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Liability Only Collector Car Insurance? No Minimum Value Restriction?

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  • Liability Only Collector Car Insurance? No Minimum Value Restriction?

    I'm trying to find Collector Car Insurance that has these features:

    • No Minimum Value Limit (usually $3000, $3500, or $5000)
    • Liability coverage only
    • Comp coverage but NO Collision
    • Usage restriction based on miles driven per year (not driven to work obviously)
    • Car kept in less than a garage such as a car port enclosed on 2 or 3 sides

    I don't expect to find a company that has all these features, but then I've found collector car insurance rates that are higher than my daily driver rates.

    I really don't want to have any coll/comp since it is no longer possible to "buy your car back" from the insurance company if it's totaled. Mine is a 63 R2 Package Super Lark w/R3 engine and assuming it doesn't fall into a pit of molten volcano lava, I'll want the parts back.

  • #2
    Would you please clarify it is no longer possible to "buy your car back" from the insurance company if it's totaled. I have not heard about this.
    \'50 Business Champ,
    \'50 Starlight Champ,
    \'60 Lark Convertible,
    \'63 GT R1,
    \'67 Triumph TR4A


    • #3
      I have a friend who is in the auto body business and he deals with insurance companies daily.

      He said they quit allowing owners to buy back because they would try to put car back on road without making it safe - evidently people were getting injured because of this. There were other factors such as R and Salvage Title issues too.

      He said what they do now is nothing like what they did in the 70's.


      • #4

        When did this no buy back rule supposedly go into effect? If anything it must be an arbitrary company policy. Years ago it was rumored that insurance companies were going to stop allowing buy backs because of the possibility of fraud, but I never saw it come to pass. The state of Washington does not require a regular car inspection, but once a car is considered a total by an insurance company getting it relicensed requires a state inspection. Two of the cars that I use as daily drivers have salvage titles. It really doesn't take much of an accident anymore to declare an older car a total. If what you say is something new we old car guys need to know about it. Have you checked with your insurance company?


        • #5
          The idea that someone would put a car back on the road without safely repairing it is a bogus argument. If the car is a total it is sold as salvage, and the guy who buys it can just as easily put it back on the road with poor repair work. It is my experience that the back yard body men who do one or two cars a year do a better job than some of the body shops, because they are not under any pressure to get it done quickly, and can take the time to do it right.

          Here in Washington state, the big used car dealers tried very hard to push through legislation that would say once a car is declared a total, it could never be repaired and relicensed. This is to protect the public from dishonest little guys like me. Of course we all know the used car dealers are honest and would never sell anyone a car that was not right.

          Several years ago, I was working on a car with my friend Bob about 10:00 one night when he got a phone call from a lady he had sold a car to a few week earlier. It was a Chevette he had repaired from a total, and sold for well under $1000. She said the starter died and she was quoted a very high price by some local mechanic, and could Bob recommend someone more reasonable. He said he would look into it. I held the flashlight while he removed the starter from a wrecked Chevette behind the shop, we drove 20 miles into Seattle, and he crawled under the car and replaced the starter. After testing it, he handed her the keys and said "Please don't call me again". It was about midnight as we drove back and passed a long row of used car lots, and Bob asked me "How many of these guys would be lying on their back replacing this lady's starter in the middle of the night, and not charging her for it? I am the guy they are trying to protect the public from with this proposed legislation."
          Last edited by 48skyliner; 07-13-2016, 12:55 AM.
          Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
          See more of my projects at


          • #6
            Such a buy back rule may vary from state to state, or among insurance companies. I bought mine back about 12 years ago, but I realize 12 years can make a world of difference.

            As for your OP, let your fingers do the walking on-line, in shopping for what you seek. Odds are, you can find whatever insurance coverage you are looking for. Best to read the terms and conditions yourself, before payment. Also, don't forget to read the fine print


            • #7
              If an insurance company declares your car a "total" loss after an accident. By law in most states, if not all the yare required to offer to return your car to you for its "salvage value" which will then be deducted from the the settlement amount that has been agreed upon. At that point they will also declare the car salvage and those states that issue titles will sned you a new title for your car known as a "Salvage Title." You can then repair the car/have it reoaired but prior to putting it on the road it must be inspected by the state police. Now the kicker is you can keep the car do what you want with it but are restricted in selling it and this makes the whole issue a nightmare. I strongly suggest you contact your state's insurance department concerning this issue as they can clarify what I have said for you based on your state. Personally I would not want to deal with a "Salvage Title" issue on any car. It can be a nightmare. With that said, it is your car and an insurance company must offer it back to you by law in most states. This is 40 years of experience talking here all with a major insurer.
              sigpicSee you in the future as I write about our past


              • #8
                I watch a lot of salvage auctions online and have noticed a trend in the last few years toward more heavily damaged vehicles being marked "not rebuildable" in some states. From the little I took time to read I made the assumption that those cars could be used for parts but could not be re-titled. I confess that I did not read the fine details as the vehicles involved all have more damage than I am willing to tackle anyway. I also only see this on vehicles from a few states. Steve


                • #9
                  My body shop friend said the only way you can get the car back in PA is to find someone to bid on it when it is auctioned off by the ins company.

                  I'm going to call my ins company and see what they say about this.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tomhoo View Post
                    I'm going to call my ins company and see what they say about this.
                    Not a bad idea but I'd probably call the state folks that handle titles and licenses in your corner of the world also.


                    • #11
                      I called my ins rep and that policy varies by ins company.

                      Erie and American Modern allow you to buy back.

                      Evidently, my friend was involved with some ins companies that did not allow this.

                      Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to see where you stand with your ins co. If they do not allow it, it might be grounds for changing you ins company.


                      • #12
                        When you purchase Liability only Insurance as you asked for, your Car is not involved, not insured so buy back is not an option.

                        I can't imagine A collector Car Insurer even insuring a Driver of a Collector Car only, there is no point in having Collector Car Insurance to do that since the Car is NOT insured!

                        You need to call a Real Collector Car Insurer: Grundy, Haggerty or J.C. Taylor, but you WILL have to "pay-up" and buy the Comprehensive and Collision insurance, protecting the "Other Guy" will not fix your Car.
                        Last edited by StudeRich; 07-13-2016, 08:59 AM.
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                        • #13
                          Not being able to buy back R3 car is unacceptable.

                          Most collector car ins companies have one money for liability - this is basically operator's ins.

                          J.C. Taylor will write comp only (no coll)


                          • #14
                            If you crash your Car with only the State required Liability Insurance, you keep the wreck and Pay BIG bucks to repair it yourself, ANY Insurance Co. will cover you for that, just use a cheap one like Allstate.
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


                            • #15
                              My point is why would I crash my car?

                              I'm an expert driver. When I was young, twice I got minor rear ends when stopped at a light or merge sign - since them I watch behind me as much as I watch in front of me.

                              The whole point of Classic Car Insurance is Cheapness. In NV, I have operators insurance for $400 a year and can own as many cars as I want. Any state should be class actioned because liability tied to cars is a total shake down - cars possess no exposure - only drivers do. In fact, you should have to have min liability to maintain your license, not your registration.

                              But why state the obvious.

                              Oh, and with "socialism" running rampant, a 20 cent gasoline tax could give everyone minimum coverage which would eliminate insurance cars, traffic stops, and reduce the number of police by maybe 5%.