Unlike modern cars, insuring and repairing a classic has its own exclusive needs.
Follow these six steps to minimize the damage an accident may cause.
1. Purchase the correct insurance
Before taking your classic for a spin, it’s fundamental that your investment is protected. Classic car valuation works a little differently than some people are used to, so you may wish to work with an insurance agent who specializes in classic cars.
Classic car insurance is typically less expensive than regular insurance, but it’s still important to make sure you understand your choices. You may be restricted on the number of drivers that are allowed to operate the car, the number of miles you can drive each year, and the conditions under which you have to store the vehicle. Some insurance companies also require an attendance clause if you want to visit classic car shows. Without that clause, you may not be able to collect on any damages that may occur at a car show.
2. Keep a level head
Once you have removed yourself and your vehicle from any further danger and checked on your passengers, check on the passengers in the other vehicle.
Tempers can flare in the time of an accident, but minor fender benders are easy to walk away from once you exchange insurance information. If the accident caused serious damage or injuries or you are blocking roadways, make sure to contact the proper authorities.
If you happen to have a camera handy at the time of the accident, it can be a good idea to take some pictures to document the scene and the extent of the damage to the vehicles involved.
3. Contact your classic car insurance company
In the case of a collision contact your insurance agent immediately. If you’ve already come to an agreement on the valuation of your car, and it is adequately insured, you shouldn’t have any problems getting it repaired. Even if you weren’t at fault, its best to let the agency know what’s going on. Insurance is tricky, so it’s best to leave nothing to chance.
4. Get it fixed as soon as possible
For those of you who own a classic car, you know how timely and costly the restoration process can be. That price goes up if rust in involved, and rust can sneak in when accident damage is left unattended.
Until the repairs are completed, you need to do whatever you can to prevent additional damage. If you don’t already, you should try to keep the vehicle stored in a dry a garage until you can take it to a shop.
5. Find a classic car specialist
While classics may be simpler than modern cars, don’t just leave anyone with your classic. Ask around to see who can give you the best repairs possible.
There are some unique concerns with the paint on your classic. If your car still has the original paint on it, then it may be salvageable. And if not, then you want to make sure you can take it to someone who can paint it using the proper methods.
6. Document everything
Although you may not have ever been in an accident with your classic, it is a good idea to keep everything documented. This could help increase the value of your car if you ever sold it.
Records such as extensive photographs and shop receipts will help show that you had the damage repaired properly. Even if you can’t tell that the vehicle was ever damaged, there may be a number of hidden clues that an expert eye could pick up on. A potential buyer could also find out about the accident by searching police or vehicle title records.