Classic car insurance market in Europe

Classic mini cooper racing accident wheel off

We want classic car insurance with European coverage

This website has always tried to become the best platform for real classic car owners and we have had this question from a member of our community. For the Europeans, it can be a real issue if you own a classic car and you try to travel abroad, particularly regarding your insurance. We are talking about the cases where you are one of those lucky people travelling for a long period of time all over Europe or you have bought a car in a country with a local original plate and you want to keep it when you move somewhere else, or just simply if you fall in love with an original Portuguese car while you are actually living in Spain. Why can’t you get a classic car insurance covering all Europe?

Reality about classic cars and insurance is you tend to pay a low premium compared with the value of the vehicle. The main reason for that is you usually don’t drive the car for so many miles in a year and also this kind of cars are usually treated with extra care every time you drive it and (on average) the chances of an incident are much less likely than a regular car, so you get lower premiums. Even though, any repair ends up being much more expensive than with a regular road car, there must be very little amount of claims compared to the amount of cars insured, too. Again, the premium for the cars is not a huge amount.

Classic car insurance in the UK & the continent

In the UK, the market we know more, a European cover tends to be included and varies a lot from Insurance company to company. UK insurers tend to offer a few weeks in a run (2-4) away from the Island and sometimes you can get extensions to that, where you might have to pay some extra for the extra insurance provided. In the rest of European countries, it is usually the same in terms of European cover. When we talk about clauses and fine print in any car insurance contract, there are more or less the same clauses all around Europe no matter which country you are: Italy, France, Portugal, ... 

Taking into account the insurance sector in the UK is a leading industry, you might find some better conditions that are not available in any other country like not having to own another car in order to get classic car cover. Regarding Germany the country seems to be living in a complete abundance of insurances. We are getting told you can get insurance even in the event you run out of toilet paper (sarcasm on) and they are also very competitive in terms of pricing. Other countries are less sophisticated but still you can get a decent pricing and a wide range of products. But the standardisation in terms of clauses is pretty much even across the EU.

Why not?

To sum up, the sector has more or less the same global players all over the world: RSA, AXA, Zurich… the clauses are more or less the same everywhere in Europe and the premiums are more or less similar too, why you can not get an insurance to drive all over Europe without restriction. 

The main reason we think comes from regulation. Every country has a regulated entity for the insurance sector. Insurance is a very regulated sector and you have to comply the law to operate, but taking into account the players are roughly the same all over the world, why they don’t do a European Insurance?I don’t think the reason why we don’t have a proper classic car insurance covering Europe is because there is a lobby; at the end of the day the insurance sector is a kind of oligopoly where the main players are as widespread as they can geographically (this is a basic rule of insurance to spread risks), so we wonder why we cannot get a European classic car insurance. Any idea? This is an open question, if anyone wants to answer, we would appreciate.

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