Recently, I had to privilege of helping a great client insure his newly restored custom classic 1971 Harley Davidson motorcycle. While one might expect this to be a very straightforward process, insurance companies expect more detailed information than normal. To help you insure your classic motorcycle, I have outlined these tips to ensure you have a stress free experience obtaining coverage for your newly restored work of art.
Progressive Motorcycle Insurance – Not So Much
Standard motorcycle insurance companies like Progressive do a wonderful job insuring your everyday off the shelf motorcycle. When it comes to the classic custom bike, motorcycle insurance companies like Progressive, Dairyland, Foremost, and Allstate fall short.
While standard motorcycle insurance tout their flexibility to insure everything from a newly purchased Hog to the Ninja or Kawasaki crotch rocket, their methods of claims handling and vehicle valuation leave something to be desired. As a result, your bike could end up underinsured or uninsured if stolen of damaged in an accident.
Policies written by standard cycle insurers fail to account for the extra work you placed into your classic bike. These policy types are simple actual cash value policies with added premium for slight modifications. As a result, these policy types tend to yield higher insurance premiums and reduced coverage.
Specialty Insurance Companies with Specialty Underwriting
Because of the coverage and pricing deficiencies present in standard motorcycle insurance policies, enthusiasts should always seek out specialty insurance companies. In the case of the classic motorcycle, we chose Hagerty Insurance. This insurance company’s primary target is the enthusiast market.
The upside to choosing a specialty insurer is they can get the job done. The downside is that the underwriting and approval process is a manual process that requires much detail. Here are a few tips to help you insure your classic custom motorcycle or vehicle through a specialty insurance company.
Match your liability limits: The custom insurance company wants make sure they match your custom motorcycle or automobile to your current auto insurance limits. If you carry 100/300/50 liability limits, your custom policy will have equal limits as well.
Documentation is Key: If you completely restore a vehicle, the insurance company will want to see some type of inventory of parts and labor. As a result, keeping your receipts is the best course of action if you want to get full value. The more documentation you have on your restoration, the better.
Take Photos: The underwriting department will want to see photos of your classic custom vehicle. This ensures that they insure only the best risks.
Get an Appraisal: In many cases, the underwriting department will look at your parts list and tell you that your parts add up to one value even though you know your parts and labor add up to another value. In cases like this, the underwriting department will advise you to get a certified appraisal showing that your vehicle is worth more than the insured value. This extremely important step goes a long way in establishing your restored vehicle’s value. A certified independent third party appraiser can make a difference 30% or more in determining your vehicles insurance value. Get an appraisal. You owe it to yourself and to your motorcycle.
Remain patient: Because underwriters manually review requests for custom classic vehicles, expect the process of approving your policy to take some time. In fact, the last case we handled took a week to insure. Depended upon the company’s workload, it could take a few days for the insurance company to start their review of your policy request. After an underwriter reviews your application for insurance, they have the following options: Accept your policy as is, reject your policy, or accept your policy with changes.
Following these steps can help you in your efforts to insure your classic custom motorcycle, automobile, or boat. While this list does not include everything you may encounter, these general tips will go a long way to helping you insure your classic showpiece. Now that you read this post, you have what you need in order to head in the right direction. If you need a quote on your classic motorcycle, give us a shout.