Agreed Value – Protecting Your Classic

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For all the times that we enjoy a day out on the open roads in our classic without a mishap, the law of averages unfortunately dictates that the risk of something happening can always catch up with us.

That is why Andy Fairchild, managing director of specialist insurance broker Footman James says it is so essential to make sure your pride and joy is insured at the correct value. This is when an agreed value policy may be a suitable option.

"Agreed value policies protect the value of a specific vehicle (whether it be a classic car, classic bike or kit car,) taking into account its heritage, pedigree and the condition of the individual vehicle. This policy option allows the enthusiast to document the condition and individual value of the vehicle at the onset of the policy.

"Conversely, a standard motor insurance policy will, in the case of a complete write-off, pay out the vehicle’s market value –relevant to the day that the claim was made."

He continued: "Practical Classics’ editor Danny Hopkins recently found this out the hard way when the general insurer that covered his company car – a Jaguar XJ40 - would only pay out the market value of £1000 following his non-fault accident, despite having evidence of the £4000-£5000 worth of work that Danny had done on the car over a three year period.

"Needless to say, Danny recognises the importance of having an agreed value policy and his own classics are insured through Footman James.

"An agreed value policy doesn’t necessarily mean your premium will be more expensive, and, ultimately, when it could mean the difference between having your classic repaired or sending it to the scrapyard, it is well worth it.

"It is important to go to a specialist insurance provider to arrange an agreed value policy, as many standard insurance companies may not offer it.

Setting up an agreed value policy

"The first step is to get your classic valued. A common route is through a club whose valuers have extensive knowledge of every marque, yet if the vehicle is over 20 years’ old and worth less than £15,000 you can value the car yourself; "explained Mr Fairchild.

"A valuation form (vehicle condition form) can be obtained from Footman James. Once completed by the owner, the valuation form and accompanying photos are forwarded to Footman James where the insurance policy is updated to an agreed value status and all insurance documents are updated to reflect the agreed value. In the unlikely event that we don’t agree with the valuation submitted we would ask for an independent valuation to support the application.

"The period that your valuation is valid for differs according to your insurance provider - Footman James has extended its valuation periods, so a valuation will be valid for three years if your classic is 15 years old or more, or four years if it is 20 years old or more."

He added: "If you have an agreed value policy and then carry out a restoration, repair work or any modifications which could increase the value of your vehicle, you will need to get the agreed value altered to reflect this."

Agreed value laid-up polices

Footman James also offers agreed value policies for vehicles that are ‘laid up’ - for those whose classics are kept in storage for the majority of the year – for example, those with classic vehicle collections and owners of concourse condition vehicles, which are only taken out of storage to be on static display.