Losses and Lessons: Flash flood turns Nova project into a wash

VEHICLE COVERED: 1972 Chevrolet Nova

WHAT WENT WRONG: Underinsuring your classic is like packing three parachutes for a flight crew of four; there’s nothing to worry about as long as the trip goes without a hitch. But should disaster strike, someone is going to be very unhappy. The owner of a 1972 Chevy Nova knows the feeling. He took his $7,000 project car to a local restoration shop for a complete pro street build and paid as he went. After several months, he’d poured an additional $10,000 into the project to cover an engine rebuild, parts, body work, paint preparation and labor. Then a major storm hit, the local river rose and the shop flooded before all of the cars could be taken to higher ground.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The Nova, and several other vehicles in the shop, suffered severe water damage. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Nova owner failed to increase the Guaranteed Value of his car as the project progressed. So the $10,000 he put into the car washed away with the flood water.

LESSON: Whenever you invest time, effort and money to improve your car, you obviously increase its value. Don’t waste it. Periodically call your insurance provider to ensure that you’re covered for the car’s full value, especially if your project is advancing quickly. If you’re working on a long-term restoration project, consider the convenience of special coverage. For instance, for a small fee Hagerty’s Vehicle Under Construction coverage ensures that your car’s Guaranteed Value will automatically increase by 10 percent each quarter, up to a maximum increase of $25,000.

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