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A Guide to Classic Bike Insurance

A Guide to Classic Bike Insurance

Just like a classic car, a classic bike requires a particular type of coverage.  Classic bike insurance is a specialty policy that ensures you get the right coverage for your prized bike.  There are very particular issues that face the owners of classic cars and bikes as well, and they need to be taken into consideration when selecting the right policy to protect your investment.

Most insurance companies have a particular system that they use to value everyday cars and bikes that they insure.  This system is based on what the bike is worth without taking into consideration the value that rarity and restoration can add.  This means that although your bike may be worth a lot of money on the open market due to the improvements you have made, the style and year of the bike and the popularity of the model itself, the insurance company might value it a lot lower.  Classic bike insurance policies work a little differently.  This type of policy acknowledges that the value of a bike can be quite a bit higher than it appears on paper.

Classic bike insurance usually requires that you provide an appraisal of the bike from an approved appraiser.  This is the best method of valuing the bike to the satisfaction of both the insurance company and the owner as well.  An appraiser can determine what the bike would sell for in the current market and place a fair value on it.  This allows the classic bike insurance policy to provide more appropriate coverage than a regular policy.

A classic bike insurance policy does have restrictions, however.  It is not a policy that is intended for bikes that are used on a regular basis, so if your bike is one you ride all the time, you will not likely qualify for a classic bike insurance policy.  This type of policy is more meant for bikes that are taken out only occasionally for a summer ride or for a classic bike show.  This is what allows the insurance company to provide affordable coverage for the bike.  This distinction is one that is very important when you are selecting the right insurance policy for your bike.  If you have a classic bike, but ride it all the time, you will probably need to select a regular insurance policy for the liability and take your chances on the value of the bike itself.

Not every insurance company offers classic bike insurance policies, so you may need to shop around a bit to find one.  Start by asking around at classic car and bike shows to find out which insurance companies other owners of classic bikes use.  Referrals are the best place to start your search for the right classic bike insurance policy.  If you can, obtain more than one quote to get the best price.

You may be asked to provide a new appraisal on the bike occasionally in order to keep your classic bike insurance policy accurate.  This will ensure that both you and the insurance company are both protected in case of a claim.

Photo courtesy of Tomas Fano.

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