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Collector Car Insurance for Collector or Classic Cars

By RBC Insurance • Published January 29, 2024 • 6 Min Read

Car collectors understand the value, beauty, and history that vintage cars represent. These are more than just cars: They’re a piece of art on four wheels. Protecting and maintaining them requires skill, care, and the right kind of insurance. These valuable and cherished items aren’t used in the same way drivers use their everyday vehicles, so they aren’t insured in the same way either.

Collecting is a popular hobby that comes with the responsibility to preserve historical automobiles. Collector car insurance helps collectors keep their vehicles protected.

Key takeaways

  • Collector cars aren’t defined by their age, but by their condition, market value, and usage.

  • Collector car insurance differs from regular car insurance in important ways, offering higher claims payouts and reduced premiums because of a lower annual mileage.

  • Collector car insurance often sets parameters for usage, mileage, and storage of the car.

What is a collector car?

A collector car isn’t defined by how old it is. For these vehicles, age is often just a number. It’s true there are very old collector cars dating back to the invention of the automobile, but for a vehicle to qualify as a collector car, being made in the previous century isn’t required. For insurance purposes, here are some criteria that define a collector car:

  • It’s appreciating or maintaining a steady market value

  • It’s in good condition or under restoration

  • It’s being stored in a secure, enclosed facility

  • It isn’t used for everyday or backup transportation

What is collector car insurance?

Insurance for collector or classic cars allows individuals to enjoy their vehicle to the fullest, minimizing worry when they take their cars out on the road to a convention or a classic car parade.

Collector car insurance policies usually cover your car up to a guaranteed value, often offering more coverage than regular car insurance.

How does a vehicle qualify for collector car insurance?

Coverage varies between insurance companies, but typical eligibility factors for collector car insurance include:

  • Where the car is stored

  • The way the vehicle is used

  • The eligibility of the car’s driver

Because classic or collector cars are often unique, your insurance company will also want to know the age and model of your car and whether it’s been modified and/or customized.

Coverage will vary based on where you live, with some types of coverage only available in certain locations. Your insurance advisor can help you get the best available coverage for your specific needs and your location.

Collector car insurance versus regular car insurance

Collector car insurance differs from regular car insurance in some essential ways.

Car valuation

  • Regular car insurance covers the value of your vehicle according to its market price. Since regular cars usually depreciate in value, a total loss claim (where your car is stolen or in an accident and damaged beyond repair) means that, in most cases, your insurance company reimburses you for the current (depreciated) value of the vehicle.

  • Collector car insurance offers guaranteed value. The owner of the vehicle and their insurance company come to an agreement about the classic car’s worth, and this determines the amount a collector car owner would receive in the event of total loss (minus any deductible). This can often be higher than market value (called “market appreciation coverage”). Collector car insurance also protects your vehicle when it’s being restored or rebuilt. 

Car usage

  • Regular car insurance is intended for vehicles that are used every day—to get you to work, for running errands, or taking a road trip.

  • Collector car insurance is designed for cars that aren’t used as primary (or even backup) transportation. There can be policy restrictions on how often or far they’re driven, including mileage limits. This type of insurance covers driving for pleasure or to exhibitions, car shows, and other car collector events.


  • Regular car insurance prices are calculated based on factors related to the driver (age, driving history, and location) and the vehicle being insured (model and age of the car).

  • Collector car insurance prices are determined by the value of the car that’s agreed upon by the owner and the insurance company. Other factors that affect the prices include vehicle storage and usage.

Storage and preservation

  • Collector car insurance often requires vehicles to be stored in secure (sometimes even climate-controlled) facilities to maintain the car’s value, condition, and structural integrity.

Vehicle modifications

  • Regular car insurance policies may limit and restrict certain modifications (such as lowering the suspension, tinting the windows, or even changing paint colours) to your vehicle, while allowing others. Talk to your licensed insurance advisor before making any modifications.

  • Collector car insurance is designed to support collector car owners and may provide coverage when modifications, enhancements, and upgrades that are aimed at maintaining or improving a vehicle’s value or authenticity have been made.

What is included in collector car insurance?

Consult with your licensed insurance advisor to find out what collector car insurance plans they offer. Coverage usually includes: 

  • Collision coverage that protects your car in case of an accident.

  • Third-party liability insurance that covers an accidentally injured person or damaged property.

  • Comprehensive insurance that protects your collector car from things such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

7 reasons to insure your collector car

RBC Insurance has partnered with Hagerty Canada (Canada’s leading classic and collector insurance program), which offers flexible policies at a great price. Here are some reasons to consider insuring your collector car:

  1. Your collector car’s value is locked in at the time you buy your insurance.

  2. Your policy offers coverage for weekend drives, trips to the movies, car shows, and events.

  3. You can choose your own repair shop if you have a claim.

  4. An appraisal is usually not required.

  5. Multi-car discounts are offered for collectors with multiple collector cars.

  6. Most companies offer market appreciation coverage, meaning that if the market value of your vehicle increases above your insured value and a covered total loss occurs, this type of coverage may pay up to 125 per cent of the vehicle’s insured value.

  7. You may be able to get automatic new purchase coverage, which means that if you’re adding another collector car to your collection, your new purchase may be automatically covered for 30 days.

Check out these collector car insurance benefits. Get an online quote today.

RBC Insurance® is a trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license.

Hagerty Canada, LLC policies are underwritten by Elite Insurance Company, an Aviva Canada company. Some coverage is not available in all provinces. This is a general description of coverage. All coverage is subject to policy provisions, exclusions and endorsements. Hagerty determines final risk acceptance. Hagerty, Guaranteed Value, Cherished Salvage and Hagerty Valuation Tools are registered or common law trademarks of The Hagerty Group, LLC. © 2023 The Hagerty Group, LLC.

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*Home and auto insurance products are distributed by RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company. In Quebec, RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. Is registered as a damage insurance agency. As a result of government-run auto insurance plans, auto insurance is not available through RBC Insurance in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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