NEWS & ADVICE : AUTO INSURANCE
All about Vintage/Classic car insurance in India
By Neelima Shankar
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People have always been awe struck and amazed by the beauty and legacy of vintage cars. Their owners take pride in possessing and maintaining these rare and classic beauties. They usually drive these old cars themselves instead of a driver and take keen interest in their upkeep and preservation.

When talking about maintenance of any car, auto insurance is the first thing that comes to mind. Similarly, for classic cars also, insurance forms an important aspect of their maintenance. But, finding a good insurer for vintage cars in India could be a time consuming task as providing for insurance needs of this segment of cars is not a preference among many car insurance providers.

What are vintage and classic cars?

A layman may use the terms ‘vintage' or ‘classic' interchangeably, but, for the purpose of insurance it is important that the owners of these cars know the exact term which is applicable to their car. The reason being, that insurance companies may evaluate and treat vintage and classic cars differently. According to the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI), cars which were manufactured after 1940 but before 1970 are considered as classic cars. Cars manufactured after 1919 till 1930 are considered vintage cars. Though, some insurance companies like Bharti AXA general insurance follow the definition provided by VCCCI, there are many which have their own definitions for classifying cars as vintage or classic.

While looking for a suitable insurance policy, the owners of such cars should ensure that they go for reputed companies which have specialized car insurance policies for insuring vintage or classic cars. In the absence of specialized services, an ordinary insurance company may value the car inaccurately. On the other hand, a specialized car insurance company will evaluate the car accurately and provide the car owner with a comprehensive policy most suitable for the car.

Factors affecting insurance premiums of such cars

Cars which are certified as vintage cars by VCCCI are entitled to a discount on the premium amount by the insurance provider. The actual discount amount varies from case to case depending upon the car and the insurance provider. The insurance premiums of vintage or classic cars depend on a number of factors including the following:

Age of the car

Present state of the car

Expected costs arising in case of repairs

Ease of availability of spare parts and their price

Miles covered by the car

Type of insurance sort: There are three types of policies which are offered for this segment. In one, policies depend on the present cash value of the car, and in case of a claim the insurer will pay book value minus depreciation to the claimant. Second type of policy offered is the ‘stated value' plan on which depreciation is deducted based on the owner's assessment of the value of the car. In the third type of policy, the agreed value policy, depreciation is not charged and the value of the car is arrived at as a consensus between the car owner and the insurer.

Keep in mind the coverage provided by the policy

Another thing to keep in mind while availing an insurance policy for vintage and classic cars is that the coverage provided should be suited to the car owner's individual requirement. For example, if the vintage car is taken out for rallies or to events frequently, then, the policy must cover any damages caused during the events. Then, there is coverage for damages caused due to restoration of the car, coverage for public events and movable premiums which depend on the mileage of vintage vehicle.

Some companies providing insurance for vintage/classic cars

Tata AIG General Insurance provides insurance policies on vintage, premium and collector cars for high net worth individuals. Bharti AXA General Insurance insures cars which have been certified as ‘classic' cars by VCCCI. General insurance companies New India Assurance and Oriental Car Insurance also provide insurance solutions for vintage/classic cars.


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