What’s the difference between specialty and everyday insurance?

Specialty and everyday insurance policies differ greatly when it comes to vehicle value and how you are compensated in the event of a loss. There are three ways auto insurance pay out claims:


Actual Cash Value

Most everyday insurers offer Actual Cash Value policies. This is what an insurance adjuster says your car is worth, usually based on used car values – not the enthusiast car market. If your vehicle’s stolen or declared a total loss after an accident, it’s unlikely you’ll be compensated for its true value.


Stated Value

Many everyday insurers offer Stated Value policies for enthusiast vehicles, which allows insurers to pay the lesser between Stated Value and Actual Cash Value and is based on the used car market not the collector car market. What’s more, it does not cover 100% of the vehicle’s value. In fact, it may pay less than the Stated Value if the Actual Cash Value is lower at the time of the accident.


Agreed Value or Guaranteed Value

Most specialty insurers offer Agreed Value. Hagerty offers Guaranteed Value®: you help determine an accurate value up front and that’s what you’re paid if there’s a covered total loss*. Guaranteed Value helps ensure you’ll be compensated for the true cost to repair or replace your collector vehicle based on data from Hagerty Valuation Tools® not the used car market.

Is specialty/enthusiast vehicle insurance right for you?

Different companies have different vehicle and age requirements, but vehicles are generally considered “enthusiast” if they are not daily drivers, they maintain or appreciate in value and are of limited production or special interest.

Considerations for specialty/enthusiast vehicle insurance:

  • Driver experience varies. Ask about minimum driver experience.
  • Vehicle storage requirements vary by company and location. Ask about garaging requirements for your enthusiast vehicle.
  • Vehicle cannot be used for back-up or daily transportation. Some companies have strict mileage limitations; others are more flexible. Ask your agent about usage options for your coverage.
Classic Corvette

What should you look for when shopping around for specialty/enthusiast insurance?

Guaranteed Value coverage

It’s the only way to make sure you get the full value of your enthusiast vehicle.

A good reputation

Ask around and read online reviews. Find out how companies treat their clients and deal with claims, including letting you choose the repair shop or paying you to do the work yourself.

Financial stability

Choose a company with an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better. This means that the company is financially strong and benefits from good management.

The freedom to drive

Check to make sure you have flexibility when it comes to driving your vehicle, both how often and where. For example, some companies limit coverage to car shows only or don’t cover a loss if the vehicle is in a grocery parking lot.