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Protecting Your Investment Cars


by Bob Kennon

Now that you have searched far and near for the perfect car and perhaps have devoted many hours of your labor and substantial financial resources, you are ready for the road.

Wait! There is one other important factor to consider - Insurance! There is collector car insurance available to protect your investment. The key to collecting a fair value on a claim if disaster strikes is a very good professional appraisal, which has been submitted to the insurance company. This should be reviewed annually or at any time any improvements have been made to the car.

An appraisal should be done by a professional investment car appraiser. It should consist of a complete description of the car, all the appropriate numbers, if applicable, and an evaluation of both the cosmetic and mechanical condition. 35mm color photos should be included, showing all the major parts of the car. The historical and restoration notes should be made available to the appraiser as well as the restoration data. Old and current titles and tag receipts, original or old bill of sales, build sheets, and window stickers usually add to the value whenever they are available. Provide as much documentation as possible to the appraiser.

The professional appraiser will carefully inspect the vehicle and study the documentation. The appraiser must research the current market values of like cars in similar condition. In addition to the asking prices, he usually has access to the actual sale prices of similar cars. He must establish the originality of the car. Considering all factors, the professional appraiser will determine an estimate of current market value for your car.

The cost of having a professional appraisal should range between $125.00 to $300.00 plus the time and travel expenses if he must travel to the car. This is a bargain considering the time and financial investment one has in a collectible car.

Many investment car losses are due to fire in the storage facility. These usually leave very little evidence for the insurance adjuster to determine the conditions and values after the loss. A professional appraiser will remove any doubt as to the condition prior to the loss.

Professional appraisers are excellent documentation for bank loans, estate tax valuations as well as for purchasing or selling an investment vehicle. Protect your finical investment and enjoy peace of mind by having annual appraisals made of your vehicle and reviewing your insurance coverage.

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