Whats the Deal on Insurance?

One of the most commonly asked questions on the mailing list. DML-er  Dave Stragand compiled a sort of FAQ on the subject.



Common DeLorean Insurance Misconceptions:


Misconception #1:

The parts availability is scarce and that if there is a claim, it will be difficult and costly to get the car repaired.


The Truth:

From DeLorean Motor Company in Houston, Texas (http://www.delorean.com):


“When the DeLorean factory in Northern Ireland closed in 1983, the remaining parts inventory, as well as all the parts from the U.S. dealer supply warehouse, were moved to a facility in Columbus Ohio.  These parts included body panels, glass, engines, transmissions, interior trim – literally everything needed to build and repair the DeLorean DMC-12.”


DeLorean Motor Company has a 50,000 square foot warehouse full of inventory.  They also perform mechanical service and body/frame and mechanical repair.


Please visit their website to compare the cost and availability of replacement parts.  In most cases, a DeLorean owner can receive replacement parts overnight.  The majority of replacement parts are less expensive, and more easily obtained, than comparable parts from a present-day European import.


In addition to DeLorean Motor Company, there are reputable service facilities in Radnor, Ohio;  Long Island, New York;  Atlanta, Georgia;  McCleary, Washington;  and two in Los Angeles, California.




Misconception #2:

There are many gray market vehicles coming into the United States… and insurance companies are hesitant to insure these vehicles.


The Truth:

The DeLorean was 100% completely designed for the U.S. market as a U.S. vehicle, and approx. 98% of those produced from 1981-1983 were shipped to the U.S.  There was/is in no way a “gray market” vehicle. 


While built in Northern Ireland, the DeLorean was considered an American car, and was (and still is) considered an American marque -- DMC was a U.S. corporation, headquartered in New York City.


Misconception #3:

If something were to happen to the car (like a fire) that required substantial replacement parts and repair work, it would cost more than the vehicle was worth.


The Truth:

From an insurance perspective, this makes absolutely no sense.  If the car were so heavily damaged, the insurance company would simply "total" the car and reimburse the owner the stated/agreed value.




Misconception #4:

The DeLorean is too powerful a vehicle for U.S. roads.


The Truth:

Powerful?  Hardly.  In fact, the car’s distinct lack of power has always been its biggest shortcoming.  The DeLorean engine is a “PRV6”.  It’s short for Peugeot-Renault-Volvo.  This same engine was used in the 1982 Volvo GLE.  It’s rated at a scant 138 HP.


A DeLorean would have a difficult time competing in today’s market, as even a Volkswagen Jetta could leave the DeLorean sorely lagging behind.



Misconception #5:

The DeLorean is an unsafe vehicle.


The Truth:

Did you know that the DeLorean was rated one of the safest (if not the safest) car on the road in 1981?  The original name of the DMC-12 was the DSV, which stood for “DeLorean Safety Vehicle”.  It was designed from the ground up as an “ethical” car, with a strong emphasis on safety.


Some of the early development work on the car was actually funded by the Allstate insurance company as a safety vehicle, and although the car lacks some of the safety features which are being so heavily marketed today (like airbags), the vehicle itself has a very good safety record. Much thought has been put into the safety aspects of the car, which pioneered specially-engineered crumple zones to absorb impact energy.

Misconception #6:

The DeLorean is a target of theft rings.


The Truth:

Ask your insurance agent to investigate for his/herself what the actual number of DeLoreans stolen in the last twenty years.  Compare this to the number of Toyota Camrys stolen this very morning.  It’s amazing that insurance companies would insure the Camry!


Even when compared to the relatively low production numbers of the DeLorean (around 8,500), there simply is no basis for this argument.  Your insurance agent, if s/he is actually investigating the statistics (and not just trying to avoid doing the extra paperwork for an unusual vehicle) will certainly find this to be true.



Misconception #7:

Our company simply doesn’t insure DeLoreans…


The Truth:

Ask your agent to run a check on their systems.  In most cases they will find several if not hundreds of them underwritten.  Ask them to compare their rate of claims against any comparable model (1981 Corvette, Mercedes, 280z).  The DeLorean will be the lowest rate of claims in the bunch.


State Farm, for example, is a favorite company of DeLorean owners, insuring hundreds.  Amusingly, many underwriters there will say that State Farm doesn’t insure DeLoreans!  It often takes two or three tries with an underwriter to get him or her to look into their own systems to see how many DeLoreans they actually do cover. State Farm may refuse new customers with DeLoreans, but will generally add them to existing policies at surprisingly low rates.


In short, the DeLorean DMC-12 is nothing to fear.  Facing your insurance company, though, can be tricky.  Unfounded misconceptions can cause your agent to back away from you quickly.  It’s important to know about the vehicle you are attempting to insure.  You need to do your homework, and you need to insist that your agent do theirs.


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