High-performance car insurance
Powerful, high-performance vehicles can benefit from the right type of car insurance.
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You could be driving a regal Mercedes, or just a Commodore car with a modified engine. Either way, your high-performance vehicle might not get everything it needs from a standard car insurance policy.
Often, standard insurers can only be convinced to cover cosmetic modifications as an extra on a policy and not ones which enhance your vehicle's performance. Read on to find out how to get the right kind of insurance for your high powered vehicle or prized sports car.
Compare standard and specialised insurance for high performance cars
What high performance car insurance exists?
Cover for high-performance vehicles in Australia can typically be obtained in one of two ways. Which option you go for depends largely on your vehicle and type of driving you do.
- Standard insurers. Some providers will cover high performance cars for either an extra on your premium for a standard comprehensive car insurance policy, or as a separate "hard to place" policy.
- Specialist insurers. There are a number of insurers who specialise in modified vehicles and will cover a wider range of models and uses. They understand that if you've gone to the trouble of buying (and improving) your prized vehicle, you're going to want to care for it the best you possibly can.
Do you need high performance car insurance?
There are certain modifications that will almost guarantee that you'll need specialised high performance insurance or sports car insurance. These include:
- A reprogrammed or chipped engine control unit (ECU)
- Non standard wheel fitments that affect performance, such as custom sizes and aftermarket rims.
- Performance exhausts
- Lowered, raised or otherwise modified suspension (like coilovers)
- Nonstandard brake pads, discs (ventilated and drilled/slotted) or other brake modifications
- Nonstandard supercharged engines, nitro or hydrogen fuel equipped engines or any other engine modifications
- Racing harnesses, bucket seats, roll bars or roll cages
- Modifications to the transmission (such as a 2WD to 4WD conversion or gearbox retrofit)
- Custom fuel systems (like aftermarket fuel tanks, braided lines and uprated fuel pumps).
- Adjustments to the steering (such as a faster steering rack)
In general, standard insurers tend to cover cosmetic and luxury modifications to some extent, but if you have a modification which affects the ride, handling, power output or manufacturers original specification, standard insurance might not cut it. There are also several high performance sports car brands, like Lamborghinis and Ferraris, which standard insurers will be reluctant to cover.
Things to keep in mind with high performance car insurance
If your car sits somewhere in the middle and you're trying to decide between standard insurance and specialist insurance, consider the following benefits usually offered by specialist insurers for your high powered vehicle:
- Salvage rights. If you end up in a crash, you have the right to keep potentially expensive damaged parts and pieces.
- Agreed value. Standard insurers tend to cover your vehicle for market value. For prestige or high performance cars, this can be highly volatile. Specialist insurers will by default go for an agreed-upon insured value that you decide when taking out your policy.
- Choice of repairer. This can be a big deal for your modded car. Standard insurers will generally nominate a repairer you must take your car to; specialists will allow you to take it to where it will be fixed up best. Meaning you can go to a place you trust and that perhaps focus entirely on modified/performance cars.
- Extra replacement benefits. Many standard policies will limit replacement of your vehicle from 12 months to a couple of years. Specialists can offer longer term replacement, as well as offering it for a wider range of situations, such as motor racing.
- Modifications cover. Standard insurers tend to limit the number of modifications they'll cover to a small number of interior or cosmetic changes. Specialists will allow a wider swathe of modifications, including performance mods, and still offer you reasonably priced cover.
Picture: Getty Images
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