cheap auto liability insurance
November 23, 2008 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get cheap auto liability insurance for an older vehicle? I want the minimum auto insurance required by law in PA, which is liability. We used to have Esurance, which I was happy with, but they seem to only cover cars made since 1981, and our new vehicle is a 1980. I know I can get quotes online, but I'm not sure where to start. Do you know a company with cheap rates that offers just liability coverage on a vehicle that old?
posted by lgyre to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Well, you start by doing exactly what you say - getting quotes online.

At least my insurance company, GEICO will cover cars as old as yours. As an added bonus, you can manipulate their online quote generator to see what happens to your insurance rate if you're convicted of vehicular manslaughter. Oddly, it's not as expensive as you'd think.
posted by saeculorum at 3:47 PM on November 23, 2008

In the UK, a car that old would be classed as a "classic car" and there would be specialist insurance companies to cover it that may have restricted mileage and other limitations that allow a significantly reduced premium.

I am not sure if the terminology is the same (although a google search for "Pittsburg Classic insurance worked to some extent) but this avenue is likely to be the source of the cheapest quotes. Basically you just need to get going and look. It isn't possible for people to do the research for you, as the vehicle details and your personal circumstances will very much have a bearing on any quote you get.
posted by Brockles at 3:56 PM on November 23, 2008

Honestly, minimum coverage really isn't in your best interest. Pennsylvania law requires motorists to have at least 15/30/5 coverage, which means $15k bodily injury/person, $30k bodily injury/incident, and $5k property damage/incident.

Do you have any idea how easy it is to cause $5k of property damage with a vehicle? Say you get in an accident and total someone's car. If it's another 1980 piece of crap, hey, that's $1000, no problem. If it's a new BMW, you're already at about ten times the state minimum, which is only $5k. What if you total two cars? Even normal, $10k used sedans will quadruple your limit.

And that's before anyone gets hurt. If you put two people in the hospital overnight, you're already looking at at least $10k, after all the tests and meds are factored in. Hurt a family of four and you're looking at at least $20k. Put one person in the hospital for a week and you're likely to exhaust your coverage.

And that's assuming minor trauma which leaves no lasting symptoms. Actually maim someone--which isn't that hard--and your bill could be $100k easy, and you're up shit creek without a paddle.

Liability insurance is cheap. Going from the state minimum coverage to the state maximum, something like 300/300/100, plus maximum uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, is still ridiculously cheap. Like $50/month cheap from Geico, assuming you've a clean driving record. The extra $20/month that costs over the state minimum is totally worth it.

YMMV, as I don't know your zip code, and urban areas are probably more expensive than the suburban zip I picked, but even if it's twice that it's still in your best interest to go for it.
posted by valkyryn at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Agree with Vakyryn. There is no excuse not to have your liability coverage maxed out. If you drive regularly, eat out less, buy cheaper groceries, whatever, get the full coverage. My car's not as old as yours, but it's close, so I don't bother with collision or comprehensive, but you'd better believe my liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage is as high as Geico will let it go.
posted by Alterscape at 4:48 PM on November 23, 2008

If you are only getting liability, it shouldn't matter what kind of car you have. Shop around.
posted by lee at 5:11 PM on November 23, 2008

I have esurance coverage on my 1968 VW bug. Just because it's not on their automated quote thing doesn't mean they won't insure it. Call them. FWIW, they initially listed my bug as an '81 Fox, then changed it manually.
posted by Capostrophe at 5:50 PM on November 23, 2008

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