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Summer Fun Specialty Vehicles - The Amphicar Collectible Car

AmphicarAmphicar (Photo credit: Flicktone)

We like to have a little fun once in a while, and what's more fun than hitting the beach - or heading to a lake? How about for a cruise in your car?

It's a car on land and a vessel on the water. "The car that swims"

The Amphicar was built in Germany from 1961 to 1968, the total production was 3,878 vehicles - the majority of which were imported into the United States.

I have to thank one of my clients, Jacques B. for showing me these amazing vehicles, and also for sharing his video, below.

Some of you may remember my post about saving money on new car purchases,  I mentioned there that I would be sharing a pretty cool car on an upcoming article, well what better time than at the start of the summer season, and what cooler car than an Original Amphicar?! 

How do you insure an Amphicar?

It's a little tricky.

Amphicar's are quite interesting because they can drive on land, reportedly to 70mph, and then can transition to hit the water - just like a little boat. For insurance this vessel is a bit of a challenge. When they are on the road they are governed by the laws of the road, but on water, they are treated as a vessel or any other boat, in fact you even require a Pleasure Craft License (at least in Canada) to operate any motorized vehicle in the water.  So the insurance policy of a car normally would not cover this kind of vehicle! You may have to search for a car insurance company to get the coverage you need, due to the nature of the risk, even the best car insurance companies may have a hard time insuring the amphicar. The only way to find out is to call and ask..

*Due to these special concerns and needs, if you are planning on purchasing an Amphicar, make sure to speak to your broker first. In my own experience, I do have markets to insure them, but it is not always a straight forward process, and information such as updated evaluations from recognized evaluators help!

Want to see it in action, then take a look at this fun video (you can skip to minute 4, and watch for about 30 seconds to see it transition from water to land).

The video is courtesy of Jacques B, who took it during his 2011 "Orilla Swim" Meetup.

What do you think? Does this look like a super fun way to get around?

A Word of Caution:

Not all cars are Amphicars - or cars that swim!

Remember the Amphicar is built for water, it is a vessel and not a "modified vehicle" so please don't try this at home kids!

It takes a special car for this kind of adventure!

Amphicars Photo
Photo from unknown origin, found on in an ad for the sale of one of the original 1964 Amphicar 770 The Cross Channel vehicles.
How to Insure Antique and Collector Cars for Less and Save Money - See more at:

Photo from unknown origin, found on in an ad for the sale of one of the original 1964 Amphicar 770 The Cross Channel vehicles.

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Insider Info: Buying a New Car? What Really Effects the Cost of Insurance.

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Lamborghini's, Audi R8, 911 TTLamborghini's, Audi R8, 911 TT (Photo credit: RGT3 Pics)

Douglas Rice is a small business marketing specialist who writes great columns online. I first met Doug through 12 Most, where he is a weekly author. Aside from being a great writer with strong business advice and a gift for storytelling, he also has a background and an insider's view in automotive sales. It really helps to have some insider insight, when it comes to making big purchase decisions on a new car. I know that when ever I get a new one, I spend weeks going back and forth over what I really want. It can often be hard to decide with so many factors.  You should definitely check out his article: 12 Most Important things to Know Before Buying a Car.

Of course, in speaking with Doug, I mentioned the topic of insurance - this is something that people often leave to last minute.  Although Doug can speak to the tips on what to consider in selecting your new car, I thought I would share some tips to get you thinking and help you out on the factors in price for insurance before you buy the car.

What REALLY effects the cost of insurance?

Please note that  these are general guidelines, but hopefully they will help you on the right track, and will avoid any unnecessary surprises! Because when budgeting for your car, you'll also have to consider your monthly insurance payment.

What about the color?

First things first: In insurance you're the greatest factor. Yes YOU!

So, this variable remains constant, regardless of the car you buy. If you have speeding tickets, bad credit, move often (yes some insurers consider how long you've been at the same address and give discounts for that), where you live (the zip or postal code) and your claims history ( do you have claims?) are the strongest determining factors of rate.

I have seen rates double, depending on the area a person lives (city vs. suburb, etc). 

Let's not forget to consider the costs of young drivers, or new drivers. As well as the use of the vehicle (business, pleasure, etc)

So, the number 1 factor in the rate has nothing to do with the car.

Do you feel safe to just go out and buy anything now? Take a second look! I have a few things for you to consider first:

All things being equal above, this is how the car choice will drive insurance rates upward or downward:

1. Parts - Accidents involve repairs. Therefore, if the make of the car has higher than average costs on parts and/or labor, this is going to be factored into the insurance rate. 

2. Parts- Again : Often times vehicles that are extremely popular - one unusual example I can give, were certain mini vans, at one time they had high theft rates. Why? As I understand it, it wasn't just because they were reliable vehicles, and it certainly wasn't because they were flashy. It was because of the parts. They were so popular, that parts were in high demand, so believe it or not, they became very expensive to insure compared to other less risky vehicles in the same class. Traditionally, this can effect the theft and collision portions of the premium.

3. Theft Rate - For some insight, you can check out the IBC's Top Ten Stolen Car list or see if your insurance provider can refer you to a similar list in your area or country. If the new car you want to buy is on there, you may have some added cost. This is used as a factor in determining the price of insurance. Obviously the greater the risk, the more the insurance will cost. Now with brand new cars and models, the nsurance companies don't always have the exact data on what the experience will be with the car, so they use the data they have at hand to try and determine the appropriate rates. As an example, here is the 2011 list for most stolen vehicles in Canada from the IBC:

  1. 2009 Toyota Venza 4-door
  2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
  3. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
  4. 2006 Ford F350 Pickup Truck 4WD
  5. 2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT 4-door AWD 
  6. 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS 4-door 4WD
  7. 2007 Ford F350 Pickup Truck 4WD
  8. 2001 Pontiac Aztek 4-door AWD 
  9. 1998 Acura Integra 2-door
  10. 1999 Acura Integra 2-door

If you check out the list from year to year from the IBC, you will notice some vehicles always make the list. So when you compare insurance rates, you can bet the makes and models with the highest theft rates, even though they may not seem obvious to you, will have higher rates of insurance on the theft portion of the premium.

4. Power & Interiors - Although you may not think it would affect insurance, the power of the vehicle can cause additional concerns in risk when we look at liability. A more powerful car, can do more damage, travels faster (in general) .  Add to that , the fact that often these are higher end vehicles, the combination can cost more. Usually a 4cyl model will be less to insure than the 6. The interior finishing of your car will not usually boost insurance rates on the same model, but if the model changes with the interior - this will be factored into the rates as well. This can affect the Liability, Collision and Theft (comprehensive) sections of the premium.

5. Modified Vehicles - Including upgraded stereos, bodywork (for racing/style), or power alterations (Usually after market)

Watch out because this is where things get tricky.

Before you start to plan on purchasing a vehicle and making all kinds of modifications to it, ask your insurer, agent or broker. Some modifications are not problem at all, while others move you into a category of specialized markets. Stereos can easily be added for a very small cost, but ahouls always be mentioned when purchasing the insurance.

Other modifications to the suspension, body or fuel sources - even vehicles with steering on the right side instead of the left, can be huge issues. So call those in first! Sometimes a broker can have access to a specialized market for these vehicles, but not every insurance company does.

6. Antique or Collector cars & Amphibian Vehicles


Jay Leno driving up to the Emmy rehearsal 1993...Jay Leno driving up to the Emmy rehearsal 1993 in one of his antique cars, a Hispano-Suiza 8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may not be Jay Leno, but you may have a similar passion for antique cars! There's good news - the car may be expensive, but the insurance doesn't have to be. There are lots of options for Antique cars, and in this category, in our experience we can find excellent rates on insurance - and so should you, because the vehicles are not driven much and are usually very well protected and cared for. Make sure you check for a specialized insurance company. For example, the ones we use charge much less than our regular insurers, because they specialize in the antique market. There are also additional considerations that the specialized markets may offer that are more advantageous than regular insurers, like making sure the coverage you get is agreed value and not cash value. You have to know where to insure these special vehicles to get the best price and coverage.


Same with Amphibian Vehicles

7. Different insurers have different "appetitie's" for cars. As is the case with Antique cars, and Amphibian Vehicles. For example, if we take the same client profile, and plug in a Porsche, we actually have markets who come in at half the price because for whatever reason, they aren't as scared by the Porsche. On the flip side, we have markets who are way to high on that vehicle. We know this as brokers, based on our experiences - so keep this in mind when you check around. Different insurers really do have different appetite's, they do not all use the same rule book!

8. Anti theft Requirements. Find out if the vehicle you are purchasing requires special anti theft devices or engraving. Many dealers will suggest you do this, suggesting it will give you a big discount on insurance. Call your insurance first and find out if you need the anti theft, sometimes it is a requirement. Keep in mind point #7 above, the requirement may not be the same with all companies! Secondly, if it's the discount you're after, find out how much that is. Sometimes the discounts are a mere $75 a year, other times they can add up to a couple of hundred dollars.

Tracking devices can be fantastic , but may involve additional costs to you like monthly fees, other anti theft choices like engraving, have one time costs. Your insurance representative may be able to help you out in this regard. Check before you decide to install anything, and find out what it will really do for you.


The best way to protect yourself from higher rates is to do a little research on insurance with your broker or agent, before you sign the papers. If your agent or insurer does not have access to several insurance companies (one of the benefits of dealing with a broker), then you should definitely call another insurer to compare.

Have the exact model you are looking at ready, to make sure that you've got the right quote. As mentioned in point 4 above, a 4cyl vs a 6 or 8 cyl - or the sport model with that incredible sliding roof, may all be different.

Build Your Dreams - Insurance based on relationships - Ogilvy Insurance Westmount by Mila Araujo @MilaspageNever be afraid to call or email and ask. It just may help make your decision easier, and that's what your insurance adviser is there for! Anything is possible when you have access to many insurance companies and markets, you want to make sure that you have all the information to make an informed decision on your next purchase. Don't forget the insurance!

Oh, and the color?  Well, check this with your personal advisor first, but in experience,  we have yet to see an insurance application that asks for color, so be happy, and get the one you love!

 So, are you ready for your new car? What have your experiences been?


Related Posts:
Why did my car insurance increase this year? How can I save money?
The Deductible - Saving Money on Insurance
Is being with the wrong insurance company costing you money? Find out what companies will give you for free.
Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 in Montreal, We Love Fast Cars.
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Who do you represent? What's the Value in a Broker vs. Direct Insurer

Most people don't think too much about insurance. Overall, what we care about as people is saving money, living hassle free, enjoying life - and insurance? Well, let's just say insurance is not one of our favorite topics.

At Ogilvy & Ogilvy, we are brokers. We are not the insurance company.

When you deal with insurance, or an online quoting service, you should always find out - are you dealing with a broker, or is the person you are speaking to an employee of the insurance company? You can ask the person you deal with: "Who do you represent?"  Its an excellent question.

Most people don't think too much about insurance to even care what the difference is. However the difference is quite important. Brokers are people, they are your representatives and one of the key attributes, that we look for , in our brokers is that they're people who truly care. People who have bills just like you, who are empathetic and whose primary goal is to help you deal with insurance companies.

The whole idea that an insurance company is hard to deal with as an individual, the feeling that we all share as humans is that insurance companies are just big machines looking for profit. That is  the basis of why brokers have jobs: Our job  is to navigate the waters with you, to work with you so that when you deal with insurance , you have a friend on your side.

Your counsel, your representative, your defendor, your negotiator -

Thats who we are: Your broker.

I am introducing a series of videos about people - real people, real insurance stories, and how we as brokers come into that picture.

Pleased to share my first video with you, The Car Accident, by Chantale.


Hope you enjoy getting to know us better, and that you share your insurance stories with us  because as brokers, what we care about is also saving you money, living hassle free, enjoying life - and making sure you get the most out of your insurance.


Join the discussion below!


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Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 in Montreal, We Love Fast Cars.

Grand Prix Montreal 2011 Formula 1

In Montreal, we love life and we love adventure so it is only natural that we love fast cars.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix is a tradition here marking 72 hours of fun . Could not have been a nicer day for the first day qualifiers, sunny and cool - perfect for the event!

Montreal Canadian Grand Prix
So you love fast cars? Then this weekend, Montreal is the place to be! Besides the Gilles Villeneuve track itself and the race, there are lots of festivities in the city - most popular is the  Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival where you can see the cars first hand and close up while enjoying many of the city's clubs and restaurants. As best stated by BRAD SPURGEON in his write up in the  New York Times :

  "Few other host cities enjoy a love affair like the one between Montreal and the Formula One teams. And no other city celebrates the race weekend away from the track with as much enthusiasm as Montreal."

Modified Cars for Speed and Racing

Grand Prix weekend in Montreal is the perfect chance to see the cars of some of our dreams! It is easy to start envisioning oneself in a car like this! A few modifications, and you are set to go...right?

Modified cars are big in Montreal, we love to import special models, or boost them up. Fortunately we have tracks in the outskirts of the city where we can also practice in certain racing clubs. One thing that we forget however is that auto insurance policies have limitations on modified vehicles. believe it or not, in the event of a claim, even with an upgraded stereo, you may find yourself out of pocket since the added modifications may not be automatically covered. In many cases they are not covered and this can even effect the overall coverage on the car - modifications can nullify a policy if you haven't advised your insurer.

So, what can you do?

Continue reading "Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 in Montreal, We Love Fast Cars." »