A Passion For Collector Cars and Insuring Them with Trent Abbott of Hagerty Insurance Company
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In this episode, Kurt Thoennessen talks with VP of Global Private Client Business Development for Hagerty Insurance Company, Trent Abbott. The conversation delves in the mindset of car collectors, shares details about some of the world’s most amazing collector car events and collections, covers the different situations car collectors are faced with, and of course discusses insurance issues that car collectors may experience. We explore the breadth of products that Hagerty offers and the value added services they are offering from their collector car valuation tool to the social events they are sponsoring to bring collectors together. If you are looking to get into the mind of a car collector and understand collector cars as an asset class then this episode will give you the knowledge you seek. It will also help you better understand many of the insurance issues that car collectors face when building their collections.
Trent Abbott, Kurt Thoennessen
Kurt Thoennessen 00:02
There are more wealthy people today than ever before in the history of the world. The risks they are exposed to through the assets they acquire and their unique lifestyles are significant. The bigger the asset, the bigger the potential loss. The bigger the potential loss, the more complicated the mechanisms for protecting those assets becomes. This show seeks to uncover the risks that successful people face. So we can provide some guidance towards minimizing, mitigating and transferring them. From Coverage contracts and carriers to client experience, technology and claims, we will cover it all. Whether you’re an agent looking to hone your skills or someone with significant wealth to protect. I hope this show becomes a valuable resource you can come to rely on to help you protect yourself, your family, and your clients. Hello, and welcome to the private client risk and resilience podcast. My name is Kurt Thoennessen. And in this show, we will talk about all things insurance and risk management for private clients who own high value assets and have extraordinary lifestyles. In addition to being the host of this amazing show, I am also a personal insurance advisor at Ericson insurance advisors, and have been for the last 16 years. I am also the founder and CEO of RiskRevu a technology platform that provides agents with a library of smartforms they can use to gather information from clients, prospects and others. So in today’s show I’m super excited about today because we have an amazing guest. His name is Trent Abbott. He works at Hagerty, insurance company. And we’re going to talk about Hagerty. We’re going to talk about insurance and we’re going to talk about collector cars. And one thing about this particular episode that I really enjoyed was the research leading up to it. Yesterday, I spent about two hours just digging into collector cars. And as some of you may know, once you start doing that, the pictures that show up are just astounding. I started with some of the the Concours d’Elegance websites like Pebble Beach as we may talk about. And you can see some of these amazing vehicles, the artistry that goes into the design. And you get into Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, all of these iconic names. And instead of doing research and actually reading things that I should have been doing, I found that I found myself staring at these pictures for several minutes at a time. Not a bad thing. So anyway, let’s get started. And let’s talk about collector cars. But before we do that, let’s get to know you, Trent, why don’t you give us a little history on you and tell us about who you are and what you do.
Trent Abbott 03:07
Awesome. Kurt, it’s great to be on your podcast, I’ve been looking forward to this for some time since we first met, I think we’ll have a fun conversation, talking about the thing that I love most, which is collector cars. And I can’t even believe I’m going to say it but secondarily collector car insurance. So I’m really looking forward to this today. I’ll bore you guys to death with a brief background on myself and how I got to this post. But let’s start out with with what it is that I do here and who I am. So again, I’m Trent Abbott, I am the Vice President of Global Development for our Private Client Group which keeps me very busy traveling all over North America and into Europe, working with our largest collectors and their advisors. And so my job as you can imagine, is this terrible thing of going and looking at collections and going to wonderful garden parties all over the world to once again go look at great collector cars. You know, the bad days are the days I actually have to drive the cars on you know, 1000 mile vintage rallies or something like that. So it’s really a great gig, blessed to be here blessed to work for a company that works in this space, and is really defining the space as it as it stands today. So a little bit about me I have a I have a background in finance. So 22 years of, of investments working especially in the fixed income arena and the bond trading and bond selling world for for a couple of different companies and for myself the last several and in those years of working as a financial advisor and working with these high net worth clients. I Made a decision during the Great Recession of 2008 to help a couple of clients build some car collections as kind of an alternative asset class, I wasn’t charging anybody to do it. But it was it was a great opportunity to go learn about something new, something that I had a passion about. And through those years of building out these great multimillion dollar collections of cars, my network grew with it. And I woke up one morning about three years ago and decided that it’s time to turn that passion into into my vocation. And three years later with Hagerty, and obviously, that network has grown and has blossomed, and has put me in the chair I’m in today. And it really is great. It’s a great company to work for, we’ve got a lot of really exciting things going on that are not just insurance that we can touch on later. But I’m excited to be here.
Kurt Thoennessen 05:51
Well, I’m very excited to have you here. And what a great story, Trent, I love the fact that you decided to help some clients build their collections, and that passion turned into your, your vocation, your career. So really, really exciting. And one thing you said at the beginning, that I just want to touch on was, you know, we can bore you with insurance, or you said you could bore me with your your your career, which by the way is definitely not boring. But you know, insurance can be boring, but I think you and I are both on the same page, where insurance gets us going every morning, you know, it’s something that we’re just super passionate about, just like we are with cars or you are with cars, it’s something that you’re constantly thinking about and constantly trying to figure out how to protect our clients, most valued possessions. And wow, I mean, to think about the collections that you’ve seen in the US and Europe, through this, through, you know, your work helping build those collections. And then now in your in your career here got to be some amazing things that you’ve seen. I mean, what’s one of the largest, most valuable collections, let’s start with that thought,
Trent Abbott 07:07
you know, let’s let’s do this, let’s kind of talk about trenches, right, there’s the various Summit, going back to Melbourne days, but there’s there’s various levels, right. And there’s the beauty of the collector car space is as a car person, you go to an event, and if you’re a person that has one Corvette in the garage, and you love your one Corvette, and you show up at a at a Concord elegance with somebody that has, you know, $200 million worth of cars, it is so interesting to watch people move in and out of the ecosystem of that collector car space. Egos tend to get tossed aside in this world. And it’s it’s one of the few places that you really get to see that a car person is simply a car person is simply a car person, and to watch the folks that could be completely elitist with what they have and what they might be showing. And they’re not they actually care about what other people have brought to the show it doesn’t matter, wealth, or status or anything else. You’re kind of in this together, right. And, you know, growing up, I was always kind of a closet, car person that was in my town cars weren’t a big thing. So, you know, I did everything else for hobbies that I could. But eventually, as time went on, I was able to kind of pursue that more. And I think that there’s a lot of people out there like me, in that arena. So to answer your question, various various degrees of great collections, right? So I’ve seen some incredible single car collections of a person that, you know, has the car of their great grandfather, and it was, you know, a Tucker and it’s the only card they have, and they made 48 of them. This is one of very few left. And it’s a very significant car and it might be worth it might be worth $500,000 It might be worth a million. I know of collections that are worth upwards of a billion dollars in just cars. And everything in between. I think probably the most significant collection that I’ve seen out there, it’s not this huge, multiple 100 car collection, but it’s, you know, somewhere between 10 and 17 cars and it’s worth $120 million. But they’ve curated it down to know exactly what they’re wanting cars with history with race history that, you know, it’s fun to see how people progress through the hobby, how they take different tact, how they use the vehicles, are they static display, do they get driven? We get to see it all. And to your point with insurance. We get to figure out like it’s the great jigsaw puzzle we get to be the folks that are providing solutions and how to best cover everybody’s assets from I’m a nerd and I love it.
Trent Abbott 11:59
there’s an event Kurt speaking to that there’s an event in the UK every year called London to Brighton. It’s a rally. So it’s not that people aren’t out racing. But I believe the cut off year so the most modern car that you can drive from London to Brighton UK, which I think is like, I I’d have to check but it’s like 20 miles it’s seems almost nonsensical in today’s world, like the most modern car you can have is like 1960. So these people get in these, these cars, and they’re dressed from the period. And it takes them entire day to make this you know, 1020 mile run with these vehicles. Half of the time people get out and have to push the cars up the hills and people love this stuff. So yeah, to very much like these wonderfully beautifully restored cars from the turn of the century. And all the way up to modern greatness today. It’s something for everybody.
Trent Abbott 13:03
Yeah, it’s a rally. So there are rallies all over the world, and lots of them here in the US as well that people will actually take their cars out. I do it with with my stuff regularly. And there tend to be 1000 mile drives through places like Colorado or Arizona or Montana. And obviously, globally, lots of stuff in Switzerland, lots things in France and Italy. And people actually take these great cars out, and they use them. So imagine for a second if you’ve got a $75 million Ferrari GTO and taking it on the GTO rally in Europe, through the Swiss Alps, you want to make sure that sucker is insured. And you want to make sure that who’s insuring it is insuring it correctly. It’s one thing to have liability on the roads, it’s a whole nother thing. If you smack up your $75 million car, you want to make sure you have professionals behind it. So we get to see, we get to see a little bit of everything. It’s pretty cool.
Kurt Thoennessen 14:11
It’s very cool. And with these, you know, there’s one and you talking about the London Brighton rally, there’s rallies all over the world. So some collectors will actually transport their cars to these locations. You know, if their collection is located in in the US, they’ll transport them to London and vice versa. And there’s companies that specialize in this. And there’s coverage that is specifically designed for that type of situation. Hagerty has international coverage. Can you talk a little bit about how that will help protect the collection for someone who’s doing that transporting cars?
Trent Abbott 14:54
Absolutely. Yeah, this is so for our high net worth clients. I know that that’s really your honor. Ian’s here today is folks working in that space and don’t want to just make this a giant commercial, but I will if you allow me kidding. We have an endorsement in the policy for our private clients that is literally global physical damage. So it doesn’t matter if you’re shipping a car from Omaha, Nebraska to Pebble Beach for the Concorde, the car is covered through the entire process. Soup to nuts from your storage facility in Omaha on the transporter. And then on the ground, that Pebble Beach, your cars covered for physical damage. We will do that globally. Other than any trade sanctions States and Mexico. But otherwise, globally, we’ve got the cars covered. That includes ocean freight air freight, the whole gambit.
Kurt Thoennessen 15:59
Right. So no matter how they’re transporting it, yep. Yep.
Trent Abbott 16:02
And that’s just baked into the policy. Automatic. Automatic. Not everybody does that. Yep.
Kurt Thoennessen 16:09
And part of that is also the guaranteed value this is interesting. Hagerty has a coverage called guaranteed value, which it’s called different things. On different auto policies. There’s agreed value stated value, actual cash value. But Hagerty has a really kind of interesting tweak and change to that that coverage that I was reading up on. Do you want to talk a little bit about that and how that applies.
Trent Abbott 16:35
I’d be delighted. So we’ve got some, we’ve got some great coverages out there for these high net worth clients and their collections. We have this the coverage guaranteed value. So as a Hagerty client right out of the chute if your private client or not, you have an agreed upon value agreed upon policy with us. So ultimately, you get a car insured with us, we’re gonna have a discussion on the valuation of that car. And ultimately, whatever number we come up with together will be what what we insure that car for. So in the in the event of a total loss, that number is what you’d get paid out. We have a little tweak on that Hagerty, knowing that the collector car market is more than a static number. And we’ve seen tremendous gains at various times in this market. And in this hobby, we will pay up to 150% of that agreed upon value of the vehicle in the case of a total loss. For example, for easy math, let’s say that you have a million dollar car. And the market has moved since since we’ve last looked at the policy and made any changes on it from a million dollars on your car. And it’s now 1,300,000. stated value on your policy still shows a million, the markets got it at $1,300,000 if the car gets totaled, we’re going to pay you out up to 150% of the agreed upon value of that vehicle. So in this case, million dollar car now $1,300,000 We pay out the client 1,300,000. Which is huge. Not everybody’s doing that. I’ll throw a kicker on it. In the event of a total loss, not only do you get your 100 and up 150% value of the vehicle, we also give you your salvage. So it’s not something that the client needs to go buy back. So if you can imagine if you’ve got if you’ve got your dad’s for example, Corvette that is a very significant drag car. And everybody knows this vehicle, and the car gets totaled, and we rebuild it like to have that salvage come back to you. It was your dad’s car, it’s a significant car, it checks all these boxes for these collectors that, you know, they don’t have the hassle of actually having to go purchase the car back post salvage, and they’re getting paid full value in what the vehicle is. So it’s no small thing.
Kurt Thoennessen 19:13
No, definitely not. And it really shows an understanding of who the client is. And what’s really important. Yes, it’s and I’ve had that situation happen, where the client wants to keep the car but because of state law or whatever the case is the carrier has to take the car, and there’s no way nothing that the client can do unless they just want to withdraw the claim. So but that’s very interesting. And I was looking on the Hagerty website related to this coverage of guaranteed value. You have something called a market indicator, which I read that you use the data that Hagerty collects through their insurance business to really get a better understanding of what the market looks like on a daily basis and you You’ve created these indices that allow you to track the values of different categories of cars, which is super awesome. It’s, and I think it probably goes right to your training in the securities industry, right? Because you’re, you’re looking, okay, you know, exotics, you know, the index, the index for the exotics is, you know, a steep curve lately, and the index for the antiques is that it looks like this, and so on. So, maybe we could talk a little bit about how that those that data is helping drive better customer experiences, better coverage, better protection for these clients, because, you know, what I foresee are happening with that is potentially an underwriter using that data to say, oh, my gosh, this Bugatti, you know, when we first insured it 10 years ago was that, you know, 1,500,000, but the market for Bugatti is, and this particular car has gone through the roof. And so we should get a new appraisal, because 150% Ain’t gonna cut it.
Trent Abbott 21:03
Yeah, imagine right. Like, this is a great idea by a McKeel Hagerty to really lock down that space of valuation. Right. So we, we literally write the book on collector car valuations, there’s a there’s a physical book. So any, any advisors or brokers out there listening, if you guys need one, let us know we’ll get but it’s a it’s a fluid thing to your point you we have indexes we’re doing we’re tracking and all sorts of different ways. And what’s the power of that, Kurt? So the power of that to your point is as a as a new client or member coming in to Hagerty, through your advisor broker. All of a sudden, we’re making you guys the expert to you have that data at your fingertips to have that conversation with the client and say, Listen, this is the tools that we have available to us making us experts as well through whether you know anything about electric cars or not, you at least have the tools to go in and help make decisions on behalf of the client with the client to the value of their vehicle. That’s massive. That’s probably the most obvious thing to me is to where that that power lies. To that end, to be able to go through and have those reviews with your clients on an annual basis knowing that the tools are out there, you’re providing such a great service for them. Right? Nobody else is out there doing this. But you can really makes it a sticky relationship with the client, it’s a very easy stick point to them. Let’s talk about things that we wouldn’t necessarily think of right off the chute. As as insurance professionals. What happens when you have a client that comes to you and says, Hey, you know, I’m, I’m thinking about buying a 289 Cobra, but I don’t know what to spend on it. Can they come to you now as the valuation expert, making that client once again, trusted advisor relationship, you can look in the books or you can call your contact at Hagerty to be able to help drive that decision. I mean, that’s pretty cool. We get calls on the regular from clients saying, hey, what’s the data? What’s what’s going on with the Porsche GT 3 market? Can you give us just a snapshot of what you’re seeing out there? What should I be spending? We send our valuation team out all over the world to have conversations with car clubs, with professional organizations in the insurance world, just talking about overarching what’s going on in the market. So yeah, kudos to McKeel for understanding that early, especially if you’re going to be in the business of agreed upon value insurance, we should, we shouldn’t be the leader in that we should understand it.
Kurt Thoennessen 23:55
Right. And but you’re right, in that it really gives the agent to brokers who want to be the trusted adviser for their clients and all aspects of risk and asset protection, it gives them the tool that they need to to provide that value added service to their client. And it reminds me of another company that is fairly new, I’ll just give them a plug because it’s just on my mind. It’s called wonder AI and they do a similar valuation in the art market where you can put in the name of an artist and it shows the artists trajectory based on their shows. And based on where they’ve showed in and what galleries, which museums and so on, and the provenance of the artists and so for me as the advisor it is a very similar tool, I can go to that tool plug in the name of an artist and it tells me various data points just like this Hagerty tool is doing for us on the car, the collector car side and for clients who are avid collectors or are just maybe they don’t know a lot about it. It’s extremely helpful. And for them to, it’s kind of like a wow experience to customer experience, you know, and in our business and at Ericson insurance, one of the things that we constantly talk about is how are we wowing our customers. And this is one way they don’t expect us to give that kind of information. They expect us to say, here’s what the cost of classic car policy is, it’s $300 for this car and these coverages, and that’s what it is, versus here’s the policy, and here’s our advice on the valuation based on this data, you know, it really takes it to absolute better level.
Trent Abbott 25:38
Kurt Thoennessen 25:39
Which is extremely important. And especially in the high net worth segment. This is what you need to be doing. You can’t just be transacting policies for these clients. There is an expectation of advice.
Trent Abbott 25:54
you are the trusted adviser. Right? Like that’s, that’s your job. That’s, that’s why you’re working in the space you are and it’s yeah, it’s they want more those clients want more. It’s the cheesiest line ever, but I wouldn’t be doing my friend Kevin Vezina Annie, if I didn’t, if I didn’t lay this one out. For me. He’s one of our one of my co workers here at Hagerty. And the line stuck with me. So here we go. Easiest way into the house is through the garage. If you can get the person’s cars, car collection, couple of cars, whatever it is, if they’re going to trust you with that they tend to trust you with a lot of other things. And for as cheesy as that line is, boy, I found that it’s true. It rings true over and over and over again. It’s interesting, what qualifies as a collector car today, right, like, What are we working with in Hagerty, I think people for a long time have had the misconception that all we do is work on old cards, right? Like stuff behind me 60s 70s 40s 20s 10s. We’re also taking on new cars. So folks that go out and buy a brand new Corvette today, as long as it’s not their daily driver, we’re excited to talk to him about it. We understand what their usage is going to look like we understand that it’s the it’s the kind of the baby of the household. And we want to insure that too. So it’s not just Hagerty is not just in the business of insuring vintage collector cars. We’re also dealing with, you know, modern high performance stuff. Those are collectors, they’re collectible vehicles long term. We know that they’re not a daily use vehicle in most cases. So yeah, it’s it’s really exciting. The direction we’ve come you know, when I first started working and I am a Hagerty client myself for jeez, I suppose 14 years now 13 years. And when I first started working with aggregator a different company than they are today there was, you know, some mileage limits to how much you know, they want you to be driving and usage limits, for goodness sakes, don’t drive it to the office. And those have all kind of gone out the window now. Expectations the clients not gonna drive the car more than like 5000 miles a year and we know the clientele well enough to know that that’s probably not going to happen. So that’s okay. But the world of collector car insurance is changing it’s changing with the times is changing as to what it is. various generations are collecting different things and we’re trying to connect with all of them. It’s it’s a fun time to be here to watch this, to watch this part of the insurance will really blossoming at a at a time that the automobile is so popular again right now, like horsepower wars are going on again. And now the advent of the electric car that you know, it’s fun, you know, we’re actually insuring Tesla’s today. Like, who would have thought Hagerty would be any collector car insurance company to be taken on a Tesla? Well, it’s a collectible vehicle depending on what it is.
Kurt Thoennessen 29:01
Right? Yeah, interesting standard website there. And I believe consumers can actually get a quote through the website as well. But there’s a really neat tool where you can kind of go through and see the different classes of vehicle and you go anywhere from antique, to collector to motorcycles and scooters, to antique boats, the exotics you mentioned, there’s International, you know, travel insurance, business insurance, truck, you know, anti trucks. So, there there was a lot more there than I had known about. So it was very, very good to know the breadth of services. But also interesting to note that coverages have changed dramatically. You know, where there used to be mileage restrictions and some carriers still do that, you know, where he, you know, there’s mileage restrictions. But Hagerty has changed that. And you mentioned that the way that people are using their cars is different, too. And I noticed there’s something called Drive share on your site, which we’ll talk about. But, you know, this whole sharing economy is not skipped over the collector car vehicle. Segment. And so people who own very, very nice cars, million dollar plus cars Lamborghinis, Acura RS X, they’re renting them to others, you know, for a day for two days for a week, and I looked on the site, you know, as part of the research here, and to rent a Ferrari could cost you $1,800 a day, you know, which is like, you know, and then they have anything got down to 1972 Chevrolet stationwagon, you know, which, surprisingly, is not cheap. It was like $400 a day. So, you know, people are doing different things with their cars today. And the insurance industry needs this to keep up with that.
Trent Abbott 31:00
Yeah, it’s, as we, as I mentioned early on in the in our conversation here that we’re doing so much at Hagerty, beyond the scope of insurance, to your point, Drive Share, like, what a great idea that was there’s there’s a whole lot of people that might not be in the hobby, per se, with a car, but love the hobby. Like you look at how many television shows there are that surround the collector car hobby today, I can promise your minutes watching those are not necessarily owners of a fun car or a collector car. So we’re trying to engage with all of those folks, too. We have, you know, we have the Hagerty drivers club, that you don’t necessarily have to be a Hagerty insured to be part of it. You can you can come and be part of what we’re doing. Without an insurance policy. We have a magazine roadside assistance and you know, partners that we get discounts and, you know, places to engage in the hobby that various you know, concours or tracks across the country on a day in and day basis. We’ve got, you know, Hagerty, garage and social locations popping up all over the world. We’re currently throughout North America right now and Hagerty, garage and social the social aspect of it to me is very interesting. But imagine having a facility in in Chicago, where you can park your your fun vehicle, your collector vehicle for a monthly fee, and they’ve got everything available to you inside there. They detail the vehicle they can get you set up for, for appointments for for mechanical issues. But beyond that, it’s a social setting. So they’ve got a clubhouse, that our membership can go use, spend time engaged with other folks in the hobby, we host all sorts of insurance professionals of these, it’s a great place to come out and spend time to be around the cars to learn more about us. We’ve got another new business that’s that we’re affiliated with. Now it’s brought around group auctions. So another high end auction companies that are getting ready to have their first auction coming up in about a week and a half in Monterey. During Pebble Beach, we will be selling I think 93 cars, beautiful stuff, all sorts of vehicles, you know very much high end private client level auction that will be happening, that we’re a partner with them. So seeing how we’re engaging it that it’s so many different levels right now. It’s it’s easy for us to to help you guys win business, it’s easy for us to help you stay sticky with your client, if we’re out there engaging on your behalf and all of these various levels. What a great, what a great symbiotic relation for all of us.
Kurt Thoennessen 34:05
Absolutely. And I think the fact that you’re building this culture, you know, and really supporting the car culture across the world. And you’re doing it in a really meaningful way, in a way that a lot of people are starting to engage with it like you said, you have that the garage program you know where people can log into your website and build their own profile and set up their own garage add, you know, cars that they like and so on, even if they’re not a member or a policyholder. So you’re really welcoming in that respect, which is great. And this the social aspect. You mentioned that. I actually went to a social event with Hagerty it was at a car car condo, which I had no idea what this was, but it was as part of the private risk management Association’s annual summit where they invited us over to you know, one of the owners had a car condo nearby where the where the summit was. And he invited us to, you know, the group to come and see the cars and hang out in his condo and, and just, you know, have a drink or two, you know, for a while around these amazing vehicles. And it was such a cool setting. So much fun. You know, we were just talking and, and the owner was there. And he just loved talking about each one of the cars. It was just very cool. And then and so these car condos, you know, I’ve seen they’re popping up all over the place. I think the name of the company was iron gate. You know, and it’s basically it could be like a fully operational home residence. They’re calling it you know, the man or the woman cave of today. And, you know, you can have a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and then you have all your cars there. So it was it was really neat experience. And you know, yet another insurance issue that risk managers have to think about is, you know, if you’re insuring the collection, and you find out that it’s in a car condo, how are you insuring the car condo? You bet. How does Hagerty get into car condo insurance?
Trent Abbott 36:10
No, that’s that’s not that’s not our space, you know, we do have a commercial line. But as far as individual condos go, no. So like my, my building here that I’m sitting in, you know, we collect, we handle the contents. So we’ll handle not only the cars, we’ll handle tools, we’ll handle all this, like automobilia, signs, pictures, gas pumps, like all that kind of stuff. We’ll handle contents, but we’re not doing the physical structure.
Kurt Thoennessen 36:39
Well, and that one of the other things I wanted to talk briefly about was construction and renovation. Because one of the things that we’re seeing a lot with our clients is that they are renovating their cars, you know, if they’ve owned them for a while they’re doing a renovation, or they’re getting the shell of a car and just reconstructing it from from nothing about. And, you know, oftentimes you might come across a situation where a carrier might not be willing to do that, to cover a car while it’s under renovation. but Hagerty handles that.
Trent Abbott 37:15
You bet. Absolutely.
Kurt Thoennessen 37:16
Can we talk a bit about that?
Trent Abbott 37:19
Yeah, and I think that’ll lead us into one more part of the conversation I’d like to touch on through part of my commercial today. But yeah, it Hagerty we understand that. Listen, if you got a car and pieces, we still view it as a car, it’s still it’s still an asset, it’s still it’s something that will become and there’s value to it, there’s true intrinsic value to that heap of steel and rubber in the corner that doesn’t move, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t run. So we will help assign value to that. We will also insure that vehicle through the various stages of restoration along the way. So if you start out with a with a pile in the corner that’s worth $100,000. And as time is marching on, we need to help keep those values climbing. As we get to the restoration project, we will do that with the client. We have a program with with Singer Porsche, there’s a company that makes these incredible restored Porsche 911s out on the West Coast. And they start out with a shell of a car. It’s a 90s car and they make it look by your car from the 70s. But that’s a whole nother thing. But they’re these beautiful pieces of art when they’re when they’re done. But you start out with a car that’s probably a $75,000 vehicle. And as singer is doing work to the vehicle, they’re reporting back to us. And the whole time through. We’re increasing the value of that car on the policy until it’s done. And, again, who doesn’t? Who doesn’t love that thought to know that your car is being managed by the risk advisor all the way through? No questions, no hassle. And when the car is done, like, again, it’s such a sticky moment for for the advisor and the client that you’re solving solutions they didn’t even know they had a problem with.
Kurt Thoennessen 39:23
I was reading an article on your site and they talked about one of those renovations and they said throughout the renovation and at the end of the renovation, the restoration shop took over 20,000 pictures, you know, throughout the entire process. And so I can imagine that, you know, if Hagerty has that relationship with the restoration shop and they’re getting those pictures along the way to see the progress to understand you know, how much value is there? You know, not only is that helpful to Hagerty, but also Peace of mind for the client, you know, for them knowing, you know what’s going on with their car, what it looks like, you know, almost on a daily basis at that point, you know, depending on the value of the vehicle,
Trent Abbott 40:11
We’re nuts like all of us in this hobby. We’re crazy. Like 20,000 pictures. That’s perfect. Just the right amount. It would drive me nuts. But oh my goodness. Yeah. So many people, right. Yeah. So anyway, go on for serious. Yeah. So anyway, I, as far as the insurance goes, we can talk about whatever you want. And if this isn’t, if you don’t want to whatever. But I think one of the places that Hagerty really shines, again, we’re we’re talking about, we’re talking about single line insurance company here. And experts in valuation. We’re around these people all the time. We understand the hobby, we have these events, we own our own events. So we’re seeing your clients, we’re doing all this great stuff. But we missed one critical thing in our conversation so far. It’s claims. Hagerty’s customer experience goes up, like, like our clients love us more in a cold situation, post claim. So our clients get more attached to us, by and large after they’ve had a claim experience. Think about that. Why is it so different here? Well, this is all we do. So we know it cold, we generally know all of the greatest restores in the world, right? And we only use claim adjusters that do this. They only work in this space. So imagine, right? Your pride and joy that sits in the garage of Porsches had the ceiling collapse on it. And you don’t just get some, some tom dick and Jane that shows up to look at your car and make a valuation on it. Or bring in market experts to work on that. Then we allow the client to choose where they want to send the car, if they want to do the work themselves we will pay. If they want to choose a shop, we’re happy to work with it. If they need a recommendation, we’ll help them find someplace. If it’s a very significant car that was restored in the UK, and it lives in the US. And the client says it needs to go back to the UK. By golly, we send it back to the UK. It’s probably my favorite story to tell about Hagerty is how great we are on the claims handling side of that relationship. It’s it’s where we it’s where we stand head and shoulders above anybody else in my opinion.
Kurt Thoennessen 42:49
Yeah, absolutely. And such an important thing. Thank you for bringing it up. I was going to talk talk about that as well. But yeah, you know, such an important aspect of the claim of the insurance experience for clients, and to know that the customer satisfaction increases after a claim. You know, that’s, that’s a testament to all all of the components that you’ve put that you spoke about. And I can tell you, having adjusters who are trained in this specific line of business, and a specific niche that you’re dealing with, is extremely helpful, especially when you’re dealing with high net worth clients with cars that are worth hundreds of 1000s if not millions of dollars. You need to have that expertise. When you’re talking about a McLaren when you’re talking about a Porsche, it’s not just a car, it’s an automobile. You know, it’s the way you speak about it. And it’s also, you know, original manufactured parts, you know, and being able to source. I mean, I can’t imagine what COVID did to the business and with the supply chain delays, you know, for for collector car parts. I mean, I can imagine the impact was significant. But, you know, with the relationships that Hagerty has built, you guys were probably ahead of the game.
Trent Abbott 44:06
Well, ahead might be tough with COVID. But Kurt, you’re right on like unprecedented times coming out of COVID. You’ve seen it all over the place and in all of your insurance lines. And we’re no different being able to get tires being able to get rubber parts being able to get any parts. Very difficult post COVID. It gets really interesting though, when we start working with like one off manufacturers like we talked about a Tucker earlier. We’re trying to source parts from Tucker, where they made 48 of them, again, to have the depth and breadth of knowledge that that we’ve been able to create your integrity through the years till people source parts one off parts. It’s another shining example of of what McKeel has built here and then the networks that I have grown off of this business over the last 30 years. It’s really, really interesting, something that very few people have access to.
Kurt Thoennessen 45:08
No, absolutely. Well, the whole story in the niche business, the classic car business, you know, is such a fascinating area. And I like what your friend said, even though it’s cheesy, it’s like the way to someone’s heart is through their garage. I’m paraphrasing, but I understand it. It’s like you insure their classic cars, you can get everything else. And, and I know a fellow agent who has done that, and that and she’s made it her business. And she’s done quite an amazing job with it, in building her business around the classic car space. I know another agent who has a classic car, and she shows it all over the country. And she has an insurance company as the sponsor of the car. And so she’s made that passion, just part of the business. So you know, just really, really interesting. Well, you know, as we wrap up this conversation, because this has been awesome. I did want to ask you, because you did mention in a previous conversation, you’re going to Pebble Beach, Concours d’Elegance coming up on August 21. You know, what’s that, like? I’ve never been, I seen the videos. There’s like 200 cars there on the 18th fairway. And it’s but I’m sure it’s nothing like anything else.
Trent Abbott 46:27
It is, it is. The event world for for collector cars is really spectacular. You have a lot of just wonderful people. And it’s, you know, it’s kind of old home week. You give them some of these events. And there’s always new people showing up. The collector car hobby is robust. We’re seeing new people all the time. But there’s been people involved in all of these for, you know, long, long term so. So for those of us that have been in the hobby for a minute, it’s kind of old home week. But I’ll tell you this, there’s a handful of concours every year that are really very significant. We’ve got Amelia Island which Hagerty happens to own so you ever, ever want to take a look Amelia Island in Florida and March. It’s one of the top concourse in the country. You know Greenwich concor on the East Coast, same thing. Hagerty, we currently own that. And it’s it’s beautiful. It’s a big garden party. Right. But then there’s Pebble Beach, and everything else is fantastic. And they’re wonderful condors and they give Pebble Beach a nice run for their money. But well, beach has been around forever. Like they’ve been doing this a long time. And it’s everybody kind of considers it the Super Bowl of the collector car hobby. So what’s it like? You’ll see people show up for Sunday’s concore on the lawn, bring their picnic baskets, bring the blanket to go sit and watch cars roll by. We had Hagerty all of us gluttons for punishment, which we adore so much. We have a little thing called dawn patrol. And we get out onto the 18th fairway at the EARLY, I think that’s the north end of the fairway and we sit around in the dark and we’ve got this, you know, this, this cart set up with doughnuts and coffee. And we invite anybody who wants to show up that’s crazy enough to stand out there with us to go huddle under this lamp of light and eat donuts and drink coffee. And then we give everybody a hat that signifies that they’ve been there since five. And now why in the world would people stand out in the dark in the wet grass do all this stuff five, because the cars roll in. So all the cars are going to be shown that day come out of the mist because it’s always heavy with mist in the morning at Pebble Beach right on the water. And these cars come cruising in and you can hear them. You can smell them you can see them and they go park out on the lawn to where they’re going to be destined to spend the rest of their day. The people that are there you have all types of women wearing the fascinator hats, you have men wearing suits and ties. everything in between. You’ve got the major manufacturers lining the fairway with their hospitality, tents. Food and Beverage and champagne going everywhere. It’s it’s a society event. And that’s just one event of the week. Like, I’ll be out there Monday to Monday, and all attend numerous events. It’s the main concore of the week. It’s the main concore of the year. But you’ve got the German car show. You’ve got the Italian car show. You’ve got Porsche having their thing. You’ve got the quail, which is another huge garden party full of I don’t know another 200 cars that aren’t bad. Oh, by the way, the race track at Laguna Seca is going on and it’s full of vintage race cars, some of the greatest vintage race cars. It’s anything that you could ever want to engage in I’m in the collector car hobby on a week. It’s, it’s a marathon. And with my build, it’s the only marathon I’m ever going to make it. So it is great. It’s a great time. And I would I would tell anybody that’s even even remotely interested in that space. To get a ticket to one of these major concourse go to Amelia, go to Detroit, go to Greenwich. Go to Pebble. Go engage with your clients. They’ll love it. If there’s one thing I know about a car collector. They love showing off if they’ve got to their people having a conversation about it. And yeah, go spend time with your spend time with your clients in a really meaningful way. And Hagerty on bikes should any hospitality we’ve got at the same time. So come play with us.
Kurt Thoennessen 50:45
It sounds awesome. Yeah. So that invitation is extended to whoever’s listening to this podcast, go to a place. Go say hi to Trent. That’s awesome. Such a great visual. And I did. I saw a couple of videos on YouTube of that parade of cars coming in. They didn’t show the mist, but they showed some amazing cars. And you know, one guy was just talking about the lines on these cars. And it’s just like, literally, you can see the line, you know, is that even if you’re not trained, I’m not trained. You look at those are beautiful lines. In an art. It’s hard. It’s rolling art. Yep. Yeah, it is amazing. And so as risk managers, it’s our job to help them protect those. And so Hagerty is obviously a an awesome company, awesome tool to have in your toolbox to help these people protect these cars. So, you know, this conversation has been awesome, you know, just just makes me dream, you know, you start talking about these cars, you start dreaming about cars. And we were talking about your cars before the recording and you know, talking about I have a Lego DeLorean behind me. And just, you know, cars have been such a meaningful part of history. And so I had one question that I thought I’d throw out at the end. Is there one car that you would say, had the most impact on your life? Like what what was the car in your life that had the most impact?
Trent Abbott 52:12
Alright, here it comes. I’ve got this. This one’s like in the can or you didn’t even ask me this before. So here it is. The first car I ever owned. Kurt was a 1977 International Harvester super Scout when I was in high school was just an old truck, right? Like it was just this old. Kind of like it compete. It was competition with the jeep. Right. So it had Canvas doors, canvas top and first car ever own. And we owned that vehicle through my parents company. It was something that they had gotten in a transaction. It was in one of the back buildings. Family was Case IH dealers. And I saw it back there was a eureka moment that was 14 years old. Now this the coolest thing ever. It’s a truck with cameras, doors, cameras stop. So I went and I asked my parents my Hey, can I have this? We just bought it with the they said well, sure, but you’re gonna have to pay it off over the next two years. Great. So worked for free for the business for a few years and, and ended up with this with this super Scout had to get a running. And that car was represented so much freedom, it was trust, it was trust from the parents that that was gonna work it off, right? It was trust to let me go out and drive this thing that didn’t look like anything else. My friends were driving, right? It was this freedom that I could I could drive that car, take the doors and top off it load a couple of buddies into it. Take Super Soaker squirt guns and go harass our friends, drive it to the lake, do whatever it might be right, so many great memories with, with that first car that I had. It just so happened to be that it’s uh, as far as old trucks are concerned, it’s kind of a special thing. And my old scout is long gone, it was my parents sold it when I went off to college, I could have murdered. But anyway, about five years ago, I found the twin to that vehicle it’s in much better shape than than the vehicle in my school. But nonetheless, it’s of all the of all the toys that I own. The cars that I have, most of these things are two seats and this old Scout, I could put my beautiful wife and my beautiful daughter in it. We’ve got good ice cream in that thing. And it’s a whole nother level of freedom in the collector car space to actually have something that you can that you can utilize with the whole family. And so yeah, if I had a car that’s been most significant to me, that’s probably it. Yeah,
Kurt Thoennessen 54:52
that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s awesome. And I’m not going to tell my entire story but I’ll just tell the car that had the biggest impact in my life was also my first car. And it was a I don’t even know the year but it was a Chevrolet station wagon with the wood panels. And the three, you know, the third row in the back that was facing backwards, you bet. And that was my first car drove the entire soccer team in there from high school down to the soccer field, after after school every day. Drove it through through snowstorms. And because it was front wheel drive, I actually did okay, you know, in snowstorms and skidding around and everything, I was able to control it a little bit. But that car drove across country to California, from Connecticut, from New Jersey, out to California, up to Seattle, and back in that car filled to the brim with my mountain bike my surfboard cardboard cutouts for the windows, so people couldn’t see in when I was sleeping. So yeah, I mean that’s awesome. Cars are such a significant part of our lives. And so, you know, as we, as we transition a little bit now we’re getting into electric vehicles, and we’re doing we’re doing so many different things in cars is a big part of our culture. You know, it’s going to be interesting to see how things change, but collector cars are always gonna be there. As you said, it’s it’s a passion. It’s a hobby. Well, Trent, this was awesome. I really enjoyed our conversation today. And I’m sure our audience did as well. you know, any final words you want to leave the leave our audience with or best way to contact you if they want to get in touch?
Trent Abbott 56:51
Yeah, truly were first and foremost, thank you for the invitation. This has been a lot of fun. The time that anytime I get to talk about you know, passionate things like this that we are. I think I would I would end with you know, again, I feel so lucky to to be living at the time we live in. It’s very interesting time if you’re if you’re a car person, a lot of changes afoot. But to your point. I don’t think that the passion for the collectible vehicles ever going to go away. We may change how we engage with it over time, but I don’t think it will ever, ever go away. Best way to get in touch with me. Email Tabbott@hagerty.com look forward to helping anybody we can. And yeah, if you get a chance, if you have clients with cars, have that conversation with them. I don’t care if they have one or many. But if they have a fun car in the garage, it’s something that we’ll take a look at. And it’s a great way for you to engage with your with your client. So with that I’ll bid you all a great day.
Kurt Thoennessen 58:06
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Trent. This has been an amazing conversation and an absolutely talk to clients about your cars. And if you’re a client or someone who needs classic car insurance, feel free to email me. I am licensed and appointed with Hagerty so I can certainly help you place a policy there. Thank you to everybody for listening to this episode today. And for tuning in. Really appreciate it. If you enjoyed the episode and you’re enjoying the show, please give us a like and better yet. Give us a review. Those things are gold. So really appreciate it. Thanks again for listening to private client risk and resilience. I look forward to chatting with you on the next episode. Have a great day everybody.
CEO of RiskRevu and Personal Risk Advisor at Ericson Insurance Advisors