There’s an old saying that you don’t know how good your insurance coverage is until you file a claim. I have been a policy holder with Hagerty for 10 years with no claims until eight weeks ago when I filed a claim to replace my collector car’s cracked windshield. When I called to report the claim, I stated that the car had recent chips in the glass which likely couldn’t be repaired and vision was severely impaired. I also noted ( regrettably) that the windshield had a number of small chips and dings as a result of previously driving the car in Arizona (which uses chip seal paving due to the heat). The agent then stated that the claim likely wouldn’t be paid as the damage was mostly due to wear and tear. I suggested they send out an adjuster to take a look and received a rather curt reply that “we don’t have adjusters look at glass claims”. This is certainly the case with my regular vehicle insurer as they send a glass repair service person in a few days to begin replacement or repair.
As a follow-up to the above, I had my glass repair shop contact Hagerty to plead my case as to the windshield’s issues. This generated a call from Hagerty requesting that I submit photos of the damage. Since it was the holiday season and I was out of town , I failed to comply. Then three weeks ago, I received a letter from Hagerty saying they were going to “investigate” my claim and that their adjuster would be in touch. The letter reflecting a sudden change in policy for glass claims ended with a statement that false claims are subject to fines or imprisonment or both. I can only imagine what the claims process is with Hagerty if you have a total loss due to a collision, fire or theft. Likely they would notify the FBI or similar law enforcement agency at the state or local level to “ investigate” you before they consider covering the loss.
There is a happy ending to this story as the adjuster reported that , indeed, the glass was damaged beyond just wear and tear and that it was not due to preexisting conditions ( to coin a phrase for health insurance denials) and that a check would be forth coming (two weeks and still waiting for the payment).
So what now? Hagerty touts they have the best coverage in terms of agreed value and the use of the vehicle for other than driving your car only in your local community’s annual Fourth of July parade or going to a nearby car show. Theoretically, with Hagerty, you could drive your car to Saskatchewan for a show and be covered. Also , Hagerty is a big player now having recently gone public and is traded on the NYSE.
My next move as soon as my claim check arrives and clears, is to dump Hagerty and place my insurance with American Collectors Insurance . As near as I can tell they offer coverage that mirrors my plan with Hagerty and the premium is 22% lower. American Collectors is also recommended by USAA , my insurer for my other three primary use vehicles. Then only time will tell what happens if I have a claim.
The Pierce-Arrow Society and the Pierce-Arrow Museum have had a very positive relationship with JC Taylor for a decade.
Pierce-Arrow Museum Director
Society Director at Large
I am amazed sometime, how members of several national car clubs I belong to ignore J.C. Taylor Insurance, in Upper Darby Pa. I have been with J.C.Taylor for 56 years. In the first few years, I had a couple of small claims, which they paid with no problem. In 1993, at the Glens Falls Meet, there was rain. The old line lacquer on my ’31 Pierce, was damaged by acid rain. Their adjuster came to my home, looked at the car, didn’t know really what to do, perhaps touch up here and there. When I had a restoration shop consult with the adjuster, and he spoke with whatever Wallace family member was in charge at that time, I was given a check for $22000.00, and had my car repainted properly. J.C. Taylor supports national car clubs, has a family history of helping hobbyists, and being available when needed.
I have been with J.C. Taylor since buying my first collector car in 1995. They accept stated value and their customer service is excellent! Also, their liability coverage is usually nearly twice as much coverage for the same premium price of other collector car insurance companies.
You hope you never need it, but if you do, more coverage is always a good thing!
Here’s who I’ve talked to all these years!
Large Lines Account Representative
800-272-6785 (Direct line)
I switched to Hagerty a few years ago after being with Taylor for 30+ years. No claims, but after my local agent sold his brokerage it went to the local outlet of a big national firm that had no interest in the small potatoes of collector cars and would not respond to any of my requests for a simple change to add a car. Their local office was behind a locked door and would not respond to the telephone outside to try and gain admittance. Finally with a lot of telephone tag found someone somewhere (Iowa I think) at Taylor who made the change grudgingly. This did not fill me with confidence if I ever did need to make a claim.
When I became fed up I started looking at some of the other companies and the reviews for claims for most were very definitely not good. One has to take online reviews with a grain of salt of course as a few inevitable screwups will get the most reviews. Currently my local regular insurance broker will handle the Hagerty policy but I will have to deal with Hagerty direct for claims.
I appreciate the comments from members regarding their collector car insurance experience. With respect to JC Taylor, their coverage is limited mainly ( per their website) to: exhibitions, club activities, parades and other functions of public interest. If you were to attempt to drive your vehicle to a club activity, the annual limit is 2500 miles. So in the unlikely event that I drove my car to a meet in San Francisco (2987 miles from my house) I wouldn’t have coverage. I also wouldn’t have coverage for weekend drives around the nearby country side which I often take. Another troubling thing for JC Taylor is that I live 16 miles from the ocean. At 35 feet above sea level, I am not considered to be in a flood zone by mortgage bankers ( I don’t have a mortgage) and flood insurance is not required. But insurance under writers don’t necessarily adhere to banker rules.
Clearly collector car insurance needs vary among PAS members and most can live with the conditions for offered by JC Taylor and others. As I write this, I see that I’ve gotten off topic ( common at my age) since my original gripe with Hagerty was their hesitation to cover a routine comprehensive claim with a relatively small loss and the time it has taken to get paid. Also, I’m still smarting from allegedly routine language reminding me that a fraudulent claim is subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
In closing, perhaps members can periodically report their experiences in getting paid for a collector car claim as this could be useful in determining which companies members should consider.
Actually, JC Taylor’s coverage is unlimited driving mileage if you’re going to or participating in a car show event or tour. The 2500 mile limitation is for personal driving each year on top of your car show/tour miles.
I just confirmed by phone to make sure that MY coverage has not changed. I also suggested they review their language on their website because if it confused you it confuses others! They said thanks!!
I currently have Hagerty. I switched to them because at the time (about 8 years ago), they were the only company I could find that would take my 2003 Morgan on a collector car policy without a low mileage limitation.
I have had one claim with Hagerty a few years ago. While being transported, one of the windwings on my P-A runabout fell off, hit the top of the door damaging the paint, bounced off the running board, putting a dent in it, and then hit the floor of the trailer. Somewhere along the line it shattered.
Fortunately I had placed it on my policy before I had it shipped. I called Hagerty, expecting that because it was caused by the screws coming loose that they would deny coverage. The rep quickly said it was covered, go get an estimate to replace the windwing (Custom made) and to repair the damage. I gave them the number I got, there was no argument on the amount and her final statement was “if you find that it is not enough contact us and we can adjust it”. It did take a few weeks to get the check. Overall, I was very happy with the experience.
I’m glad clarification was given on JC Taylor’s mileage coverage as being unlimited when going to to a car show or tour. When I spoke to JC Taylor’s sales rep, my question was what if I wanted to drive my car to attend a car show in San Francisco. She responded that the vehicle could only be driven 2500 miles to attend an event . I then asked if I drove my car to a show 2500 miles away, how would I get back home since my coverage would be exhausted ? She replied that most people trailer their vehicles to car shows or tours not held locally. Presumably she was misinformed.
Last year I had a significant claim on damage to both of my Pierces. I have Hagerty, and they were very attentive and cooperative. The trouble I had was with the independent adjuster assigned by Hagerty who didn’t seem to be too anxious to follow through with timely reports and not particularly familiar with the complications of dealing with damage to an antique car. Since then, I’ve had my account assigned to a local insurance agent representing Hagerty who is very knowledgeable about the restoration resources available in this area. Had I been associated with this representative before my loss things would have gone a little smoother. So my recommendation is, whatever your insurance company, to deal with an experienced local agent who can guide you through a sometimes complicated procedure.
Tom Barrett, Cleveland, Ohio area.
Thomas, are you related to the Tom Barrett from Scottsdale, the late prominent collector and founder of Barrett-Jackson?
Any resemblance to any persons alive or dead are merely coincidental.
Thank you Tom. Just curious