An M-151A2 Military Police jeep leads a supply convoy toward San Lorenzo, Honduras during Exercise Ahuas Tara (Big Pine) II, 7 February 1984. The convoy is being conducted by Company B, 46th Engineers, from Fort Rucker, AL.
Military Vehicle Insurance
A HMMWV from 887th Engineer Company involved in a vehicle accident, preparing to be towed, 15 February 2005.
As with licensing agencies, insurance companies are very bureaucratic and don't understand what an MV is or why anyone would want one. And when they are in unknown territory all they see is uninsurable risk. Good advice is to call an M-37 a "1952 Dodge pickup" and try to steer between the rocks.
When dealing with insurance people, become a minimalist, keeping all non-essential information to yourself. Don't blab on about the machine gun ring-mount and the Xenon searchlight you have on a trailer. Or about the reenactment cannon fire. Keep your dialog with insurance people simple, but truthful.
The catch with insurance is that after a crash they can refuse to pay if they can show that you lied on your application. That is, if they did not know what risk they were taking due to some misstatement from you, they can back out of the insurance and leave you holding the bag after an accident. So don't lie, but don't rush to tell everything either.
What the Insurance Company Needs to Know
All the insurance company needs to know can be readily summarized:
- the value of the vehicle
- how it will be used
Since the vehicle may be quite old, their "Blue Book" probably gives the scrap value if its listed at all. If you have a show quality restoration with countless hours of labor in it and a lot of new parts, then you will have to specify the value you want insured for, validate that with them, and pay the appropriate (increased) premium.
How it will be used includes details like how many miles it will be driven in a year, will it will be used on public highways or will it just be trailered to events? Will it be used off-road? Will it be restricted to shows and a parade or two? Obviously the more risk included in these answers, the higher the premium. In some cases the company may decline to insure if you fall outside their limitations. So be truthful to avoid future problems, but be aware that exaggerating will be a costly mistake.
Antique Military Vehicle Insurance
If your use of your vehicle will be limited to parades or low-miles events, and if your vehicle qualifies by age, consider antique registration and insurance. Generally the rates are much lower and the process simpler, based on the insurance company's expectation that the vehicle is rarely driven and, when it does go out, it is for limited, antique-oriented purposes. If you go this route, make sure your use actually conforms to expectations or you could fall into the "gotcha" of having the company back out when you need them most.
Some insurance companies that specialize in antique vehicles:
As with any important purchase, shop around. And the company that's best for your WW II jeep might not have the best deal for your HMMWV. Or there may be a multiple vehicle discount -- check it all out before you decide.
UK Military Vehicle Insurance
On the Support Services page of MILWEB there is a list of other UK insurance brokers who work with MV owners in that country. MILWEB also provides information on support services you may need such as military vehicle valuation for insurance purposes.