Pharos-Tribune

Online only

December 12, 2012

Classic car insurer rocked by Hurricane Sandy

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — When Superstorm Sandy struck along the East Coast,  a Michigan insurance company felt the full wrath of the hurricane’s punch.

Traverse City-based Hagerty Insurance — the largest insurer of classic cars worldwide – is now dealing with the storm’s afterrmath.

Hagerty insures 10,000 classic cars on Long Island, N.Y., alone, and the company already has received 1,100 Sandy-related car claims, as well as claims for about 50 boats.

Storm claims already are valued at $10 million and counting, said company President and CEO McKeel Hagerty.

“There are no million dol­lar cars,” he said. “The av­erage cost is under $50,000.”

Hagerty Claims Assistant Manager Michelle Ayers said calls from customers began Oct. 29 and contin­ued steadily through the next two weeks as evacuees returned to their neighbor­hoods.

“It was everything from ‘I just lost everything I’ve worked hard for my entire life — it’s all gone’ to ‘What do I do from here, where do I go from here?’ Ayers said. “We talked a lot about, obvi­ously, their cars, because it’s like a family member to them. A lot of the people I talked to, anyway, (cars) had been passed down from generation to generation.”

Hagerty said the company immediately responded by working with salvage companies and adjusters in an effort to flush out car engines that had been im­mersed in water. Hagerty received three times as many claims from Sandy as it did from Hurricane Ka­trina, but damage charac­teristics are similar.

“The thing they have in common is they are really flood more than wind dam­age,” Hagerty said

About 70 percent of the claims represent total loss­es, but 50 to 70 percent of those owners want to keep their cars after the insur­ance payout, Hagerty said.

“They keep the salvage and they’re going to re-re­store the cars,” he said. “To me, that’s a little light at the end of the tunnel.”

Hagerty itself is insured against catastrophic events like Hurricane Sandy.

“Katrina taught us a lot about that,” he said.

---

Details for this story were provided by The Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Mich.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online only
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.