Insuring Famous Rides: The Mystery Machine

The Mystery Machine, Scooby-Doo’s iconic ride, is going to finally get insurance. Find out how much it’d cost.

It’s a dark and foggy night, rife with mischief and mystery. You, your trusty Great Dane (no, not Shakespeare’s existentially distraught one), and your 3 best friends are wandering the cobwebbed halls of a reputedly haunted castle. Inevitably, as you round a particularly dark and spooky corner, a ghost materializes from behind the walls.

You clutch Scooby-Doo in fear and begin to scram, but your brainy friend Velma stops you with her usual spiel: “Wait, there’s a logical explanation for this.” And since Fred and Daphne are onboard too, you (reluctantly) find yourself on the tracks of yet another mystery.

In trying to solve the riddle of the infamous phantom, you find yourself on a high-speed chase in the Mystery Machine. But as you’re speeding around a hairpin bend, hot on the heels of the fast-flying ghost, the engine overheats, the car sputters — and how the heck did that bush get there?

Your minor accident leaves everyone unharmed, the Mystery Machine dinged and dented, you famished (where are those Scooby Snacks?), and everyone on the same page: you definitely need car insurance in case another accident happens.

But where do you begin? What kind of coverages do you need? This insurance stuff seems so complicated!

After a brief huddle, you decide to consult a car insurance expert. So you pick up the phone and call Esurance while Velma hops on the laptop and checks out the Coverage Counselor® page.

(Yes, we know it’s 1969, and laptops and Esurance don’t exist yet. But when you inhabit a cartoon world, anachronism is more than possible.)

Here’s what you find out.

Liability coverage

Why do you need it? Because it’s required. Besides, you could get into a lot of trouble in your line of detective work, and liability could save you (and your parents) a totally terrible headache if an accident occurs.

Comprehensive coverage

Hey, when you’re out to unmask ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, you tend to stop at some strange places along the way. And you never know when a crook, lured by your van’s psychedelic power, will decide to take it for a spin, or when fire, floods, or glass damage could happen. It’s best to be prepared with comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage

The Mystery Machine is your only set of wheels. If something were to happen to it, there goes your mystery-solving venture. So, it makes sense to have collision coverage (and let’s face it, Fred’s not the world’s best driver).

Emergency road service

The van may have sophisticated radars and Rube-Goldbergesque criminal-catching contraptions, but it isn’t the most reliable car on the road. Roadside assistance will be vital when you find yourself out of gas, overheated, and smack-dab in the middle of that bush (where did it come from?).

Rental car reimbursement

A rental car could never replace the tricked out Mystery Machine, but it’ll do in a pinch if the ole van’s in the shop. How else are you going to get around to catching the bad guys?

Customized parts and equipment coverage

A must. If something were to happen to the custom, groovy paint job, flower-power hub caps, or any of Fred’s cool devices, you definitely want to be able to replace them. After all, the blow-your-mindness of the Mystery Machine depends on its hippie appeal.

Okay, so that’s a lot of coverage. How much is this going to cost?

No one knows for sure how much car insurance for a cartoon van of indeterminate make would cost in 1969 ($150 cartoon bucks a year?). But a quick quote with Esurance using some (un)educated guesses shows that insurance for a hypothetical Mystery Machine would cost around $111 a month in 2011 or about $17 in 1969. Not bad, considering it’s a mean, green, totally groovy, crime-stopping machine.

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