How does classic car collision repair insurance work?

3 Key Things to Know About How Classic Car Collision Repair Works With Insurance Claims

Most people are surprised at the cost of even minor classic car collision repair. Worse, many owners don’t understand how most insurance companies handle classic car collision repair – it’s not the same as standard new and late-model collision work. The cost of restoring your car to it’s pre-collision condition can be significant. Because of that, it’s important to have a plan to protect your vehicle from both insured and underinsured drivers.

Standard vs. Speciality Classic Car Collision Repair

The most important difference you should know about is the way an insurance company will approach your repair. Standard insurance company policies do not cover extra steps. These are often needed in order to return your classic car or truck to the condition it was prior to the damage you experienced.

Classic Car Collision Repair – Parts

An auto body restoration specialist prepares a Porsche 356 Speedster for painting after classic car collision repair in the Automotive Collision Specialists shop.

An auto body restoration specialist prepares a Porsche 356 Speedster for painting after classic car collision repair in the Automotive Collision Specialists shop.

Here’s a great example. Let’s say classic car has been in a significant accident, but replacement fenders aren’t easily available anymore. In the best case, your local classic car collision repair shop will have to spend a significant amount of time trying to find a donor car or some source for new old stock parts. Standard insurance policies do not cover the time required for this research.

If the shop is able to locate a part, it may not be in usable condition. If it’s from a donor vehicle, the shop may be required to buy an entire section. This increases shipping costs as well as the additional labor required to make sure that part will fit properly onto your vehicle.

All these factors increase your collision repair costs. Since standard insurance only reimburses for the actual part, you’ll likely be required to cover the shortfall between what the standard policy pays and what it costs perform all these extra steps.

That challenge gets worse if there are no replacement parts. In those cases, your local classic car collision repair shop will have to either 1) fabricate a new fender or 2) find someone else who has the ability to create one. Few standard insurance policies cover this level of effort to repair your classic car after a collision.

Classic Car Collision Repair – Paint

Many classic vehicles used paint formulations and application techniques that are no longer used by collision repair shops. That’s because new and late-model vehicles are taking advantage of modern materials that weren’t even invented when your classic rolled off the manufacturing line.

If you want to repair your classic car or truck to it’s pre-collision state, you’ll need to be sure the shop you use knows how to work with the original materials, prep, paint, and finish processes. Many of these require additional steps that are not covered by standard insurance reimbursements.

Policy Limits

Underinsured Drivers

In most cases, the other driver’s insurance policy will be responsible for the cost of repairs to your vehicle. However, there are several important limitations. You should talk to a qualified insurance agent to better understand how these limitations will affect your classic car collision repair claim.

One of the most important limitations to understand is how a claim works when the at-fault driver is underinsured. If the responsible driver does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of your repairs, you will have to pay the difference in order to have your car repaired. In some states, such as North Carolina, you may be able to purchase additional insurance that will help make up the difference between what an underinsured driver’s policy will cover and the cost of your classic car collision repair.

Appreciation In Your Classic Car’s Value

In some cases, your classic car might be valued at an amount beyond what most standard insurance policies would cover – including those with underinsured coverage options.

While you might not think this applies to you, it is possible that your classic vehicle’s value has increased since you established your insurance policy. To avoid unpleasant coverage gaps, we encourage all classic car and truck owners to review their policy coverage at least annually.

If your vehicle’s value is higher than what your insurance policy covers, we recommend you look for a highly rated speciality carrier with experience covering your type of classic vehicle.

Your Choice In Classic Car Collision Repair Shops

As we mentioned earlier in this article about paint repair, your choice of repair shop can significantly affect the cost of repair.

Most standard insurance companies will recommend you take your vehicle to a direct repair facility for an estimate.

This can be a major mistake in getting your classic car or truck repaired properly after a collision. As we’ve shown in this guide, classic vehicles are very different. A direct repair facility will tell you what they will do to repair your vehicle. You do not have to settle for modern practices and materials that may result in a lower value for your classic than it had in it’s pre-accident condition.

Before you take your classic vehicle to a direct repair facility, make sure you verify their experience repairing classic cars like yours.

Since our classic car collision repair shop is near Fuquay-Varina, NC, our state law allows insured motorists to take their vehicle to the shop of their choice for collision repair. For more information, please see our article on What to do after a car accident. We also invite you to check out examples of our work.

About Automotive Collision Specialists in Fuquay Varina, NC

We specialize in classic car collision repair, transporter damage correction, and auto body restoration. We can coordinate a full restoration with our vetted partners for mechanical and interior work. Since our main focus is on the body and paint restoration work, everything in this guide is focused on the body and paint work required to perform a quality classic car collision repair.

We’ve served some of the best auto body shop customers in and near Fuquay Varina NC! Our work has been featured in magazines and museums. We’ve also done concourse level restoration work on cars that have sold at auction for more than a million dollars. That’s earned us a local reputation – and one that reaches to customers in other states as well as Canada.

The Automotive Collision Specialists team has the experience to help with your classic car collision repair needs. Why not give us a call today at (919) 552-0333 and find out how we can help?

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