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.