How To Insure Your Older Car
The typical age of cars on the road today has risen to an all-time high in the United States. According to a 2019 report from the research firm IHS Markit, cars on the road today are on average 11.8 years old, which is a 4% increase over the last five years. If you’re driving an older vehicle, you may be tempted to reduce your insurance coverage—especially if it is paid off or not in great condition for resale. However, we recommend considering a few factors before making that jump to the minimum coverage.
Old vs. Classic
The first step is to determine if your car is a certified collectible or just an antique in your eyes. Classic cars may be eligible for a lower cost coverage option if they meet specific criteria. Generally, classic cars need to be a second car that is not driven for daily use and should be from 1979 or earlier. Since a classic car is a collectible—not a means of transportation—it doesn’t cost as much to insure. If your old-timer doesn’t fit this box, then keep reading for other ways to weigh your insurance needs.
Protection When You Need It
Since we’ve determined that you drive your car regularly, it’s important not to skimp on coverage that you’ll need for the “what ifs” that come with daily driving. If you’re driving underinsured and found at fault for an accident, you may have to cover costs out-of-pocket for property damage, medical costs, and even court fees. Not only could this add up, but it could put your other assets at risk.
Here in Oregon, the law requires that you at least have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, as well as $20,000 in property damage and $15,000 in personal injury protection. You’re also required to have uninsured motorist coverage to protect you in case the other driver in an accident is not insured. Consider the overall value of your car from a trusted source like Kelly Blue Book, its dependability and available safety features, and your net worth when deciding if you need more than this minimum level.
Beyond that, you may be able to cut some costs without collision or comprehensive coverage. A recent study from Insurance.com found that it wasn’t worth the cost to have collision insurance for cars over 8 years old. Similarly, you might not be too concerned about repairing your junker if it is damaged by weather or vandalism, making comprehensive coverage unnecessary.
Extras Built for Extra Miles
Let’s face it—as your car puts on the miles, it’s not always quite as reliable. This makes features like roadside assistance and rental car coverage all the more valuable. If your trusty rusty is prone to breakdowns, you’ll be happy to have the peace of mind of 24/7 protection and a replacement car to keep you moving. Pick and choose the features that could end up saving you money if your old car is less than reliable.
Depending on if your car leans more toward old reliable, classic collectible, or just junky, your insurance needs will be totally different. At Focus1 Insurance Group, we can help you weigh all the pros and cons to find the right auto insurance policy for you. We know Oregon driving laws and will make sure you’re protected on the road. Request a quote today to get started.