Hagerty Car Insurance Prices and Review

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.

Hagerty Insurance Review

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.

Pros and Cons

  • Outstanding Service
  • Cost
  • Side Benefits
  • Limitations on Vehicle Use
  • You have to have a daily driver registered and insured

What Hagerty Insurance Covers -- and How

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:

  • Agreed Value: They put the emphasis on “agreed.” You can’t just call up and say your 1975 AMC Gremlin is worth $60,000. Hagerty has an entire team of data scientists and actuaries that help them to understand exactly what vintage cars are worth, and how much they should insure them for. You have to figure that most of the cars that Hagerty insures are actually worth MORE than they’ve agreed to pay in the event of a total loss.
  • Daily Driver Requirement: If you want to insure a car with Hagerty, you have to show that you have a daily driver registered and insured in your name. Most people with vintage cars are going to do their level best to protect them from the punishment of daily use, so this isn’t an onerous requirement, but you absolutely have to have another car to drive in order to receive this coverage from Hagerty.
  • Use Limitations: Along with the daily driver requirement, there are also limitations on what you can do with the vintage car you have registered with Hagerty. If you’re planning on putting 10,000 miles a year on it, Hagerty is going to flag that and have a conversation with you about whether vintage car insurance is right for you. That’s not to say that if you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the country in your ‘66 Chevrolet Kingswood wagon that you won’t be covered. But you’ll want to inform Hagerty of that before you head out on your trip, so that if you happen to get T-boned in Albuquerque, there won’t be any surprises when it comes time to pay that claim.
  • Garage requirement: This is one that’s less strict now, but in the early days, you had to prove that you had a permanent structure to park your car in. Hagerty is more lenient on this now, and will provide coverage on cars that are stored in non-permanent structures. But they get a little nervous about covering cars that are parked outside, because it exposes them to greater risk of theft and damage by the elements.

These are the things that are more restrictive than traditional insurance coverage. But their are benefits that hugely outweigh those limitations:

  • Cost: The annual fee is going to be about 10% what you might expect from a traditional insurer providing full coverage for the same car.
  • Agreed Value: The plus side of agreed value is that if something happens to your car, you don’t have an argument with your insurer about what it’s worth. You’ve already agreed to that up front. If your low-mileage, mint condition 1977 Pontiac Firebird Esprit gets totaled in an accident and you and Hagerty agree to a value of $27,500, you get a check for $27,500. With any conventional insurer, you’re going to get an offer based on “book value.” Depending on what “book” they’re looking at, that could mean that you’re going to get a check for half what your car is worth, if not less. That’s an even bigger risk if you have a car that’s less of a known quantity. For example, say you’re driving a 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra. Hagerty has some excellent valuation tools to help you understand what a car like that might be worth. Its average value for a King Cobra is $10,800, but what if it’s some one-of-one package configuration, that was Lee Iaccoca’s personal company car and authenticated with a full Marti Report? That car could easily be worth twice that kind of money. You could plead your case with Hagerty, and pretty easily get them to agree to insure that car for $25,000. GEICO? Total that car and they’re going to give you average retail for it, which is $8,900. They don’t care who Lee Iaccoca is.
  • Restoration or Parts Coverage: Another situation that a conventional insurer would never touch -- Insuring a car that’s a restoration project. Say you bought a 1938 BMW 328 in boxes, and intended to fully restore it. You could insure it with Hagerty, and as the restoration progressed, renegotiate the agreed value as the car increases in value. Similarly, Hagerty will even insure parts for that car. If you managed to find an NOS bumper for it in some barn in Hockenheim, Hagerty would come to an agreed value on that, just the way they would on a car. If that part is consumed in a garage fire, you file a claim and get the money for it.
  • Other benefits: Every single month, I get a reminder of how much I love my classic insurance company. It comes in the form of a beautifully prepared magazine, written and photographed by some of the best people in the business. As automotive publishing has collapsed in recent years, Hagerty has taken up the standard and puts a truly great magazine together, which comes free as part of your premium every year. They also provide things like roadside assistance and concierge services.

Hagerty Insurance Rates

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.

Vehicle TypeAnnual Premium
Spare parts coverage is $750. Restoration coverage included. $0 deductible.
1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - With 90k miles and valued at $10,000$266
1966 Ford Mustang Coupe - With 80k miles and valued at $17,800$209
1977 Mercedes-Benz 280SL - With 85k miles and valued at $11,000$266
1999 BMW M Coupe - With 25k miles and valued at $32,000$565
1974 Alfa Romeo Spider - With 29k miles and valued at $16,000$251
1966 MG MGB - With 84k miles and valued at $13,000$178
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe$445
1970 Chevrolet C10 Pickup$401

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FAQ

Who has the best classic car insurance?

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.

How old does a car have to be to qualify for classic car insurance?

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.

Is insurance cheaper on a classic car?

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.

What qualifies for classic insurance?

Whatta you got? Cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, boats, Hagerty covers it.

How many miles can you drive with classic car insurance?

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.

Can I use a classic car as a daily driver?

You can, but you need conventional insurance to do that. Hagerty won’t cover that.

Do I need comprehensive insurance on a classic car?

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.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.