When you have a pretty typical vehicle, it’s easy for auto insurance companies to decide how much you need to pay for coverage. When you have something that’s a little out of the ordinary, though, you never know how your insurance company will approach your unique position.
You might have wished you had one of these interesting automobiles at one time or another, but that’s probably because you never thought about the headache insurance would cause.
Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile
The Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile has been around in one form or another since 1936. It’s experienced a number of overhauls since then, but it still stands out as a unique vehicle.
Approach this from your insurance agent’s perspective. Exactly how do you insure what is basically a bus shaped like a hot dog on a bun? Does the price of coverage go up if mustard and ketchup are added?
To make this conundrum all the more confusing, the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile is on the road during most of the year. Hotdoggers, as the drivers are known, drive around the country handing out samples, hot dog-shaped whistles, and all kinds of other promotional products. So, not only is the make and model a “1995 hot dog,” you have to consider that the vehicle gets driven thousands of miles every week.
If you think paying the insurance on this vehicle would cause stress, imagine how the poor insurance agent feels trying to determine a fair price. It’s enough to make someone want to find a new line of work.
Imagine that you’re an insurance agent. You like your job because it’s quiet. You sit at your desk and crunch numbers a lot. Really, it’s kind of nice because you’ve always been fond of numbers and you like challenges.
And then some dude with a husky voice calls up and wants to purchase insurance for a customized vehicle that contains numerous high-tech weapons. Suddenly, your day just got a little more interesting.
Here’s the thing about the Batmobile: it’s more like a really fast tank than a really resilient car. When you’re pricing a quote, you have to think about the very real possibility that the missile launcher could backfire, causing the vehicle to blow up.
You also have to acknowledge that some totally insane super-villain could is spending every waking hour thinking about ways to torch this car to the ground and take out the mysterious driver, who, by the way, doesn’t want to give his real name and plans to pay in cash.
So, fine, you give the owner a slight discount for the grappling hook and the flame-proof exterior, but those booster rockets are gonna cost extra. Oh, and you’re going to have to open a separate policy for that weirdo motorcycle thing that pops out when you’re in serious trouble. There’s just no way around it.
Your insurance agent has a pretty good idea of what your car is worth. All she has to do is look it up in her handy booklet and she can figure out an estimated quote within a couple minutes.
And then you throw her a curve ball. That’s because your car is more than just a 1990 Taurus with 160,000 miles on it (engine replaced twice). It’s also a wonderful work of art that inspires awe in everyone whether they’re viewing it in a museum or stuck next to it in gridlock.
Art cars have become fairly popular in recent years. So far, though, no one has figured out a reliable way to price them. That makes insuring them a real nightmare.
For instance, let’s imagine that you have turned your 1995 Camry into a hot pink cat, or a giraffe, or an abstract expressionist painting, or a giant telephone, or whatever.The point is that you’ve taken your junker and turned it into something that could potentially have value other than the price of its scrap metal.
Don’t get offended when your agent tells you that you only have to pay $600 a year for coverage and that you’ll only get $3,000 if you total the clunker. Hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and your agent just sees a rusting pile of junk.
On the other hand, you’re the artiste, so don’t fly off the handle when your agent suggests insuring your car for a couple million buckaroos. It’s a bargain, really. Cutting edge art like yours is nothing short of priceless.
The craziest automobiles might require the craziest levels of coverage. It really depends on how much value the market decides your vehicle has. If you own the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile, or the Batmobile, or some really awesome car that’s been modified into the Death Star or something, then you definitely need to shop around for a policy that matches your budget.
When you’re dealing with something as subjective and volatile as one-of-a-kind cars, you never know what kind of a quote you’re going to get from your insurance agent.
Can you think of a car that absolutely no insurance provider would cover regardless of how much money you threw at them?