Calling all classic car enthusiasts and agents looking to insure them! This week, we welcome Lauren Shanklin, Partner Leader at Hagerty, to the Trusted Advisor Podcast. As an insurance professional and a collector herself, she brings a new perspective to classic car insurance. Listen in to hear the truth about common misconceptions when talking Hagerty & classic cars, as well as tips to agents wanting to break into the collector space! For more on Hagerty listen in here.
Edwin K. Morris (3s):
Welcome to the trusted adviser podcast brought to you by Iroquois Group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. I am Edwin K Morris Lauren Shanklin began her Hagerty career in 2012 as a licensed a sales agent in Traverse City. Soon after she took on the role of regional manager of Southern California, Lauren worked for seven years supporting and educating both brokers and enthusiastic in her territory. And just recently, Lauren has excelled as one of Hagerty’s commercial specialists working with high net worth collectors to protect their favorite vehicles. Hagerty Insurance.
Edwin K. Morris (44s):
What is it their deal?
Lauren Shanklin (45s):
Hagerty Insurance. Why should you care? Well, I mean, Hagerty, is one of the Iroquois preferred carrier partners, offers some very special coverage that’s not going to be available from some of the other carriers that you work with. And we are in the industry leader and expert in this space with collector vehicles. So no one’s going to know how to better protect these vehicles and your insureds, who are enthusiasts, than Hagerty,
Edwin K. Morris (1m 9s):
Maybe a, a Greyhound bus as a collector item a what? What’s not a collectible?
Lauren Shanklin (1m 14s):
You know what the, the definition of what is it is not a collector vehicle is expanding and changing a lot because really truly a vehicle can be collectible. If it’s a limited production, if it’s a custom, if it is special, but really at the end of the day, if it’s something that one of our insured’s is passionate about, they love it. It’s their baby. Then it very likely might be a collector vehicle.
Edwin K. Morris (1m 39s):
So give me an example of something that’s not
Lauren Shanklin (1m 42s):
Okay. So a modern minivan probably would not be something that we consider a collector car, no shades of the soccer moms out there, but, you know, those are typically gonna be something that, it’s the everyday daily driver, they really don’t hold or appreciate and value over time. And you’re just kind of a run in the middle. I don’t know a lot of people that are particularly passionate about there minivans
Edwin K. Morris (2m 7s):
Until you’ve had one. And then it’s like, wow, this is so functional. What about domestic versus import export foreign manufacturers, anything special about that?
Lauren Shanklin (2m 17s):
You know, there are a lot of vehicles that are only available in certain countries because the manufacturers did not import them to the US that definitely poses a challenge for a lot of our collectors here in the United States that are interested in obtaining some of those vehicles from Europe, from Asia, the DOI, and the a DMV do not make it very easy for those collectors to bring those vehicles over. So
Edwin K. Morris (2m 41s):
They have to be not certified, but inspected too, whatever the environmental regulations are for vehicles. Correct. Is that what you’re saying?
Lauren Shanklin (2m 50s):
Totally true. I mean, emission’s levels, things like that, or very important different states have different regulations. I mean, here in California, it’s especially to bring some of those vehicles over that weren’t initially important to the U S when they were in production.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 4s):
Well, my question is this is that as the idea of internal combustion becomes old technology, our there collectible electronic vehicles.
Lauren Shanklin (3m 16s):
Yeah. Actually Haggerty, we will ensure a number of Teslas, for example. So the Model S or the Roadster to of the earlier additions have the Tesla. Those are the things that we’ve had a number of collectors buy, not as there everyday daily driver, should we, or they can take it to work occasionally if they want to, but they were really interested in owning one of those first true or examples of an electric vehicle.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 39s):
Everybody wants to be first Lauren, tell me the deal with nineties, like 1990s, or two thousands of recent kind of history for manufacturing. What makes those considered collectibles?
Lauren Shanklin (3m 55s):
That’s a great question. We are writing so many more nineties and newer vehicles now than almost even the traditional classic cars. So we’ve seen a really big shift in the last, I would even say five, 10 years where maybe the earlier generations of collectors we’re trading in there or vintage vehicle for a more modern equivalent. We think about it. If you’ve always been into Porsche’s or Corvette’s, or Mustang’s, maybe you want a swap out something that’s a little bit more difficult to drive. You might smell like gasoline. When you get out of the car, there are loud and you know, but they don’t want to give up being in the car club or having that thrill of driving such a powerful machine.
Lauren Shanklin (4m 37s):
So we’ll trade out the old one from maybe a new Mustang. Or one of the beautiful new Corvettes, things like that. I oftentimes here at some of our insurance joke that had to switch out the old for the new, because if not, my wife wouldn’t ride with me anymore in some of my collector cars, you know, think about that. Some of these vehicles that have had historically a collectable following it, it doesn’t really matter too, to a guy that loves a Porsche or a Mustang or a Camaro. They’re going to love all years. Every generation of that vehicle, the more modern ones are safer. They get better gas mileage. They’re more comfortable. Man oh man, just having the air conditioning, as opposed to some of these classics that didn’t have AC you know, that’s a big deal or these more modern vehicles where considering them collectable from a writing them at a Hagerty policy when they are not the everyday drive a car, they are precious to your client.
Lauren Shanklin (5m 31s):
Listen, for words like, oh, this is my baby. Or maybe the car even has a name. So many of these, you know, a car guys and gals will name their cars. Or if they say something like, oh yeah, that’s just the car that I take out on a nice day. Those are some of your cues to say, oh, I bet you anything. This is precious. This is something that the insured is really passionate about. So we’re writing those because they are precious to the insured. They have a following, they tend to hold their value and, or appreciate and value over time. And they’re special. They’re limited production. All right. It
Edwin K. Morris (6m 7s):
Sounds to me the special part is that Hagerty and you yourself take into the consideration of what that customer values period. You’re really under the hood. So to speak in that person’s domain you’re right, or what they care about, but it’s very custom in your approach to customer care.
Lauren Shanklin (6m 28s):
Well and think about it. It, at the end of the day, if a client is passionate about their vehicle, they are protective of it. It, it doesn’t belong on a regular auto policy. There being overcharged. The risk is not there. We’re able to charge 40% less than the standard auto policy. ’cause we know they’re not parking it next to the cart rack at Walmart. They’re not driving it every single day. On average, I think most of our clients probably drive a thousand, 2000 miles a year in some of their specialty vehicles. And you can only drive one car at a time, right. We haven’t figured out yet how to get behind the wheel of more than one vehicle at a time. So there are low risk. They really belong on something like a guaranteed value policy.
Lauren Shanklin (7m 9s):
Edwin K. Morris (7m 10s):
Let’s talk about commercial. What is Hagerty doing it in the commercial realm?
Lauren Shanklin (7m 15s):
You know, surprisingly, I find a lot of people don’t even know that Hagerty has a small commercial department. We are really focused on businesses that are geared toward classic cars in one way or another. Whether it’s a storage facility at a dealership as a museum, or even a restoration shop, some of those businesses that they’re sole focused and their clientele matches up really closely with Hagerty’s clientele. Those are businesses that we can protect in a very special way with that same guaranty value that will provide on a personal auto.
Edwin K. Morris (7m 45s):
So you say small? Does that mean new also?
Lauren Shanklin (7m 48s):
Small commercial i’m typically referring to something that’s a more moderate sized account. We’ll typically see things that are about a a hundred thousand dollars in premium or less. We’re not really finding a lot of these classic car related businesses that would fall into the middle market space.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 2s):
Got it. What makes the difference with Hagerty’s products versus anyone else in this?
Lauren Shanklin (8m 7s):
So in our personal lines product, really our guaranteed value is going to be a what sets us apart. That means that if one of your insureds wants to insure a vehicle for a specific dollar amount, that’s what we insure it for. And if something happens to it, or there is a total loss, really no questions, we are going to pay that full dollar amount. We are not going to depreciate it like an actual cash value type policy that we have on our standard autos. There’s a lot of things on the commercial side as well, that differentiate us. I mean, really trying to make things as easy as humanly possible being that you know, this is all we do. You live in, breathe in the collector car space. We know that for example, maybe a restoration shop has a lot of different vehicles coming and going.
Lauren Shanklin (8m 52s):
And because of that, we know they’re not insurance folks there, they are out there, wrenching on the cars, in taking care of these beautiful machines. So we actually have a blanket form for any of the vehicles that are in the shop at any given time. So that the shop doesn’t having to call it Hagerty and say, okay, Bob is car just left. And we just got this new Ferrari in, and this one just left in. This one just came in. They don’t have time for that. And especially too, if they have maybe one really special one really high value vehicle, that’s going to be in the shop for a while. We can raise that blanket limit up just for the period of time that that car is going to be in the shop so that they know they are totally covered for the total value of their customer’s vehicles.
Lauren Shanklin (9m 33s):
that they’re working on it at any given time.
Edwin K. Morris (9m 35s):
And that’s Hugely responsive. Yeah. I mean, oh my gosh here. I mean that, that is very customizable, scalable, and applicable to that inventory flux. So tell me this, how would a small-town agency? It doesn’t write a lot of classic car insurance, but wants the right local restoration shop go about how do they go about connecting with you?
Lauren Shanklin (9m 57s):
You know, one of my favorite ways to prospect some of these commercial shop’s is to find that one or two enthusiasts maybe that they already know or already insure. And I always ask, Hey, you’ve got a beautiful car. Where did you by it? Oh, you work with a local dealer. I’d love to tell them that you know, I met you and, and that you speak so highly of them and you’re experienced buying a car or from them, using that kind of as an intro or man, you know, the work that was done on your Corvette after that last claim, it looks spectacular. What shop worked on your car and you know car guys and gals. We love to talk about the hobby and the people that are supportive of us and take care of our vehicles for us.
Lauren Shanklin (10m 42s):
So referrals, are definitely the best way to go. And I can guarantee you, if you ask some of these questions too, collector car enthusiast, that they would be more than happy to even give you a warm intro to probably some of these shops.
Edwin K. Morris (10m 53s):
So with that personal flavor of being able to connect with people around this culture of automobiles, what has changed in the last two years as work has changed? How has that changed how you integrate or connect with organizations?
Lauren Shanklin (11m 11s):
It’s a great question. It’s kinda funny that even a mid COVID really our model, our business, and even the hobby continued to thrive. I mean, think about it. What is a better social distance activity in getting in your favorite car and going for a cruise or for some of these groups of friends and people that wanted to be able to do those things and enjoy their cars together? Like they had even pre COVID. They were able to get into their cars. They’re perfectly social distancing. They have their own little bubble, but they get to go experience something together, move as a group. Fortunately, a lot of car shows are outside cars and coffee, and they’re naturally kind of social distance, but we really found that this hobby stayed alive, thrived and car people were still out there as safely as humanly possible enjoying their vehicles.
Edwin K. Morris (12m 5s):
It changed in your delivery or the product in this two year period,
Lauren Shanklin (12m 9s):
Other than being in zoom meetings with all of our fine agents day in and day out and not being able to see each other in person. That’s definitely been a struggle. I think we’ve all, we’ve all felt that right? A little bit of a zoom fatigue here in there. You know, it just having to rely a lot more on technology in order to get the messaging across. We’re really hopeful. I’m looking forward to the day’s that we can be altogether again in person.
Edwin K. Morris (12m 31s):
And so it almost sounds like, and correct me if I’m wrong, but is this industry the space kind of a future-proofed walk-through a pandemic. Okay. Or is it something that’s a pretty financially sound
Lauren Shanklin (12m 46s):
Great question. And yes, that’s always kind of been our joke is that we are so fortunate, so blessed to be in a segment of the industry. That’s very nearly recession proof. I mean, even if you look at all of the things that are happening in the market or the uncertainty with the elections and the, the pandemic, a lot of people that were still investing in there vehicles because truly cars, motorcycles, those are investments that they can play with. And if you look at even some of the information that we offer on our valuation tool online, you’ll see that some of these cars are performing better than gold or the NASDAQ. And there are holding their value in appreciating, you know, in a greater way over time and even the stocks.
Edwin K. Morris (13m 30s):
So the last question is, have you always worked on your own cars?
Lauren Shanklin (13m 33s):
You know what? and I am proud of what I’m able to accomplish on a car as a, a petite young lady, but you know what, other than check-in changing oil or fuses tires, things like that. I am not much of a monkey wrench myself. So no, you know what? I did grow up helping my dad a lot with cars. He was always the kind of guy that wanted to fix things himself wanted to make sure that, you know, my brother and I understood how things worked. So we really did. We spent a lot of time in the garage learning about the mechanics and electronics that are in our vehicles. Honestly, my mom was the car gal.
Lauren Shanklin (14m 14s):
It wasn’t so much of my dad. Well, dad was always the one wrenching on the car’s, but mom was the one that was passionate about it. She would talk your ear off about her very first car, which was a burnt orange Chevy Vega, not one of the sexiest vehicles ever produced, but, you know, she loved that car and she worked really hard to get, she would baby that thing watch it every weekend. And then she got older. My mom really got into Volkswagen beetles. She had a number of them over the years. They were always blue. She loves the blue ones. And actually that’s what I learned how to drive stick in was one of my mom’s Beatles. When I was in high school.
Edwin K. Morris (14m 51s):
Thank you very much for sharing that passion and that vision of where you ended up. I always liked to find out where the spark came from. You know, what, what drew you to wherever you are. And there’s usually some connection. And it thank you for sharing that. And thank you very much for being here today.
Lauren Shanklin (15m 10s):
Thanks so much everyone. I appreciate it.
Edwin K. Morris (15m 12s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of The Trusted Advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois Group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor for all things insurance in. Remember get out of the office and sell. I am Edwin K Morris, and I invite you to join me for the next edition of the Trusted Advisor podcast.