Fast & the Furious: Car insurance for high-performance vehicles

Finance Journalist · 2 November 2018
From a Jaguar, to a Porsche, to the iconic Ferrari, high-performance vehicles are typically sleek, luxurious and built to reach higher speeds with ease and control.

But this added prestige and performance can come with a hefty price tag, so for some owners of these vehicles it is important to find car insurance that adequately covers their pride and joy on and off the road.

So, what exactly is a high-performance car, and is there insurance available to suit these vehicles?

What is a high-performance vehicle?

High-performance cars are designed and constructed for speed. They are generally lightweight with large, powerful engines and strong braking and handling systems. This category of vehicle may include luxury, imported or sports car models, or standard cars with performance-enhancing modifications.

Is there insurance available for these vehicles?

Standard insurance policies are generally accessible to most owners of high-performance vehicles, but these policies may not offer elements of cover that specifically cater for these particular cars. For those looking for extra benefits to match their high-powered vehicle, there are specialist insurance providers in Australia who may have options available, but this type of insurance can carry higher premiums.

What can high-performance car insurance cover?

High-performance car insurance will generally include the same range of benefits available with standard comprehensive policies, including coverage for accidental damage, damage to another vehicle or property, theft, repairs and towing.

Depending on the specialist provider, they may also include extra benefits in their policy tailored for high-performance vehicles, such as –

Agreed value

Providers of this type of insurance can be more likely to offer agreed value rather than market value for determining the sum insured for your car. Agreed value is a fixed sum you and your insurer choose for the car, while market value is determined at the time of the claimable incident. With agreed value you know exactly what compensation you will get from the insurer if your car is written off. This may be beneficial when your car is valuable and you want to make sure you have enough money to replace it. However, bear in mind that some insurers may charge higher premiums if the value you agree on is higher than your car’s market value.

Choice of repairer

You may be able to choose your own repairer for your car so it is more likely to be fixed or restored to your liking.

car insurance for high performance vehicles
Owners of high-performance vehicles may have the option to choose their own repairer, depending on their specialised insurance policy. Source: Corepics VOF (Shutterstock)

Replacement Car

Some policies may offer a new replacement car in the event your vehicle is written off. However, they may only provide this benefit depending on the age of your vehicle and if it is written off within a certain period of time from when the policy begins. Other exclusions may also apply so check with your provider.

Excess-free window/windscreen glass replacement

While many standard insurance policies will offer a level of cover for the repair or replacement of damaged windows or windscreens, specialist providers may provide this benefit excess-free. Conditions will apply depending on the provider.

Salvage rights

You may be able to retain ownership of your car if it is written off, so you can then decide whether to repair it or sell it for parts.

Modifications cover

Some specialist insurers may cover the repairs or replacement of performance-enhancing modifications on your vehicle if they are accidentally damaged or stolen. This will only apply to modifications which are legal to install, and have been declared to the insurer.

How is the premium for this insurance determined? Is it expensive?

As with any car, there are a range of factors that go into determining how much you will pay for insurance, such as the age, make and model of the vehicle, and the driver’s details and driving history. Insurers of high-performance vehicles may also look at other factors such as the power of the car’s engine and the cost of the car’s parts or any performance-enhancing modifications.

In general, the bigger and more powerful your engine is, the greater the risk there is of an accident occurring, and thus the higher your premium will be. If your car’s specialist parts or modifications are difficult to source or expensive to repair, then your premium will likely be higher as a result.

Because the majority of high-performance vehicles have powerful engines and expensive or unique parts or modifications, then the premiums for these cars will tend to be higher than for standard vehicles. The valuable nature of these cars also mean they are a more desirable target for thieves and vandals, and will hence usually carry a higher premium due to the increased risk.

Is there a way to save on your premium?

Depending on the policy and provider you choose, there may be ways for you to help reduce the premium of your high-performance car insurance. These may include:

  • Keeping your car secured

There are a number of ways you can secure your vehicle to help reduce the risk of it being stolen, and thus potentially bring down the cost of your insurance. Consider adding to your car, if it is not already equipped with these features, an alarm system, an immobiliser (a device that only allows your car to start by using the correct key or fob), a GPS tracker, and a steering wheel lock, to help ward off thieves. Parking in a safe and secure place may also help protect your car from theft.

  • Taking an approved driving course

Driving a high-powered vehicle can have its dangers, so enrolling in an approved driving course, such as defensive driving, could improve your skills on the road and reduce your risk of being in an accident. Reducing your level of risk could in turn help you save on your premium.

  • Comparing your options

To help find the most affordable insurance policy to suit your needs and to cater for your high-performance vehicle, it may be worth comparing a range of policies both from specialist and mainstream providers.

Considerations when choosing this insurance

Before you take out a car insurance policy for your high-performance vehicle, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of each policy thoroughly so you are aware of all the terms and conditions involved, including the benefits and exclusions, and any additional excesses which may apply.

It is also important to notify your insurer of any modifications you have made to your vehicle before or shortly after you apply for a policy. If you neglect to do so, the insurer will likely be within its rights to reject your claims and cancel your insurance.

Cover image source: pio3 (Shutterstock)

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