Heritage Car Insurance is the classic car insurance branch of Norton Insurance Brokers. Norton Insurance was launched by founder, Chris Wilkinson, from his then home in Kings Norton, Birmingham. That was back in 1965.
We have been providing high quality car insurance, with a personal touch, for over 50 years.
We’re currently trusted by more than 28,000 customers.
Because we’re family-owned and run, we don’t follow the crowds or have shareholders to satisfy and don’t agree with hiking up our premiums year-on-year. We’ve been trust by more than 28,000 customers for over 50 years.
We have close relationships with a large panel of underwriters and have secured some exclusive schemes to provide you with extremely competitive and discounted rates.
We love classic cars just as much as you do
By day, you’ll find us at our desks, but come the evenings and weekends, you’ll find us lovingly restoring or out and about in our classic cars. In fact, our 1956 Austin LD van and Land Rover 110 can be seen at various events throughout the classic car season.
We’re always out and about at car club events. If you spot us, make sure you come and say ‘hello’, we’d love to hear your classic car stories. Now you’ve heard about us, what about you? Feel free to call us for your classic car insurance quote.
Chris Wilkinson, the senior partner of Heritage Car Insurance explains how the company was formed 50 years ago.
It’s been over 50 years since Chris Wilkinson decided to go it alone in the car insurance industry. As you can imagine there have been a lot of changes over the years.
Chris Wilkinson is the founder of Heritage Car Insurance and one thing is certain, he has seen it all. A classic car enthusiast through and through, he has combined his passion for cars with good business sense. Developing the skill and knowledge in the industry to succeed.
He recalls: “When I started working in insurance, I was a door-to-door salesman. From meeting people on a daily basis, it seemed the most common topic was car insurance and how people were dissatisfied with the general service provided.” This gave Chris his new direction; to meet the public’s demands and hence forth Norton Insurance was born.
Chris started from the ground up working from home initially. His office was also a classic car on occasion, a Healey Sprite. Busy at the roadside when it suited arranging meetings on the dashboard of his roadster, Chris worked all hours to setup Norton Insurance.
He, as you would expect, has owned many classic cars over the years. Chris explains: “My first car was an Austin A40 Devon, which wasn’t so much a classic back then. Soon after I purchased a Triumph Roadster for just £75. This was an absolute bargain at the time, although I very often had to start it manually with a seven foot starter handle, which was not for the faint hearted! Sadly the roadster was written off by a maniac driving an Austin A35!” Chris was of course insured at the time and even got his £75 back.
The father and son team behind Heritage Classic Car Insurance, one of the most established independent classic car insurance companies, marked the milestone by posing next to a 1960s era Jaguar XK150 owned by Chris.
The business, which was founded by Chris in 1965 and was initially operated jointly from his family home in Kings Norton and his Austin-Healey Sprite, now insures more than 36,000 vehicles for 28,000 classic car enthusiasts.
Speaking about the milestone, Chris said: When I first started the business I didnt expect we would be insuring tens of thousands of classics 50 years on. Im pleased to say that weve remained a family-run independent business, meaning we can offer a bespoke service to our clients.
With my son Mark entering the business in 2002 and becoming managing partner in 2014, weve been able to push the business forward and are the only classic car insurer to offer a client managed service as standard, meaning customers have only one point of call for all their insurance needs.
As well as Chriss own collection, Heritage Classic Car Insurance also owns a 1964 Austin LD van and a 1989 Land Rover 110 which can be seen at various events throughout the classic car season.
To find out more about Heritage Classic Car Insurance visit heritagecarinsurance.co.uk or call 0121 248 9304.
He was the first in his family to delve into the uncertain and sometimes misconceived industry of insurance. His father was the proprietor of a commercial cleaning company. “In the early days my father shared an office (for want of a better word) with a local bespoke tailor in Birmingham, in fact it was more of a fitting room,” Chris adds. “My father used to let me borrow the office sometimes for meetings, however it was always best to get there early to tidy up the mountain of fine quality material and half finished suits that covered the place!”
In 1967 Norton Insurance finally moved into its own premises. No more meetings on the move or tidying the fitting room, it was the big time from now on, as the doors opened at the office in Alum Rock, Birmingham.
It seemed inevitable that things would start to move at a quicker pace now and it wasn’t long before plans to diversify were steaming ahead. Chris explains: “There weren’t many insurers at the time with a specialist policy designed for the classic car owner. So discussions with a reputable underwriter were planned and, with my personal input, terms and conditions were established and a policy was developed under the Heritage name.”
At this time no other intermediary had a policy like it, well not with this particular underwriter. Today every classic car broker in the land probably has some form of scheme or classic car policy underwritten by them, thanks to Chris.
It wasn’t long before this niche market grew, with many other insurance companies setting up policies for the classic enthusiast, giving Heritage Car Insurance the ability to choose the right insurance policy for their customer’s requirements.
When asked about the bad times as well as good times, especially with insurance being regulated so strictly these days and the need for transparency being so prominent, Chris simply smiles and says: “If there were bad times I wouldn’t tell you about them! But seriously moving with the times has never presented a problem, providing you do things properly in the first place.”
So after 50 years, what’s the key to success? “I’ve always been hungry” Chris replies. You’ll be glad to hear Chris has no plans to retire and still remains hungry. He’s keen to see the Heritage 50th anniversary through to then next big milestone.
So as you can see things have come a long way since the early days. Heritage Car Insurance has grown into a successful legacy that Chris Wilkinson can be extremely proud of. As he continues to play an essential role at the company, his original ideals and aspirations hold firm and move forward, and that is simply meeting the requirements of our customers with a like-minded view. This is why after 50 years Heritage Car Insurance will always be “run for enthusiasts by enthusiasts”.
You can find our more about the benefits of insuring your classic car or Land Rover through Heritage Car Insurance here.