Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty has been providing insurance coverage for all kinds of vintage, classic and specialty vehicles since 1984. If you’ve considered insuring your car with a classic car specialist, Hagerty is the 400 pound gorilla. We’ve used Hagerty to insure our own vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, and we can give you a good idea of what to expect, where they do well, where they don’t, and some significant things you’ll want to think about before you consider classic car insurance.
We usually write these reviews in the third person, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll put this out there: I have been a Hagerty customer for about 15 years. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Car Talk, and I’ve been an editor with Gatehouse Media, Subaru Drive magazine and Hemmings Publishing. In all of that time, I’ve never used any connections to get a sweetheart deal with my insurance coverage. I pay full freight, just like you would.
I currently have just one vehicle insured through Hagerty -- a 1965 Allstate scooter. But in the last 15 years, I’ve had as many as four vehicles insured with them at one time.
My premiums for those vehicles are absurdly low. Hagerty works with its customers to come to an “agreed value” on their insurance policies. If you’re driving a ‘67 Corvette with a 427, a big fuel tank and side exhaust, your insurance is going to be more expensive than mine has been, because the value you and Hagerty have agreed to is much higher than the crap cans I tend to drive. Nevertheless, Hagerty treats me like a valued customer, and I get all the same benefits of insuring with them that you would.
Of course, there are conditions placed upon that insanely cheap coverage, and we’ll get to those in a minute, but for my purposes, Hagerty provided the coverage I needed and it was perfect for the use I expected out of these cars.
Honestly, if you have a vintage car and you can live with the requirements from Hagerty, you would be out of your mind to insure your car with a traditional insurer.
Hagerty -- and all other classic car insurance providers -- are not insuring cars on the cheap out of the goodness of their hearts. They make money by retaining customers every year, and making sure that they’re not paying out more in claims than they take in.
They do this in a number of ways:
These are the things that are more restrictive than traditional insurance coverage. But their are benefits that hugely outweigh those limitations:
How much does Hagerty insurance cost? Here are sample insurance rates we found using Hagerty’s online quote system for a variety of classic cars.
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Compare quotes from multiple providers to get a good deal.
Hagerty is one of about four companies that are at the pinnacle of the classic car insurance market. They all work similarly, but there are subtle differences between all of them. One may be cheaper, one may provide additional benefits, and yet another may allow you to lower your annual cost by agreeing to a deductible. Hagerty seems to split the difference and then provide a bunch of other benefits that make it really hard to look elsewhere.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you called Hagerty and told them you wanted to cover your 2021 Dodge Hellcat, they’d cover it. If you called and told them you wanted to cover your 1982 Toyota Camry, they may have some questions before issuing coverage. In my experience, Hagerty has been excellent to deal with. The only question I’ve ever gotten from them is when I insured my ‘78 K5 Blazer. You provide photos with your documentation, and when I insured it, the Blazer had a snow plow frame on it. I intended to take it off, and did, but Hagerty asked if I intended to plow with it. If I did, it probably would’ve meant that I couldn’t insure it through their program.
It’s way cheaper if you insure it through Hagerty. Because they know you’re not going to drive it more than a few thousand miles a year, and that you probably treat it better than you do your kids, they’re willing to insure it for pennies compared to what a conventional insurer would, and they’ll pay out more on a claim, too.
Whatta you got? Cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, boats, Hagerty covers it.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, either. For the most part, if you’re regularly driving over 5,000 miles a year in your classic car, you’re probably going to get a phone call from Hagerty. But if you’re planning to drive the entire length of Route 66 and back next summer, you’ll be covered. They just want to know about it ahead of time.
You can, but you need conventional insurance to do that. Hagerty won’t cover that.
If you insure through Hagerty and you live within the limitations of classic car insurance, you get comprehensive insurance as part of the deal, and it’ll be cheaper than if you just got compulsory insurance through a traditional insurer.