I have an ' El Camino Choo Choo model that...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have an '87 El Camino, Choo Choo model, that is in mint condition. They don't make this car any more. In fact, the '87 model was the last one. I am looking for an insurance company that will insure the car for its true value. Could you direct me to an insurance company that insures classic cars?

RAY: Sure, Jay. We have good news, and we have bad news. The good news first:

TOM: There are a number of companies that insure classic cars for their "collectible" value. There's Haggerty Classic Insurance in Traverse City, MI, American Collectors Insurance in Cherry Hill, NJ, Condon and Skelly in Maple Shade, NJ, and others. You'll find their ads in publications like "Hemmings Motor News."

RAY: Most of them have specific requirements. For instance, most require an independent appraisal for policies over $10,000. And most require that you have "antique" plates, and limit your annual mileage. But classic cars CAN be insured, and that's the good news.

TOM: The bad news is that classic cars, by definition, are more than 30 years old. So your '87 El Camino is not a classic car. At least not yet, in the eyes of insurance companies.

RAY: Your only hope is to find a company willing to write a "stated value" policy for you. We know State Farm is among the companies that write these.

TOM: But here's the catch: In order to actually RECEIVE that amount in a settlement, you'd have to prove that the car was actually worth that stated value. And that proof would have to be in the form of a reliable, independent appraisal.

RAY: And unless you can convince an appraiser that this El Camino has gold motor mounts and has been hermetically sealed in Cosmoline since 1986, I think you're going to have a tough time getting the kind of coverage you want. But "stated value" will be the closest you can get.

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