My mom bought a 1996 vehicle that's worth $3,800. She wants to put
full coverage on it, but her insurance broker said her insurer
won't allow it because of some scratches and dents on the car. I
never had this problem with my insurance company, and I've fully
insured older vehicles. What should she do?
If your mother wants collision and comprehensive coverage (often
) on her vehicle and her current car insurance company refuses her
request, she should
and purchase her auto insurance policy elsewhere.
Coverage offerings and rates vary greatly from one insurance
company to the next, and this allows for motorists to find an
affordable auto insurance policy that includes coverages they
want. Underwriting rules and guidelines also differ insurer
For instance, some car insurance companies limit how old a
vehicle they will cover with comprehensive and collision. If
your vehicle is beyond their limit, such as 20 years, you will be
offered only liability coverages. (See "
Insure your car from showroom to junkyard
Some auto insurance providers will offer car owners full
coverage if their vehicle has dents and scratches or other minor
damage, as long as it is documented and the policyholder
understands he or she cannot claim for this pre-existing
Other car insurance carriers will at first refuse your request
and collision coverage if your vehicle has existing damage, but
will allow you to add full coverage once documentation and an
inspection show that necessary repairs were made.
And still other auto insurance companies won't offer you full
coverage period if a vehicle has existing coverage, or existing
damage that is over a certain monetary amount, such as $500.
When an insurance company won't insure a vehicle due to damage,
it's not trying to criticize a person's choice in an older car that
shows its age. It's a business decision. If the car were in
an accident it would be difficult to discern old damage from new,
thus causing issues with claims.
There is also the issue of insurance fraud. Dishonest
individuals sometimes buy a beat-up older vehicle for a song and
then put comprehensive and collision on it and later try to make a
claim for pre-existing damage. Fraud like this can end up
costing honest auto insurance policyholders, like you and your
mother, more in premiums.
By comparison shopping for a full coverage policy with multiple
auto insurance companies at once, like CarInsurance.com offers
here, your mother should easily be able to find a provider
that is pricing competitively for her particular set of rating
factors, including her older vehicle.
I'd advise your mother to also review "Is it time to drop comp
and collision" to help her decide just how long she needs full
coverage on her older vehicle.