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MANAGING YOUR RISK – JUNE 2007

Collector Car Insurance - Who’s On First?
By Anthony Bevilacqua

Remember this wonderful Abbott and Costello comedy skit where Bud tries to explain to Lou the players on the baseball field using pronouns who, what, where, why and how? Well, that seems to be the state of the Collector Car insurance market over the past 20 months! The players are certainly hard to decipher!

How can this be? We still see the major program managers such as Hagerty, Grundy, Leland West, J.C. Taylor, American Collectors and others advertising in all the trade journals and supporting major events. It’s not these program managers that are changing—in reality they are still serving as sales representatives for the insurance companies. However, some program managers are changing the insurance companies they represent, while some insurance companies are changing their policies. As a result, you may find when you receive your policy renewal that the coverages have changed—and this may leave you exposed in ways you never imagined. That’s a “Who’s on First” for you!

These resulting changes in policies have been both positive and negative for car owners. Some of the positive changes we’ve seen include extra coverage for towing, inflation guard factors on the agreed value, full windshield replacement without incurring a deductible, automatic temporary coverage for new vehicle acquisitions, trip interruption protection and other useful benefits.

But after very careful analysis of the old policies and the new policies that replace them, we have noticed some changes in policy language resulting in a reduction of coverage. For example:

Bottom line, the insurance market for collector cars has changed. How well you understand these changes can greatly impact your enjoyment of your passion for cars and driving. The negative effect of these changes is not always immediately apparent and working directly with the sales staff at one program manager may not provide clear direction. We speak with them, and they are not always clear to us—and we are insurance professionals! Furthermore, the program managers only have access to one program from the insurer, so they may not have the ability to write the most appropriate coverage for you.

Working with an independent insurance agent that specializes in this marketplace and has relationships with all of the program managers and insurance agencies means you can evaluate all of the available options and pick the best. It should not be your job to evaluate all the different program options. Now is the time to make sure you have the coverage you think you have. Consult with an insurance professional well-versed in this very unique area of insurance for a direction that suits your individual needs.

Anthony Bevilacqua, CPCU is President of Anthony & Company, an independent insurance agency with special insurance and risk management services tailored to the needs of the commercial and residential development community. You can reach Mr. Bevilacqua at (908) 806-8844 or email him at insure@anthonycompany.com.

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