Although Ontario car insurance rates have gone down slightly the basic coverage is still a big-ticket item that hurts everyone’s budget. It is particularly painful to pay yearly rates on the order of $1,000 (without collision) for a car that may be worth 2-3K total. This used to be the case for my 1991 SPG around a year ago when I got to talk to one of our fellow Club members who owns 900 convertible of similar vintage.
Hagerty Insurance is an American Company that has been a long time supporter and sponsor of SAAB Owner’s Conventions in the US and I contacted their website about insuring my SPG since my friend with the convertible was already getting coverage from them. My projected rates produced by the automated website calculator were less than one third of what I was paying so I gave them a call and confirmed the estimate. One point of uncertainty was the $ value of my SPG. Hagerty has no posted tables for SAABs and I had to basically come up with a figure on my own. Since my SPG is in pretty good condition and has a relatively low kilometer reading for a 26 year old car I gave it a conservative $3,500CAN and the company agreed. SPGs are getting rare and 1991s (last year of production) are least common. There were only 254 1991 SPGs sold in the US, 40 of them in Talladega Red. There are only 20 1991 SPGs listed on the current registry at The SAAB Network, three in red. http://www.saabnet.com/tsn/faq/spgreg/
In fact Hagerty suggested a higher value, but I explained to them that although our SAABs are becoming collector items they are still relatively inexpensive and the demand is low. I should add that the company representatives answering the phones are all very polite and helpful. What’s even more amazing that in my experience there are no long waiting times at their telephone desk. What a difference between this company and some of the other “service” providers we have in Canada!
Encouraged by my initial experience I further inquired whether I could insure my 2000 Viggen in the same way. Indeed I could and the only reason I haven’t so far is that I use my Viggen for summer driving at approximately 6,000km per year. This turned out to be too much for granting me the amazingly low rates by Hagerty. I suspect lowering my yearly km to 3,000-4,000km will do the trick and I may revisit the matter next year. Why is Viggen eligible? It is due to the relatively low production numbers of 3,000 vehicles per model year. Certain versions of Viggens such as yellow 5-doors are exceedingly rare. So it appears you don’t need an antique car to insure with Hagerty. Instead you can insure your perfectly drivable, but still rare SAAB as long as you don’t plan on driving much more than a few thousand kilometers per year. This insurance may not be suitable for everybody but for some SAAB aficionados who own more than one vehicle Hagerty may provide an alternative.