA insurance agents at 855-222-7736 or We’ll be happy to find the right coverage for you.

Stacey Kennelly Nester is a representative of AAA Insurance.