State Farm: This 1963 Chrysler Newport Is Not An Antique, Unless You Give It A Fresh Coat Of Paint. What?

Humphrmi’s 1963 Chrysler Newport has antique license plates, meaning he can’t drive to or from anywhere other than car shows, shops and parades; but State Farm won’t insure the car as an antique unless it gets a new coat of paint. “You have to paint the car,” they said, to avoid a 33% higher premium. Does this strike anyone else as insane?

Humphrmi writes:

I recently purchased a 1963 Chrysler Newport as a project car for my son and I. It needs new paint, and a new power steering pump. Other than that, the car is in pristine condition, literally having only been driven by a little old lady to church every Sunday. The engine purrs like a kitten.

I called my insurance agent, Bernie Majewski, who sells exclusively State Farm insurance, and began the process of insuring the vehicle. I was told when I first called that State Farm offers a special discount program for antique vehicles that are only driven to and from car shows, parades, and auto shops. This is perfect, because that’s all I do with the car, and it matches the use restrictions of the license plates I purchased (Antique Vehicle plates in Illinois have the exact same restriction – car shows, parades, and shops.) Otherwise it sits in my garage. I was quoted about $200 / 6 Months for basic liability and a declared value of $2000, which is what I paid for the car. State Farm also asked for pictures of the car, and I complied.

Today I received a call from an employee of my State Farm agent, informing me that they cannot write the policy as an “Antique Vehicle” until I “restore” the car to its original condition. Since the car is nearly pristine, I asked what, exactly, they required to be restored. Their answer? “You have to paint the car”. Without the special Antique Vehicle program, the cost of basic liability and no comp/collision will be $300 for 6 months. That’s 33% more with no damage coverage.

So it boils down to this: The State of Illinois sold me discounted AV plates with these usage restrictions, so I legally cannot drive the car except in shows, parades, etc. If I violate these restrictions, I will get a ticket and could lose my license plates. I’m fine with these restrictions, and will accept them from State Farm as well. Yet State Farm won’t give me a discount for the agreed restricted usage of the vehicle unless I paint it. Apparently fresh paint makes you less likely to incur liability while driving.

Best of all:

The kicker? I just got a quote from Progressive online for $161 for the same basic liability for the same car. They don’t even want pictures.

Our resident expert in all things car related recommends Grundy Worldwide as an alternative for insuring vintage cars.

Leave other helpful recommendations in the comments.

Comments

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  1. Yes, it’s insane because he has antique plates.

    No, it’s not insane because there is a fine line between an antique car and a junk car.

    Yes, it’s insane because he won’t be driving the car anywhere in the foreseeable future or ever.

    No, it’s not insane because he won’t be showing it any antique shows for the foreseeable future or ever.

  2. TechnoDestructo says:

    So go with Progressive. I think it’s pretty well established that State Farm likes collecting premiums, but doesn’t like to pay out on insurance claims anyway.

  3. zigziggityzoo says:

    So State Farm’s policy is bunk. Big deal. Welcome to the free market, and move on to Progressive (or keep shopping around).

  4. cazin678 says:

    Not insane; State Farm has just caught on to the scam of too many people licensing junk cars as “antique” to score the lower insurance rates-

    It’s not about legitimate antique cases- it’s about cheap bastards trying to save a buck on their car insurance- a 45 yr old piece of shit has just as much liability hitting a motorcycle as a new Bimmer;

    Unless they can factually document the usage of the car under the SPELLED OUT insurance guidelines for antique cars, pay up, sucker.

  5. AlexPDL says:

    Shocker! Go with Progressive, end of story. If State Farm is to myopic to offer a reasonably priced service then you don’t have to purchase it. :-)

  6. DeadWriter says:

    Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

    You know that good neighbor that has a pair of binoculars and watches you and then complains that you walk around in your underwear or naked in your own house.

  7. Dobernala says:

    @cazin678: Apparently you did not read the actual story in which he says he has car license as an antique vehicle that can only be driven to auto shows and what not. Essentially the same restrictions as the insurance.

    So no, there really isn’t the possibility for a scam here.

  8. tujsin says:

    Why not avoid State Farm all together and go with an insurance company that specializes in classic car insurance (ie, Hagerty ( [www.hagerty.com] ))? I use them for my ’66 mustang and only pay $206/year. It seems to me that they’d be much more helpful.

  9. superchou says:

    no, it is not crazy. I used to have a 1969 Triumph Spitfire and my dad has had antique cars (austin healy, and now a 50′s 356 porsche). That kind of insurance is intended for collectable cars that are restored to a reasonable facsimile of their org state. The photo looks like the car is a beater junk car, not a restored collectable car. paint the car, the request does not sound outrageous and while it might be a pain in the butt to deal with, it is what is required to insure the car.

  10. andrew240 says:

    There IS a fine line between a junker and an antique. This car is not a junker, though.

    Coming from someone who has several classic and antique cars (some restored, others not finished yet), I have to wonder why you are going with a mainstream insurance company who insures mainstream automobiles.

    There are many companies out there who specialize in antique car insurance. Hagerty Insurance is the biggest and most popular. Call around and see who you can find that actually wants your business. Personally, I would never insure one of my old cars with the same company who handles my daily driver.

    Best of luck.

  11. redkamel says:

    sure there is the possibility of a scam (not accusing the driver here, I think the decision should be up to the agent)

    One could just drive it around, and if it gets in an accident, say you were going to an auto shop to have them look at something.

    the plates you say? well I dont live in illinois, so I dont how much cops actually care about antique plates. Is it really worth their time to pull that over? and if they did…”Im going to the autoshop!”

    I think both parties are justified, so the agent should be able to decide the consumer intention. I mean, if he has two other cars, he probably not trying to scam. If this is his only car, well, yeah, then get it painted and show you are serious about restoring it.

  12. infecto says:

    @Dobernala: Apparently you do not realize that its extremely easy to get antique/vintage license plates. You have a car so many years old to meet the state requirement and you go and register it as an antique. Of course the guidelines are for show purposes but its no different than scamming the insurance company because its not like anyone is going to check up on it.

    For the original story all I can say is waaaaah. Companies each have their own guidelines to meet their risks. If you are not happy move on, big deal. Waste of a story.

  13. andrew240 says:

    @superchou: Your statement is mostly a subjective assessment of the posters car, and lacking in facts about insuring a car that is being restored. There are several companies that will insure your car for an agreed upon value while you are restoring it. They generally give you a certain number of years (my experience has been 3-5 years) to finish the project.

  14. duffbeer703 says:

    Let us all know if you find a company with more lenient policies. I have a 1983 F-150 plow truck that I’d love to insure as an “antique”.

  15. Michael says:

    Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see why this story is on here. Millions of people shop for car insurance a year. Some get higher rates. Some get lower rates. Some get antique rates. Some don’t.

    So State Farm won’t insure you – move on. Progressive will at a cheaper rate. Buy it. End of Story.

  16. redkamel says:

    For interests sake alone, i’d like to point out the car is up for paint anyways since it “needs new paint, and a new power steering pump. Other than that, the car is in pristine condition, literally having only been driven by a little old lady to church every Sunday. The engine purrs like a kitten.” Unless he going to leave it like that.

  17. sleze69 says:

    Out of principal alone, I would go with another company. It’s a bonus that Progressive offers a lower rate. I had a great experience with them and would recommend them.

    State Farm doesn’t want your business.

  18. Gaseous Clay says:

    Insurance is great. And $300 vs. $200 is a 50% premium, not 33%.

  19. humphrmi says:

    @tujsin: Hey, thanks for the tip! Just went to Haggerty’s web site, $124 / 6 months, even lower than Progressive, and it includes comprehensive and collision.

    The chances of me scamming State Farm are pretty slim. I’m a Mutual member with two cars besides this one (three total), a boat, a house, and a liability umbrella with them. I’ve been with them and this agent for 20 years and have guaranteed renewal on all my policies regardless of claim history. The only thing that screws me on the guarantee is misrepresenting my use on one of my policies.

    @twophrasebark: Just for the record it’s been to three shows since I bought it. Very popular car with the fans. Push-button transmission, and the interior is perfect. Since it’s not yet painted it’s usually the only car at shows that kids can touch. Mopar fans love it.

  20. bobpence says:

    I’m not sure the real question is being asked. Do you need to insure it AT ALL at this point? The car is clearly not ready for a parade or show, and it sounds like the engine is in good shape. If you will be restoring it while it is on your property, you may not need car insurance on it until it is ready to show off.

    Be careful, though, and make sure that leaving it uninsured won’t make insurance costs skyrocket later, as they can with insurance for a regular-use car.

  21. brainswarm says:

    @Gaseous Clay: For the love of god. The Consumerist and Firefox let the Blink tag exist? There is just no excuse for this. I thought we left this one far behind us in the 90′s.

  22. Azmodan says:

    @Gaseous Clay: I’m glad someone pointed that out, really starting to bug me.

  23. 9900dude says:

    I think its a fair request. State Farm probably put it in place to avoid any old ‘antique’ getting insured and then claimed. Like a previous poster said, no matter what you’re driving, you still have the same odds of getting hit/hitting someone else.

    I’ve been a State Farm policyholder for many, many years, and never had an issue with them covering or paying claims. My father-in-law, on the other hand, dumped State Farm, and got Progressive for a dump truck he had, and they were a royal pain to get to pay anything. He still hates Progressive to this day.

    So for me the adage would be ‘you get what you pay for.’

  24. 67alecto says:

    $2000 is pretty insane to insure that – realistically, you cannot replace the car for that. Buying a car like that for $2000, if it’s really in as good of shape as he descripes, is a steal.

    I’d consider a program that specializes in older cars like Hagerty’s or ANPAC’s CHROME program.

  25. JeffM says:

    @brainswarm: Next thing you know marquee will make a cameo!

    This seems 100% reasonable to me- keep shopping until you find what you want. Their logic of saying that a POS like that wouldn’t show is pretty understandable- sure there is a chicken and the egg scenario (how can you get it painted without insurance etc…) just rent/buy a trailer- because I don’t think anyone will want to see that in a show as is. :)

  26. dumbwhore says:

    first off, all you jackasses who know nothing about old cars and antique plates(their purpose and use) need to just shut the hell up. This is a complex insurance issue and if you don’t have anything useful to say, show your intelligence and shut up. Seriously, you never hear people say, “That guy in the meeting that just sat there quietly, he doesn’t know shit.”

    Secondly, don’t bother with State Farm. They’ve been pulling bait and switch on all sorts of programs like this for DECADES. They tried to pull it on me when I was a student in college and getting good grades. They offered a discount to good students, but not if they attended the school I attended. Just move on to a better insurance company. Yes, you’re right that they’re being stupid about it, but don’t try to out-stupid them. Hit them with the bad press(I’d say you’ve completed that), tell the story every time it seems relevant, buy insurance from a better company and move on.

  27. MumblesFumbles says:

    Like a good neighbor, state farm will scare.

  28. verazula says:

    @cazin678: Good for you. Learn to read, just try. If you had taken the time to actually read the story, you would have learned that he has antique license plates, which I would think would be enough to show his intent not to drive the car other than the agreed places. Honestly, fuck state farm and just go with whatever is cheapest.

  29. whuffo says:

    There’s an additional issue that State Farm (and many of the posters here) are ignoring. When talking about collector cars – which is what “antique cars” are, there’s something even more valuable than a fully restored antique.

    It’s called a “survivor” and it’s an antique car in intact and unrestored condition. The paint on that car may be bad, but it’s the original paint. As an antique Mopar survivor that runs and drives it’s quite valuable. It’s also nearly irreplaceable; finding another one of these in any condition is highly unlikely.

    The advice to go with collector’s insurance is good; Hagerty or Grundy are well known. Avoid mass-market companies like State Farm: if it’s hard to get them to sell you a policy at a reasonable rate, imagine what they’d be like if you submitted a claim.

    I’ll spell it out: enter a claim on that car and they’ll tell you it’s worth $200, call it totaled and give you a check for $200. Get the collector’s insurance!

    And don’t let this car go without insurance. It’s probably the only one left in original condition. Get it appraised.

  30. Nofsdad says:

    @humphrmi:
    What part of humprmi’s last post are you people missing? He’s explained his situation twice… even taken the advice many of you OP bashers have offered and gone elsewhere… and you still keep accusing him of trying to scam the damned insurance company. Ah well, dumbwhore said it about as well as it can be said.

  31. Sudonum says:

    If this car IS in an accident of any type how is SF going to match the existing paint finish? They can’t, they’d have to pay for an entire repaint.

    And while whuffo makes a point about “survivor” cars, this car would not qualify as a survivior simply because of the paint condition. From this web site [www.survivorcarshow.com]
    “Over 50% of the original finishes (paint, fabrics, plating) remain good color references for restoration of a car just like it.”

    Go with Hagerty FTW. You’ll be much happier in the end.

  32. SacraBos says:

    My wife and I refer to State Farm as “Snake Farm”. Go with Hagerty’s. since they deal with sort of thing and are offering a good rate. Vote with your dollar. Don’t try to teach SF to sing, you’ll just get dirty, waste time, but at least won’t be annoying a pig.

    Since you’re shopping, you might want to consider looking at insurance for your other cars. You might save even more. Let your SF agent know, too.

  33. Cyclokitty says:

    That’s a cool car. Nice find, and nice old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday.

    I’ve never been to an antique cars show. Might be a fun way to spend an afternoon!

    Good luck with the insurance. Especially since many insurance salespersons have part time jobs in snake oil sales.

  34. fhic says:

    State Farm is just clueless. I had a 1971 Dodge Challenger (fully restored and street-legal) on my insurance, fully covered for everything, including high-deductible collision coverage designed specifically for collectibles.

    At least twice I got calls from SF corporate drones suggesting I’d save a whole lot of money if I dropped the collision on a car that old. Yeah, right.

    I finally gave up and went with Foremost. Not only do they have a clue about collectible cars, they sent out an agent/auditor who was almost as gaga about it as I was. When I finally sold it, he was one of the people who bid on it.

  35. madanthony says:

    @infecto:

    Word. If I had a dollar for every 80′s beater I saw with “Historic” tags sitting in a shopping center parking lot around here, I’d have a bunch of money. Here in Maryland, the only restrictions are that the car be 20 years old (or 18 if it’s a car from a make that no longer exists, which has always made want to buy a 1990 Plymouth Sundance and get historic plates) along with the usual car show restrictions.

    While it does sound like the OP isn’t trying to scam SF, I can understand the policy – it’s a good way to filter out the person who is actually restoring a car from the ones who are trying to save on insurance and tags on their ’88 k-car and don’t want to dump money into it to paint it.

  36. erebusrat says:

    So, um, all the people who say his car isn’t good looking enough to be in a car show without a paint job anyways? Mayhaps you need to take a closer look at the photo. In the photo, the car IS IN a car show…

  37. godlyfrog says:

    It would be rather hard to scam the insurance company anyway. State Farm offers lower insurance premiums if you drive less than 6000 miles a year. What do you think would happen if I got into an accident with a car that’s less than a year old and it has 8000 miles? State Farm could legally drop the policy, and I’d have nobody to blame but myself. The same goes with an antique like that.

    Their requirement that it be painted is probably part of their definition of “restored”, where they believe an antique must have some sort of great value. Here’s an old post (circa 2005) by a guy who seems to be in the same situation as you: an old car that’s not worth a ton of money that you just want as an antique. The guy tried one of the suggested insurance carriers and was able to get $30/year for it:

    [www.jalopyjournal.com]

  38. sean77 says:

    At the very least you should paint it to prevent rust. Makes sense that an insurance company would be concerned about rust destroying the only value the car has left.

  39. humphrmi says:

    @erebusrat: LOL, Big car show tag in the front window and sitting right next to a cherry red 1970-era VW Beetle. I was waiting for someone to notice.

  40. dancing_bear says:

    So to get the cheaper insurance, you need to paint the car, increasing the insurer’s liability. You’re dealing with morons.

  41. kathyl says:

    Vote with your feet! If it were me, I’d move all my other policies to another company as well.

    For anyone saying that the companies do this to avoid getting scammed by people who want the antique rates but still drive the car as a general use vehicle, in what way does State Farm’s verdict that the OP had to paint the car and *then* they would ensure it as an antique prevent such a scam?

  42. weakdome says:

    It makes perfect sense. If someone hits that car, the insurance can’t pay you to put it back in that condition, unless they bought you a new panel and took some steel wool to it first. Not only that, but you can (from the photos anyway) hardly tell what’s metal and what’s rust, so they have no good way of really knowing what shape the body itself is in, unless you had an on-site inspection done.
    I think they made a good call. I would still leave instantly for a cheaper rate, but I would also get that thing painted. I am willing to bet that ANY company would give you a hard time if you tried to claim damage in an accident if your car looked like that, classic or not!

  43. humphrmi says:

    As the OP, I want to thank all the great comments from people here, especially the people who gave some great suggestions for classic car insurance. I’m sort of new to this (restoring classic cars) and I still need to build my contact list.

    I think the issue here is not “can I get a better deal from X insurance company,” it’s that State Farm offers insurance for Antique Vehicles and it just seemed silly to me that my car, a 45 year-old rare Newport, doesn’t qualify. (To see just how rare it is, go to Ebay and Google – Ebay has one, and the few that pop up on Google are from last year.)

    So let’s set aside comprehensive coverage for a minute, and just talk about the liability. If the considered the car an antique, my total premium would be around $200 for six months. I don’t know what part of that includes comp, but it’s still substantially less than the $300 that they quoted me as a “regular car” for just the liability. So just talking liability only, how does a paint job decrease the liability risk?

    As to determining it’s eligibility, as someone pointed out above, the agent probably made the determination of eligibility himself. So he only had the pictures of the car, and my history with him, to work from. I’ve been with Bernie Majewski for 20 years. I’m a Mutual member. I have two other cars, a house, and a boat. All of those policies have use restrictions on them, and I’ve never violated one of them. I’ve never been a problem customer, I don’t call every couple weeks and whine or threaten to leave State Farm. In return for his 20 years of doing nothing for me, he has collected a tidy sum of commissions from my policies. Yet despite this, he doesn’t seem to think that I’m going to adhere to the restrictions of an Antique Vehicle policy, so he’s not going to write it.

    So I’ll go somewhere else, of course. But as a good consumer, I’m going to let my fellow consumers know about the silliness first. Maybe someone in State Farm corporate will see this post and give me a call tomorrow, and try to work something out, who knows. If not, my fellow consumerists have helped me find an alternative solution that doesn’t break my bank. Thanks.

  44. EdnaLegume says:

    If State Farm is the snake, Nationwide is the devil itself. I switched from Nationwide to State Farm and literally dropped my auto and home premiums in half. HALF for identical coverage AND added a new vehicle.

    It is true though, you get what you pay for, however, your chance of actually needing to file a claim is probably lower given that the car isn’t a daily use vehicle. Don’t park near trees.

  45. baristabrawl says:

    Um, then insure it with someone else. We have had GREAT experience with USAA.

  46. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I think this was some bean-counter’s attempt to keep people from registering their real junkers as antiques and then getting the cheap rate, but it’s a poor criteria on which to judge whether or not the car has antique status. What they should do is have the car appraised. I mean, that would cover the value of it regardless of the whether it was a very classic and expensive car with a bad paint job or some real clunker with a new back-alley paint job.

    Go somewhere else.

    Too bad it was intended for restoration or I’d get out the can of puke-green house paint and paint it with a 4″ brush. There ya go, State Farm, brand new paint job!

  47. Wyndikan says:

    To be fair… it DOES need a paint job…
    but yes, completely insane. Agreed. I can’t see how they can make decisions on whether to insure your car or not based upon how it looks. Performance, on the other hand, would be another issue.

  48. humphrmi says:

    @Wyndikan: Yes, agreed, and in fact I have every intention of having it painted sometime in the next year. Unless you’re a somewhat skilled DIY, paint jobs on classic cars are very pricey. I’m saving up. I’m sure it’ll look great once it’s done. But meanwhile State Farm wants me to pay a 50% premium, until I paint it. I’ve got other things I would like to do first (i.e. the power steering pump I mentioned in my post). But instead of restoring this car on my own terms, I have to bend to State Farm’s dictation of what level of paint proves I won’t drive it except to shows and parades. Or, as many others pointed out, go somewhere else.

  49. barty says:

    Go to a REAL collector’s vehicle insurance company. They appreciate the fact that a vehicle may be a work in progress and not everything is mint. Insure it for what it would cost to replace it now, then raise the coverage when it has new paint, interior, etc., while only paying maybe $200-300 a YEAR for coverage. Of course there are restrictions on how many miles per year you can drive the car and where it can be driven, but if you’ve got collector’s plates on the car, you’re already dealing with those restrictions anyway.

  50. MelL says:

    @infecto: It’s not a waste of a story at all. It speaks of a requirement for insurance which makes no sense.

  51. AgentTuttle says:

    BEFORE you paint this car consider the idea that you can restore something a million times, but it is only ORIGINAL ONCE.

    If there are no rust bubbles and the rest is as good as you say, it’s not a project and you should consider leaving it alone. You will find people at car shows to be impressed with original paint, even like yours.

    State Farm needs to grasp the idea that something is MORE historic if it is ORIGINAL. They just need someone who understands the difference between that and a junker.

    I had a 1960 T-bird that AAA insured for full value based on pictures. It really did need paint (not original anyway) but it looked PERFECT in Polaroids.

  52. AgentTuttle says:

    Before you paint this car, please consider the idea that you can restore something a million times, but it is only ORIGINAL ONCE.

    If if is in as good of shape as you say, then it’s not really a project and you might want to polish it up and leave it alone. You will find a lot of people at car shows are impressed with original paint, even like yours.

    State Farm needs a person who understands that a vehicle is more historic if it is ORIGINAL and can tell the difference between a junker and yours.

  53. Sudonum says:

    @humphrmi:
    Since liability is supposed to be based on the damage you can do to other objects and persons with your vehicle, I would think that it would be through the roof for that vehicle, with as much steel that’s in it.

    Like I said previously, go with Hagerty. Also FWIW, my wife and I had State Farm for years, home, flood, rental property, cars, personal umbrella, every year the premiums on the auto policies would creep a little. Same agent for years, with no claims. We switched to Allstate, then Allstate started pulling shenanigans with us last year, now we are with Republic. So far so good.

  54. FrankReality says:

    The only other thing I can say is to find another insurance company for the rest of your cars.

    Friends don’t let friends insure their cars with State Farm.

    “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” is pure BS.

  55. Haven’t read the rest of the comments yet, but I had to say, Progressive rocks my socks. In my personal experience, they OWN on State Farm all day long.

    I’ve had 2 claims so far, having been driving for about 14 months (First one I was ruled 0% at fault, the second time my mother-in-law while parking scraped my car against a metal pillar, so don’t go dissing my driving skills). Both my claims were handled with no hassle and no effort on my part. Also, the rates are as the OP noticed, a really good deal. My mother in law made a secondary claim on State Farm for the difference in deductibles (Mine’s $500, hers $250, and they gave her the runaround, took weeks, and 3 different answers for whether they would cover this tiny claim or not.)

    If I were you, I’d ditch State Farm, and let them know why you’re switching all your coverage over to Progressive. I’ll bet you’ll save even more money that way because that Progressive quote was probably just for having one car. AFAIK, having two cars on a policy costs less than the sum of having those two cars separately. So you’ll save that $70 (or really $170 apparently) for the antique (nice car btw), maybe a hundred bucks for your other car, and a few bucks for them both being on a single policy.

  56. failurate says:

    After you paint it, they will up-sale you to comprehensive.

  57. buyer5 says:

    There are classic, unrestored vehicles, and they are quite interesting and a thing of beauty. This is an example of a beater, in need of restoration. It has no place at a classic car show. It probably stinks of mouse dander. It is no more a classic than a 1987 Dodge Ares K until it gets some work. Sorry.

  58. rb1971 - E39M5'er says:

    It’ll look pretty good when you do put the paint on it. I used to have a ’64 NYer – basically the same car, in I think a slightly higher trim level. If the OP is around, I’d be interested to know if you have the 413 (great engine, if a gas hog).

  59. BeThisWay says:

    As a retired insurance agent I can tell you that State Farm is one of the best companies in the business. That said, they are an insurance company, so…

    State Farm offers the antique coverage as a service for existing customers, but their policy has very specific underwriting requirements that not all antique/classic cars will meet. A call to the underwriter discussing the reasons for not repainting may have gotten the policy issued. Otherwise you may be better off going to a company that specializes in classic/antique cars.

    If you do go that route you should check with your regular insurer for the ramifications on your other car policies. Some coverages may apply only if the insurer covers all the cars you own, and/or can be affected by having a car insured elsewhere (Uninsured motorist coverage is just one such coverage that can be affected).

  60. AllenK says:

    All I know is that State Farm beats the hell out of Farm Bureau when it comes to car insurance.

    I was able to add a vehicle and up the insurance on the rest of the vehicles I have for less than or very slightly more than I was paying for my most expensive car alone. Farm Bureau was raping me for years.

  61. GearheadGeek says:

    As a State Farm customer for many years (and my parents have had coverage with them for as long as I can remember) I can definitely say that your agent matters. I have my home and car insured with State Farm, and my agent checks from time to time to make sure their rates are competitive and the coverage is appropriate.

    I can definitely second the suggestion to use a dedicated classic-car insurance company. I contacted my State Farm agent when I bought my ’71 Buick Skylark Convertible and SHE suggested that I’d be better off seeking that sort of insurance when she gave me the quote, and it was good advice. I got more coverage for less. For service like that, I’ve continued to use the same agent for 15 years.

    To the poster suggesting that humphrmi not insure the car at all while he’s working on it, that’s TERRIBLE advice. If something happens to the car during that time, it’s a total loss. For example, if your garage burns, you homeowner’s policy would cover the garage and probably some of its contents, but would NOT cover the uninsured classic car in it. Classic insurance is relatively cheap and definitely worth it.

    Humphrmi: Congrats on finding and purchasing the lumbering beast. That Torsion-Aire ride is unique to the Mopars, and the Torqueflite in the ’60s and early-’70s Chrysler products was about the best all-hydraulic automatics ever made.

  62. CMU_Bueller says:

    I’m from Michigan and that probably makes me biased, but when it comes to classic car insurance, I’ve heard the stories and I wouldn’t consider anyone but Haggerty.

  63. CaptJax says:

    This is just classic insurance company dumbassery…

    I use Farmers and I recently moved to a new house about 2 miles from work. My premium went up because I am now closer to freeways that I might use to commute.

    Forget about the fact that I would spend 20 miles stuck in freeway traffic at my last house and haven’t used a freeway to get to work since moving… It’s just their dumb formula.

    If only we could go back to the good old days where computers didn’t tell everyone what to do…

  64. TVGenius says:

    Sorry, but for me, cars are the one category of antiques that aren’t best left original. That’s not an antique or a classic, that’s a beater.

  65. Teapotfox says:

    It’s really not -that- nutty. In my state, he couldn’t even get antique plates without having the car “maintained in or restored to” original manufacturer specs, and that does include paint. (In the interests of full disclosure, both of my parents are in the car business and many moons ago, I worked for the state Department of Transportation.)

    It is, as many others have said, a way of differentiating between an old beater and an actual antique. That said, though, I suggest the OP shop around and find an insurer who is as lenient as his state DoT, since they don’t mind the paint…

  66. greatgoogly says:

    State Farm, the American Airlines of Insurance companies ;-)

  67. fever says:

    8 years ago, Progressive saved me, as a 20 year old, $700 a year, from State Farm. To this day, I have never found a cheaper quote from anyone else. Considering my vastly different and new & improved “Adult” driving style, I don’t know why anymore would pay more up front for the possibility of better service down the road. The one thing that would be nice is if rental car coverage was included as standard with my Progressive policy, which I believe isn’t. However, I still only rent a car about once a year.

  68. Snarkysnake says:

    A “plucked chicken” MoPar ! Haven’t seen one in a LOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG time at a car show or otherwise. Cool car.

    That said, Let’s stop assigning so much magical power to you lowly local State Farm agent. Really,they function like the attendant at the gas station. They can take in premiums and handle routine administrative matters,but they don’t really have much pull with the company to get policies waived and bent for individual customers. Those decisions are made by people that the customer will never meet and will rarely if ever talk to.The “local agent” is really just a salesperson that handles the paperwork and the heavy lifting of dealing with customers.I like my SF agent ok,but I know that if push ever comes to shove , she really doesn’t have much say in a decision.I’m not bashing any posters here,but just giving you a word of caution not to rely on your rapport with the seemingly friendly agent to get you out of any scrapes. Do something that they don’t like and you will see how fast they turn into a different animal…

  69. lowercase says:

    This was touched on a little bit, but State Farm is probably not so much worried about the OP scamming them with antique plates, they’re just trying to estimate their exposure based on experience.

    Think about it- taking away some of the details of this specific case- is a person with a crappy looking car likely to drive better or worse than someone with a good looking car? That’s all there is to it- they apparently think that with a car that looks like a junker (whether it is or not is of no concern) is more likely to incur a claim. If it looks fresh and shiny, you’re more likely to baby it and drive more carefully (and possibly less likely to get hit by someone else).

    Insurance is all numbers- something about your case (the paint, it seems), moved your numbers from one category to another. And while you might think common sense would tell them to listen to your story, the numbers say that people lie to insurance companies all the time.

  70. Amy Alkon000 says:

    I highly recommend Haggerty Insurance for antique cars. They’re up in Northern Michigan, and they’re really nice, and they’ll charge you a song to insure your car. I used to insure my Nash Metropolitan through them, and did it ever need a coat of paint!

    [www.hagerty.com]

  71. zibby says:

    All right…it’s no Imperial, but I’ll offer $200 for that thing if the engine is good. I’ve got a demolition derby coming up in a few weeks and I don’t have a car yet.

  72. Stupid_Losers says:

    Contrary to what some people believe here, beaten up antique cars can be and are highly collectible. Here in Florida there are many antique/vintage car clubs that only accept members with “rat rod” cars. Every single car show I’ve ever been to down here has at least several rodded cars. I prefer to look at those myself because of their originality and the fact that the owners chose not to spend thousands of dollars trying to make it original. Those cars speak to the common man, not millionaires.

  73. mthrndr says:

    paint the damn car, it looks like crap. otherwise, go with progressive.

  74. dotcomrade says:

    @humphrmi: I went through the same exact thing with State Farm. I got so frustrated with my agent (and with the company in general) that I decided to boycott them at all costs. I used to think loyalty stood for something, but no more. Why should consumers show them loyalty when they’re not loyal to us? All it takes is a sudden drop in your FICO score or higher than average claims in your area for a company to drop you. My classic car insurance is now with Hagerty; my daily driver auto policy is with Geico and my homeowners and umbrella are with yet a third company. All told I am now saving over $1500 a year compared to SF, even with their multiple policy discounts.

    State Farm cannot compete with Hagerty’s on any level. Hagerty provides Agreed Value polices (leaving no doubt as to what will be paid in the event of a loss) while State Farm and most other standard insurance companies offer Actual Cash Value or Stated Value policies. Hagerty is completely automated; you sign up online and pay with a credit card while SF requires that you make an appointment with an agent and pay by check upon renewal.

    humphrmi, I guarantee if your FICO score is decent, you can save money by shopping around for your other policies. Oh and welcome to the classic car hobby. Now that you’re a member, you may want to consider subscribing to the classic car bible: Hemmings Motor News and their Classic Car magazine. They are a great resource to find parts for your car, local swap meets and dates and locations of, in your case, the Mopar Nationals (all Chrysler shows).

    And finally, I’d hold-off on painting your car for a while (or going with an expensive paint job for the time being). Because once it’s painted, it becomes a completely different animal: you’re more likely to baby it and you no longer feel safe parking it outdoors opting to garage it to protect “the paint from the elements.” You also begin to worry about people touching or scratching it at car shows and mechanics wearing belts will have you shaking in your boots. My car was so much more fun when it had an Earl Schieb special [www.earlscheib.com] during the first few years of its restoration. Now it “never sees rain” as the saying goes.

  75. DoubleEcho says:

    If I were you I’d find an Erie Insurance agent near you in Illinois and see what premium they give you. I’m willing to bet it’s going to be cheaper than Progressive:

    [www.erieinsurance.com] and click on Agent Locator

  76. donkeyjote says:

    Well…. screw you all for your ridiculously low insurance rates….

    Seriously, bitching about 300 for 6 months? I should get with the stabbity >:(

  77. Paint is not just to make a car look good. Has anybody bothered to think paint protects the car against rust and corrosion?

  78. Legal_Eagle_In_Training says:

    @DeadWriter: So you’re the one that called me out, eh?

  79. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Cheaper isn’t the only consideration. I have to tell you, after how horribly I’ve been treated by Bank of America in the wake of their allowing me to be repeatedly victimized by identity thieves, I’m the biggest booster of nice people and great customer service.

    You can call up Hagerty and talk to a nice northern Michigan guy (or maybe girl, but I always talked to guys there) on the phone. They’ll help you, they’ll be nice to you, and while I never had a claim to put through with them, I’d bet money that they’d be as nice and helpful as ever if you do. They don’t make you fill out loads of paperwork with all sorts of good for them/screw you clauses…I just can’t recommend them enough.

    Oh, and for anybody who banks at Bank of America, I just switched (actually, they fired me as of the end of July; apparently for complaining a bit too vociferously that they failed in their fiduciary duty to me) to First Federal of California. So far, I’m getting the kind of service from them, a small community bank, that I got from Hagerty. Just wish I’d gotten there sooner.

    I’d love to see Consumerist focus on the good guys as well. I know you sometimes run pieces on companies that are good to consumers in trouble, but more and more, companies are these megaliths with contempt for their customers, and the good ones should be commended in print so people can know to switch to them.

  80. MrEvil says:

    All I gotta say to the OP is he’s getting BONED by both companies. Legitimate classic auto insurers will also insure project cars provided you can prove that you are actively engaged in restoring the vehicle. That’s even with comprehensive and collision (you don’t need the car any more damaged or in any worse condition than its in now do you?) Most of the real classic insurers want trailer queens though so mileage is restricted to a pretty low number. However, my dad got a quote with Allstate for $150 for 12 months on his ’79 Bronco with an agreed-upon value of $6000. The policy has unlimited pleasure miles and is a full coverage policy. They did ask to see pictures of the truck, but didn’t even require collector car plates.

    As far as restrictions on those licence plates its really more on the honor system than anything… at least in Texas it is. I have farm truck plates on my F250 and while technically the truck is only supposed to be used for farm related activities I’ve not ONCE caught any hell from a cop or anyone for driving around fixing printers with it.

  81. Good_Hands says:

    I’m am also an insurance agent – I suggest calling Hagerty.

  82. Nicholeigh says:

    I work for the good neighbor. State Farm is not a niche insurer. Part of our underwriting guidelines for an antique vehcile is “the vehicle be restored, maintained, or preserved to the original condition by an antique automobile hobbist.”
    Sounds like this guy isn’t willing to meet our underwriting guidelines. He needs an insurer that specializes in antique policies.
    Unfortunately the agent’s office should have specified this requirement to you before binding your coverage.

  83. mzs says:

    To add to what the others have said, get an ‘agreed value’ collectors insurance. You are going to sink a bunch of money into this project and you don’t want to get it appraised at this point and have something happen like your garage burning down after you’ve done a lot of work to it.

  84. mariospants says:

    The OP should have taken his photos from a lower vantage point because I’ll bet the paint and bodywork on the sides of the car are quite decent (unfortunately, the grey paint does evoke “bondo” and “primer”). Some people prefer to keep the original paint on the car, regardless of its condition and others actually PREFER to have their hot rods and classic cars have that “aged” look.

    A real classic car insurer would have been able to understand that.

  85. donkeyjote says:

    @mariospants: Personally, I find that look dignifying to a car, depending on it’s look. This chrysler, older model Mustangs and Cameros, Chargers. Then again, the glossy red paint job on those same cars look amazing too.

    Besides, all they said is that it needs a paint job. Get the car painted with sealer, as-is, and show them the receipt. You get the dignified aged look, prevent rust, and shove their elitism in their face ^__^

  86. dlinkwit27 says:

    You know you’ve over reacting when even the users of the site tell you you’re being irrational.

  87. radiochief says:

    This is ridiculous.

    C’mon you got the discount for the Antique Plates. You can only drive to certain places within certain times. Why because it is ‘Antique’ car.

    So now, your insurance company has their own stipulations about what constitutes an ‘Antique’ car? And you find this outrageous? C’mon.

    When you register a car as an “Antique”, you are legally saying it is a show car. Show cars are well taken cared for, and look like the day they rolled off the assembly line. Your does not. That’s the point of an antique car.

    All antique cars may be old, but all old cars are not antiques.

    Vote with your dollar and switch insurance companies.

  88. barty says:

    @AllenK: Depends on the area I guess. Farm Bureau was easily about 25-30% less than the quotes I got from State Farm last year.

    @AgentTuttle: Its only worth more in original condition if its still in good condition. If the paint is fading/peeling/non-existant, I don’t care if its “original” or not. If it is in need of restoration, then it should be restored!

  89. sumtron says:

    @Nicholeigh: Unless I missed something, I don’t think the coverage was bound, he only got a price quote.
    I’m an insurance agent as well, and not to play devil’s advocate, but I don’t consider this a scam. Like Nicholeigh said, every insurance company has different guidelines depending on the state that have been filed with the state insurance comissioner. If we break these guidelines, we get fined… or the agent gets fired. I can’t give people in certain states a quote if they have a registered car with no insurance. We charge for comp claims in some states. 1 at fault acident in Rhode Island? To paraphrase the soup nazi, no quote for you! Incidentaly, we dont care about the condition of an antique or classic vehicle, as long as it meets the usage and annual milage guidelines.
    Point of story? Thats’s why you call around for insurance. I don’t know about statefarm, but i have to remember underwriting guidelines for each state, which change constantly, so it’s possible he didn’t know/didn’t remember the rules.

  90. Anonymous says:

    I just came across this.
    I have my 1970 Riviera insured with State Farm, and it needs paint just like this Chrysler does. It also has MN Collector plates.
    I asked my agent if the car needing paint effected the policy, and I was told it did not.
    I took the pictures he requested for his files and that was that.
    Maybe you need another agaent?

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  95. djMikulec says:

    Glad you found Hagerty, they’re the only one’s I’d trust. I myself just found a local ’63 Newport 4dr survivor, black with a red interior. Her paint’s in much better condition but I plan on leaving her as is and driving her around town on the weekends, and entering her in the occasional local rat rod shows.