Exotic or performance cars are often difficult to insure. They’re not only more expensive but also require more complex and specialized repairs when damaged.
Car insurance protects you from the financial risk you could incur when your damage a person or property with your car, or when damage is caused to your car. If you drive a higher-end car, like a pricey sports car or exotic model, you may especially need car insurance due to the high cost of purchasing and maintaining your vehicle.
Traditional cars are relatively simple to insure: take your coverage needs as well as age and gender, factor in your driving history and the crime levels in your neighborhood, and you get an insurance premium that’ll probably land in the $50-$150 per month range.
However, exotic or performance sports cars, like those manufactured by Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin, are often difficult to insure. They’re not only more expensive but also require more complex and specialized repairs when damaged and may have a higher chance of being vandalized or stolen. That could cost the car insurance company a significant amount if they have to pay one of your insurance claims, so many car insurance companies charge much more for coverage for sports cars, or decline to cover exotic and performance cars altogether.
But the risks that make performance and exotic cars harder and more expensive to insure ironically make them more necessary to insure. Read on to learn more about your options for getting auto insurance for exotic and performance cars.
If you’re spending a lot of money for a high-end, performance sports car, you’re going to want to make sure you protect your investment. Car insurance protects your car from damage caused by another driver in an accident as well as damage or theft that occurs when the car isn’t being driven at all. While import or sports car insurance can be expensive, you’ll want to make sure you get enough coverage to replace as much of the value of the car as you can.
Almost every state requires you to carry some kind of car insurance before you get behind the wheel, but those states set minimum amounts of coverage that drivers can purchase to satisfy the insurance requirement. Those minimum amounts are often too low even if you’re driving a beater, much less a customized McLaren 650S that the British company had painted in a color just for you.
Before you purchase car insurance, figure out how much you can afford to pay if you’re involved in an accident and are liable for someone else’s medical bills, or if your car gets stolen and you need to replace it. Because car insurance is made up of different components, like bodily injury liability, comprehensive and collision insurance, and personal injury protection, you can adjust the amounts to suit your needs.
If you can afford an exotic or performance car, you probably can afford to pay someone’s medical bills, so you may not need as much liability coverage; but by that same token, you may not be able to replace the car in full, so you could definitely up your comprehensive coverage. Your import car insurance can always be adjusted later on.
The biggest downside to insuring an exotic or high-performance car is that it’s very expensive. Premiums can run into the thousands of dollars per period, with some quotes reaching almost six grand. Since car insurance is required almost anywhere you drive, premium costs should be a major consideration if you’re deciding whether to plunk down money for that Lamborghini Huracan.
Part of the reason for the high cost is that exotic cars are often very expensive to repair. For one, in order to maintain the car’s value and performance, the mechanic will have to use original, genuine replacement parts, which may be difficult to locate and prohibitively expensive to purchase.
That’s if you can find a repair shop with a mechanic who knows how to work on a high-end car. Additionally, car insurance companies prefer to work with authorized repair shops, and the place they choose may not have a mechanic on staff who can fix your vehicle. That means even routine fixes could cost tens of thousands of dollars alone, to say nothing of how much serious structural damage could cost.
Some car insurance companies automatically consider drivers of performance and exotic cars to pose a high risk. High-risk drivers already incur increased premiums on traditional or basic car insurance, so while it seems unfair to car collectors that they should be penalized, the car insurance carrier is simply making a statistic determination based on the power and speed of your vehicle.
For those reasons, many insurers refuse to cover exotic cars outright. But if you’re required to have car insurance, you may have to look into a product variously called import car insurance, collector car insurance, classic car insurance, or speciality car insurance. Even then, some one-of-a-kind and vintage cars may be difficult to insure.
While some people believe that exotic and performance cars don’t depreciate in value, the truth is that they all cars depreciate in value the moment you drive off the lot. Although it could increase your premiums even more, gap insurance covers the difference between the amount you owe on the loan and the value of the car after accounting for the amount by which the car has depreciated when the car gets stolen.
Be careful when purchasing coverage for your sports car. Despite the cost, car insurance companies may still impose a maximum reimbursement on claims you make for damage. You may not be able to find a carrier that’ll replace the entire cost of your exotic car. Your car insurance policy should spell out exactly what the maximum liability for each is, so don’t sign on the dotted line before you know that you can afford to pay the remaining amount after a claim.
One element that doesn’t change all that much between coverage for a traditional car and that of an exotic car is the deductible, which is the amount you have to pay out of pocket for a claim before the car insurance picks up the rest. Most deductibles fall between $500 and $1,000, regardless of the type of car.
If you like to collect high-end cars, you may save on car insurance if you don’t drive them. That’s because it costs more to insure a car you drive than a car you don’t, thanks to the different components that make up car insurance. You’re required by law in most states to have some amount of liability coverage, because that covers damage you cause to other people and their property. Some states also require you to have personal injury protection coverage, although most don’t. But if you don’t drive your exotic car and you just protect your car from theft, vandalism and other types of damage that can happen when it’s not being driven, all you need is comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive and collision coverage is optional in all states, but you may be able to ask your auto insurance company to reduce your coverage to just comprehensive coverage. That’s only legal if you don’t drive the car, but if you only own the car so your neighbors can admire it in your driveway, switching to just comprehensive coverage can save you a little on your premiums.
If you want to actually drive your sports car or import, you’ll need more robust coverage, or what’s sometimes called full coverage. But there are still ways to save on your insurance policy, including:
Some car insurance companies, especially those that offer specialty policies for exotic and performance vehicles, may even offer policies specific to your vehicle. Check if your carrier has McLaren or Lamborghini insurance if that’s the brand of your car, and you may be able to save a little on your car insurance premiums.
And if you still think you’re paying too much for car insurance, one of the best ways to save is to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rates for your needs. A Policygenius expert can help you compare quotes from different car insurance companies and pick the one that’s best for you and your flashy ride.
Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius in New York City, and an expert in auto insurance. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic, writing about news and culture. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.