The Basics of Insuring a Collector or Modified Car with J.C. Taylor
By Ashley Majeski Smissen
Insuring a collector or modified car is a lot easier—and a lot cheaper—than you would think. While the owners may think it’s easier to put the collector or modified car on their regular auto insurance plan, that can be a very costly mistake, according to Neil Roberts, an underwriter at J.C. Taylor, an insurance agency that exclusively insures these types of cars.
“You can use a mainstream carrier and never have any problems, of course,” Roberts said. “But if there’s a total loss, they treat it as a standard deprecating vehicle, so you’ll get the book value. If it’s an older vehicle, believe or not, you might get a couple hundred bucks. The biggest difference is that J.C. Taylor guarantees the value of the vehicle in the event of a total loss.”
Roberts added that whether the vehicle is insured for $20,000 or $1.2 million with J.C. Taylor, and there is a total loss of the car, that’s the full amount that the car’s owner will receive.
While there are numerous specialty insurance companies out there, J.C. Taylor is unique in that they have two different programs—one for antique vehicles (a car or truck that’s at least 19 years old and factory original) and one for modified vehicles (which covers things like kit cars, custom street rods and replicas). While each program has its own regulations, there are a few things the company requires, regardless of which program you use. “The vehicle must be garage-kept and in good condition for us to insure it,” said the company’s marketing director, John Cookson. “It must also be a hobby vehicle—it can’t be your daily driver. Actually, we require that you also have a daily driver or we won’t insure you.”