Drive a high performance / sports car and need specific cover? Compare your options.
Standard car insurance policies might not be suitable for high-powered vehicles. They may be missing important elements of cover and can be less cost effective when you’re insuring a powerful vehicle.
The right cover lets you use your car by covering legal performance modifications instead of just cosmetic ones. You can also insure it at an agreed value and make sure you have the salvage rights to your vehicle after a total loss.
Compare high-performance and sports car insurance policies
See what’s available from standard and specialist insurers to find the right policy for your vehicle.
- Shannons motor insurance. This specialised division of Suncorp focuses on giving drivers what they want, boasting a 90% satisfaction rate and providing cover for a wide range of performance vehicles. It can be a selective insurer, keeping premiums lower by focusing on offering cover to people who know their way around cars and know how to treat them right.
- RACQ car insurance. People who love to drive might find suitable cover with RACQ. Their policies often include benefits oriented around everyday use of a high-performance vehicle. It’s a well-known insurer with enough cover and cover options to satisfy enthusiasts.
- Ryno car insurance. This provider is an import specialist with a special focus on American vehicles as well as European cars. Ryno’s underwriting process lets experienced drivers and car club members take full advantage of effective policies.
- BMW car insurance. BMW is famous for its finely engineered vehicles, and BMW car insurance, underwritten by Allianz, might be able to deliver equally engineered cover to match. This policy type naturally focuses on BMW vehicles only and can deliver highly competitive prices, but doesn’t cover driving on race tracks or in similar events.
What defines high-performance car insurance?
High-performance cover provides a range of benefits that you are often unable to find with standard policies.
- Recognition of value. High-performance vehicles generally don’t lose value to depreciation like standard cars. Agreed value is available as an option with many policies, but it tends to be the default for high-performance driving-enthusiast policies.
- Express air freight cover. High-performance vehicles often require parts that are not available in Australia. Prestige policies can often cover the cost of express air freight to help you get back behind the wheel faster.
- Salvage rights. If you total your vehicle, you can claim the salvage instead of letting the insurer take it and sell it as scrap as tends to happen with standard policies.
- Your choice of repairer. You don’t have to hand your car off to the insurer’s mechanic, who might not have the skills to make the necessary repairs. You can choose your own repairer and make sure the repairs are done right.
- Extra replacement benefits. Standard policies may not have the replacement benefits that suit your needs, such as only offering cover for up to 12 months or 2 years. Performance car insurance policies may offer additional replacement benefits, such as replacement terms of 3 or 4 years, including cover for on-road costs for the year following replacement or other benefits specific to your performance insurance providers.
- Modifications cover. If you keep working on the car or modifying it for aesthetic, performance or luxury purposes, you can get these modifications recognised as part of the car’s value. Some standard insurers might refuse to cover performance-affecting modifications, but insurers for high-performance vehicles often will.
In particular, you might want to look for high-performance car insurance if your car has any of the following:
- A reprogrammed or chipped engine control unit (ECU)
- Wheel modifications that affect performance, such as custom sizes
- Upgraded or sports car exhaust
- Lowered, raised or otherwise modified suspension
- Nonstandard brake pads or other brake modifications
- Nonstandard supercharged engines, nitro or hydrogen fuel equipped engines or any other engine modifications
- Racing harnesses, roll bars or roll cages
- Modifications to the transmission
- Custom fuel systems
- Adjustments to the steering
Many purely cosmetic or luxury modifications can be covered by a range of insurers, but you might need to find a specialist high-performance vehicle insurer to cover performance-enhancing modifications, or anything that affects your car’s handling. Naturally, modifications must be legal in order to get them insured and included in the car’s value.
How to find the right high-performance cover
Your two main cover options are standard car insurance providers or specialists. The more cost-effective option will often depend on what kind of driving you do, and what your vehicle is like.
Standard insurers. Many providers have hard-to-place (H2P) car insurance policies for special vehicles, such as imports, classics or modified cars, as well as standard comprehensive policies that might be enough for your needs, depending on how you drive and what your car is like. You might consider standard insurers for the following reasons:
- You have no performance-enhancing modifications on your car, only cosmetic or comfort ones.
- You don’t drive on race tracks, in competitions or in other events.
- You use the car for everyday use and can’t benefit from features like “laid-up discounts” and other collector-focused benefits.
- Your car is not a grey import.
Specialist insurers. These providers focus on delivering an advanced level of cover for motoring enthusiasts to let you get more use out of the car. This cover lets you participate in more events and make more modifications without losing essential cover. You might consider a specialist insurer for the following reasons:
- Your driving plans go beyond public streets.
- Your car is different to anything else on the road.
- You want the security of high-performance cover to match your car.