Classic car insurance
We all love our XJS and other classics if you bought the car new or recent purchase and have a great policy and feel you are fully covered. Or are you? Most people find an insurance provider that they choose to do business with based on what the agent tells them at signing which is normally what you wanted to hear. But what happens down the road when you have a claim? Now I know some of you are thinking that you are sure that you will be made whole if this happens. After all, your agent is a real super person who sends cards of greetings every year, on your birthday and always asks about your family pet! What a wonderful human being. But here is the public service announcement folks, when it comes to a claim, your agent has nothing to do with the procedure. You will be hearing from a total stranger who normally will quickly contact you with a visit to see the damage or in a shop if it was towed away from the scene of the incident.
It is beneficial to your provider to respond to a claim quickly for two main reasons. 1) to impress you that they did so and 2) to cut you a check on the spot. So, you say what is wrong with this? When you accept the check then move forward to get the car repaired, then you are informed by the repair shop that additional damage was discovered and the check including your deductible will not cover this discovery. A few extra hundred may not matter to you much but what if it becomes a few thousand? Have no fear, when you have a claim with your classic, be patient and do not be so quick to accept that check. Before ever accepting a check, be sure that the claim is an open one and ask to see it in writing on the agreement form or it may be attached to your check. But by no means accept a check that has final payment on it which may be written on the stub attached to the check. As for the repair shop, you may want to ask fellow club members or other classic car aficionados for who they have used or you may call the nearest dealership to see if they have a body shop of their own and if not ask them who they use.
Do not by any means think about saving money for the repair as you must remember that you have already invested into this repair by paying your insurance premiums and your deductible remains the same no matter who you choose to repair the car. You must remember that this is your classic and you are in the driver's seat, not the adjuster. The insurance company most times has some local shops on their list and the adjuster will for sure suggest one for you, but I urge you to ask the insurance for three shop referrals and visit the shops without calling ahead. They tend to be on their best behavior when expecting a visit. Go and look around to assess the quality to the best of your ability. If someone approaches and asks if they can help you, it is ok to say you are just looking and do not go on this mission in your damaged classic because you are not sure who you will hire to do the job.
My wife's' Rolls with 3,300 mi was keyed along with several Porsches and a couple of Ferraris by some local kids in out town of Greenwich, Connecticut. I went to visit the first body shop Allstate recommended and found a worker sanding one car while another one was nearby with the door open just ready to collect all the dust so you must check these things before you decide. Take your time and be thorough.
Next week I will address your classic being totaled and how to protect yourself if this happens.