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Antique and Classic Motorcycle Insurance – Get the Facts Before You Buy

Antique and Classic Motorcycle Insurance Facts

Does it make sense to insure your classic or antique bike with standard coverage?

Probably not.

Your bike, by virtue of its rarity and higher than normal cost to repair is anything but standard. With antique and classic motorcycle insurance, you have the additional benefit of broader ‘agreed value’ protection and you potentially save hundreds of dollars per each motorcycle on annual premiums.

1929 Excelsior-Henderson KJ 1000

What is Agreed Value Protection?

Collector and antiques motorcycles tend to appreciate in value, at least you hope they do as it may be one of the factors that led you to buy one. It’s critical to make sure that your insurance policy is written in a way that covers your bike’s full collector value. Policies written to specifically insure classic motorcycles for an agreed amount – meaning that in the event of total loss, you are paid the vehicle’s full-insured value – are what you’re looking for to protect the value of your investment. Such policies also protect you against depreciation which occurs on motorcycles of more recent vintage.

Full Coverage For Your Classic Ride?

Oh yeah, you need it. If you treat your classic Indian Four like more than a museum piece and you enjoy riding it down the road, it’s crucial to purchase liability coverage. Liability coverage pays for bodily injury or property damage you may cause or suffer with your motorcycle, up to the policy limit. You should also consider purchasing uninsured/under insured motorist coverage. This type of policy rider protects you in the event you’re in an accident involving an at-fault uninsured or under insured motorist, and there are more than enough of those on the roads these days.

In some states, Pedestrian Personal Injury Protection ( or “PIP” coverage) or Pedestrian Basic First Party Benefits coverage is also available. This type of coverage pays for pedestrian injuries up to the policy limit.

If you’re not really a rider but more of a collector and your bike is a museum piece, you have yet another option. If, for example, you happen to be the proud owner of a Vincent Black Shadow which is displayed but never ridden, you can purchase comprehensive coverage only. This type of policy is exceptionally affordable and covers your bike for its agreed amount if it is stolen or damaged by flood, fire, or any other potential disaster. Most companies offer a range of deductibles to reduce your low annual “collector” premium.

Qualifications. How Old Is Old?  How Classic is Classic

The standard definition of a “collector” or “vintage” bike is that it is 25 years old or more, but some companies consider newer classic bikes as young as 15 years old “collector” machines. To qualify for most of these types of policies, the machines should be garage-kept and driven on a an extremely limited basis. Those rides should generally be limited to short pleasure hops and attending hobby activities and shows. The policy value should reflect the vehicle’s current condition (and make sure to take excellent detailed photos to substantiate the bike’s value and condition). Bike appraisals are generally not required, but if you own a 1929 EXCELSIOR-HENDERSON KJ 1000, it would be foolish not to have it professionally appraised.

Still have questions? Contact us or check out our Comprehensive Guide to Buying Motorcycle Insurance here…

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