A chat with my insurance agent - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 09-18-2013
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A chat with my insurance agent

I realized that the modifications on my vehicle and the updates, like tires and lights etc were minimal compared to the cost of actual maintenance post purchase. But all the improvements including the stereo/nav system and new amp etc added up to quite a pretty penny. Thousands in fact. So I had a conversation with my insurance agent last night asking exactly what they would pay out in case of a total loss. Basically she told me that her insurance company [most would do this] takes the kbb value and determines the loss. In order to get back the true to date value I would have to provide receipts.

So if it was totalled tomorrow, I would only get the KBB value plus my receipts. I'm out maintenance costs [of course.. no one pays this] and regardless of what the market is for purchasing a new one, I get what I get. And then she tells me there is another type of coverage, but the car has to be 10 years old and a classic, with pictures inside and out and a dollar amount must be specified for coverage in case of a total loss. But of course, it would increase my coverage by $110 a year. Small price to pay don't you think?

Decisions decisions. I used to work for state farm, I know how the process works and I know that with a 10 year old car regardless of standard full coverage, the cost to replace sometimes minor damage could exceed the current value of the vehicle.

Just food for thought.
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#2 Old 09-18-2013
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Similar cover is offered by a few insurance companies over here. I believe it's called 'agreed value' cover.

You've prompted me to consider that for my SLK.

Thank you.
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#3 Old 09-18-2013
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Great info, I was wondering about the hit we'd take on our older cars. The question I have is what makes it technically a "Classic" beside how I feel about the car myself? My car is 14 years old, but what determines that it's a classic?
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#4 Old 09-18-2013
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She just said the minimum age was 10 years old. Some insurance companies actually require an appraisal on some items. It's not a phantom, its just an slk, but totally worth that increase in premium for a couple of photos and receipt copies just in case. If it ever happened, I would make sure that I had enough to purchase an AMG the second time around


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#5 Old 09-18-2013
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And when was the last time anyone saw an SLK for sale for the kbb value? Had this issue come up recently with the insurance company. The kbb on my 01 is between $4700 and $6.

However, I always thought that you could require the insurance to actually replace the car with like kind and condition. Does that not exist any more?
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#6 Old 09-18-2013
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The difference between what you're talking about and the other types of policies is called guarenteed replacement cost. On homeowner policies, it's an additional addendum premium to get this. Which means in case of loss, you will be able to buy that flat screen tv for whatever the price tag is today, versus a depreciated value of what you paid for it 10 years ago. It also means that EVEYRTHING in the house can be replaced with brand new and not have to worry about the price tag.

What people do not realize, is that they hold the same insuarance coverage year after year. Often letting 10 years go by without consulting their agent but acquiring more things or valuables or collectibles throughout the years and then a loss happens, and they are out of luck.

Specialty items such as jewelry or furs, require a special addendum or a personal item policy in and of itself. Vehicle coverage needs to be addressed [as in my original post] as well. You do not get to buy another SLK at whatever the cost is on the market if you have not paid for the going value of it. KBB says we are worth $6k ish [excluding the amg's of course] but we ALL know that our vehicles would cost way more, double or tripple, if every part were to need replacing.

Like I said earlier, food for thought.


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#7 Old 09-18-2013
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Of course, minus the case of fire or theft, I would also be discussing what the buy back would be on the salvage title, after all the parts are worth more than the total car.
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#8 Old 09-18-2013
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Originally Posted by DIYGirl View Post
Of course, minus the case of fire or theft, I would also be discussing what the buy back would be on the salvage title, after all the parts are worth more than the total car.
Great point.. I wouldn't have ever thought of that.


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#9 Old 09-18-2013
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I found this on blog.usa4sale.net/what-makes-a-car-classic/

Antique: A vehicle more than 45 years old

Classic: A vehicle made at least 20 years prior to the current year. This definition is accepted by most state DMV's.

CCCA Classic: A "fine" or "distinctive" automobile either American or foreign built, produced between 1925 and 1948 as defined by the Classic Car Club of America.

Vintage: A vehicle made between 1919 and 1930.

There's actually more info on Classic Style and Cult Following on that site too, pertaining to cars. If nothing else, at least it gives me a rough definition.
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#10 Old 09-18-2013
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Luckily the stipulations for "classic" by my insurance company is only 10 years.


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#11 Old 09-18-2013
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I'm running through State Farm, so would they be likely to go with that definition? (not that I'm asking you your insurance company in a covert way!) LOL
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#12 Old 09-18-2013
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Since it's state farm [thankfully I know a little something about them] you just need to approach him in this way, what would it take to make sure in the event of of a total loss [regardless of how it got there via comprehensive OR collision] that you would receive guarenteed replacement costs of the vehicle. If you went out tomorrow and had to purchase that car with everything in it [and you must determine the value here for them] what:

*kind of policy is required
*kind of addendum or amendment to your existing policy would be required
*kind of proof ie: receipts and photos would be needed for State Farm to maintain in your file

There are exceptions to every rule, and these cars are certainly one of them. Any old luxury car in case of total loss would be almost impossible today to replace for the total loss value. It's a checks and balances system that is tipped in the insurance companies favor for sure, but it's always been that way. That is why we must stay educated consumers.


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#13 Old 09-18-2013
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p.s. I wouldn't disucss the "classic car" coverage with them or use those terms. Each insurance company has their own proprietary types of policies. They may infact have a classic car policy but their terms and definitions of a what a classic is vary from company to company and perhaps state to state, who knows.

But it is up to your insurance agent to educate you on EVERY option when it comes to coverage.


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#14 Old 09-18-2013
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I had a modified motorcycle stolen. State Farm offered me the book value plus the cost of the mod parts (DI; a value that I felt was a bit low. I am not complaining they were low-balling because their service was prompt and pleasant but just based on the numbers they had. Fortunately, with a little internet search, I was able to provide evidence (three examples) of the true replacement value of the motorcycle and SF agreed.

Here, we can also get optional own-damage coverage on specialty vehicles such as some Ferraris and SL's but not SLK.

With a Collector vehicle (25 years or 15 years and limited production) the insurance rate drops to about 1/4 so I can hardly wait.

Slightly off topic I checked my home insurance and noticed it reads replacement of the home based on average local construction costs. I called the insurance company to find out what the "average" was and they told me current per sq ft average construction cost was between $175 and $225 based on location. I dislike variables and my home has premium features so this average per sq ft replacement cost seemed low. I asked if I could have a fixed sq ft rate at $300/sq ft. and they agreed for a very slight premium increase. Now my insurance policy has a clause indicating a fixed rate for construction costs that covers a two year period and can be renegotiated via phone call and simple policy ammendment every 2 years. Now my insurance is above book value of the home but if it burns or explodes I will not lose any sleep (except for that night)

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#15 Old 09-18-2013
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LOL good job G!


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#16 Old 09-18-2013
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OK - if your SLK is NOT A DAILY Driver - is 10 years old, or is a very limited special edition being considered "a Special Interest Car". If your SLK is garage kept: If you have another vehicle as your Daily Driver insured with a Full Line Insurance Carrier....

Then here in the US the best way to go - is with an Insurance Company that specializes in selling Classic, Collector and/or Special Interest Automobile Insurance. One that offers "An Agreed Value Policy". With an Agreed Value Policy - you set the amount of coverage you wish to have - and as long as the Underwriter decides it is not grossly "over-insured" - you have An Agreed Value set. In case of a total loss - the insurance company sends you a check for that amount. There is no "Claims Adjustor" to deal with. If your car is damaged, the insurance company will spent up to the Agreed Value to repair it {minus the salvage value}.

Classic Car Insurance rates are very very low, because the loss rate on these cars are very low, and the owners/drivers are far more careful.

I have had all my Classic, Collector and Special Interest Cars insured with the Hagerty Classic Car Insurance Company for the past 20 or 30 years. All on Agreed Value Policies. I have had one loss - and they handled it quickly, very courteously and offered any help I needed with references to Classic Car Specialists and Parts etc.

I can drive my SLK any amount of miles per year, for any PLEASURE use. The only restriction is that it can not be used in place of my Daily Driver for "transportation" purposes. It must be garage kept and no drivers under the age of 25.

Hagerty considers your Driving Record.. so no DUI's and no excessive speeding tickets etc.

Bottom line - my 1999 SLK 230 is insured at present for an Agreed Value of $12K - I wouldn't sell it for less, and I doubt I could find another exactly like if for less. My ANNUAL Premium is ...$212.00. Coverage Limits for Liability etc is the same as my Regular Car Insurance. All I had to do was send them some digital images of the car...

Hagerty also offers Road Side Asst. and Towing - for both my Classic Cars - and for my Tow Truck and Trailer for a few bucks extra per year.

The people at Hagerty are real car people too. It has always been a pleasure dealing with them.

http://www.hagerty.com/

FWIW,
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#17 Old 09-18-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slk320chick View Post
The difference between what you're talking about and the other types of policies is called guarenteed replacement cost. On homeowner policies, it's an additional addendum premium to get this. Which means in case of loss, you will be able to buy that flat screen tv for whatever the price tag is today, versus a depreciated value of what you paid for it 10 years ago. It also means that EVEYRTHING in the house can be replaced with brand new and not have to worry about the price tag.

I don't question the factual content of that statement - and understand it is "discussion"... but wanted to add...

The experience of two people I am acquainted with - would give a slightly different impression of how that "full replacement value" clause works once the Claims Adjustors get involved. In both cases they had to go out and buy the items with their money, at competitive market prices - and present their receipts - in the hope of getting reimbursed. Now think about that... The insurance company did NOT give them a big check and tell them to shopping {as they were expecting}.

If your home had $50K or more of items - do you have $50K to go spend? Could you even begin to prove you had the items to begin with - let alone remember every item.

The best advice is to go over your Policy with an Attorney that specializes in Insurance Claims, to really understand what you are paying for - and how the insurance companies lawyers interpret the words, phrases and sentences.

FWIW,
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#18 Old 09-18-2013
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I think that's a case of extreme.. which is not really where the thread was going. I'm pretty sure if you try to turn in solar panels and a 4 car garage on the homeowners eyebrows will raise . And that 72 inch flatscreen in the 4 person sauna located next to the wine cellar LOL..


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#19 Old 09-18-2013
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Do you guys pay an excess?

Typically on any shunt we would pay the first say 500 of any claim- basically they short change you on any payout but as my baby is only worth 4k and my premium is <200 fully comprehensive - next time round I would have a 171 and not worry too much about it
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#20 Old 09-18-2013
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I think you are referring to a 'deductible'. We pay anywhere from $100 to $1000 per claim and that depends on how much you want to pay in premiums. The higher the deductible the lower the premium.


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Sold...2001 SLK320 'Sweet Pea'
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