What’s the difference between luxury and standard car insurance?
If your car turns heads, luxury car insurance coverage might be for you.
Luxury car insurance is a special type of car insurance that covers expensive high-end vehicles to protect you if you’re in an accident or are sued due to an accident. It’s usually pricier than your average car insurance policy, as luxury cars are more expensive to own and repair than your normal daily drive. Plus, they’re usually a higher target for theft and vandalism.
When it comes to insuring your luxury car, it’s often more difficult to find an insurance company that offers the higher coverage options you want. For example, traditional insurance companies may cap liability coverage to around $500,000 or $1,000,000 per accident. But for a luxury car, this might not be enough to cover the cost of damages. Car insurance companies offering luxury car insurance policies have higher coverage limits.
Who should consider luxury car insurance?
Prestige and luxury car insurance is for collectors, enthusiasts, businesses with high-end company cars and anyone who wants a higher level of car insurance to effectively protect their valuable wheels or other assets. Typically, you can get it through specialized insurers that focus on extra-valuable cars including vintage vehicles, modified cars, imported cars and other valuable cars.
What’s included with luxury car insurance?
Luxury car insurance typically covers the basics required by your province or territory and other popular types of coverage like collision and comprehensive. Compare some additional perks you might consider looking for or adding to your luxury car insurance policy.
- Liability coverage. Covers the costs of personal injury and property damage caused by your vehicle. Third-party liability coverage is required across Canada, but if you have an expensive car, you’ll want higher liability coverage options. You can get additional coverage if you have an umbrella policy, which kicks in once you reach your policy’s liability limits.
- Collision coverage. Covers the cost of damages to your vehicle in an accident. This coverage is typically optional, but it’s good to have if you own a luxury car, since repairs after an accident could be costly.
- Comprehensive coverage. Also optional, this covers the cost of damages to your car caused by anything other than an accident — including theft, vandalism and storms. Since luxury cars are a higher target for theft and vandalism, this is a smart add on.
- Uninsured motorist coverage. Keeps you covered if you’re in an accident with a driver who either has no insurance or not enough insurance coverage to cover the high costs of your repairs.
- Agreed value. Luxury car insurance policies will typically use agreed value, not market value, for determining the sum insured.
- Roadside assistance. Often, luxury car insurance companies throw in freebies you’d normally pay extra for on a standard policy, like roadside assistance or gap coverage.
- New car replacement. Certain policies will offer a full new-for-old replacement if your vehicle is written off within a specified period.
- OEM parts. Your insurance company pays for your car to be fixed using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, rather than cheaper aftermarket ones.
- Change of vehicle. Many prestige policies make it easy to move your coverage between cars as you upgrade or change. Typically, your insurance policy is automatically transferred to a new vehicle for a limited period of time, so you don’t have to go uninsured when changing cars.
- Carjacking coverage. Your high-end insurance policy might offer medical care or counseling after car theft, which is a bigger concern for drivers of exotic cars than the average Honda or Toyota driver.
- Storage and limited use. If you’re not using your car every day, you can choose to pay as you drive. Many specialist insurers extend limited-use discounts, or don’t charge premiums for storage periods when you know you won’t be using the vehicle.
- Top-tier rental coverage and perks. Use a rental for as long as you need while your car is being repaired, without having to worry about limits. Your coverage may also follow you when you rent a car internationally.
How much does luxury car insurance cost?
Expect to pay more to insure a luxury car than you would for a midrange sedan, maybe even double or triple the cost of standard coverage. Your exotic car insurance rates still depend on factors like the MSRP of your vehicle, your driving history, age, gender and location.
Average annual cost of luxury car insurance
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to over $3,000 annually for luxury car insurance. However, keep in mind that the cost of car insurance will vary significantly depending on a number of factors including, where you live, your driving history, the vehicles MSRP and the driver’s gender and age.
For example, the Mercedes-Benz C 300 is a popular luxury performance coupe with a MSRP of $50,100, and it costs around $2,700 per year to insure. If you’re looking to insure a car that has a higher MSRP or more extravagant features, you may end up paying more.
How can I get the best value on luxury car insurance?
To get the best value, compare luxury car insurance companies and see what rates, coverage options and perks they offer. Depending on the make and model of your car, there may be some nation-wide insurance companies that will insure your vehicle. Consider starting with those companies first to see if you can get a lower rate than you would with a specialized company that deals only with exotic cars.
- Pay attention to your deductible. Taking a higher deductible will lower your annual premium, but it could leave you on the hook for a hefty amount if you need to make a claim.
- Check for bundling perks. Most insurance companies offer discounts if you take out multiple insurance policies or combine policies for multiple cars.
- Look for safety and anti-theft discounts. High-end luxury cars usually come with a number of safety features and antitheft devices, which could help you save on insurance.
- Consider umbrella insurance. If you don’t want to pay high-end car insurance prices, you could open an umbrella policy to extend your liability coverage beyond the cap that your car insurance policy covers.
Popular luxury and exotic car brands
Although there’s not a specific definition of what an exotic car is, most people classify them as vehicles over $50,000 to $100,000, or rare, limited edition models that are hard to find. If your luxury car is more than 25 years old, it will typically count as a classic vehicle and may be better covered by a vintage car insurance policy.
- Aston Martin
Popular luxury and exotic car models
- Aston Martin Rapide
- Audi R8
- Bentley Continental
- BMW 6 Series
- Cadillac Escalade
- Ferrari FF
- Jaguar XJ
- Lexus LX
- Lincoln Continental
- Maserati Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz E Class
- Porsche Panamera
- Rolls-Royce Phantom
- Tesla Model S
Pros and cons of luxury car insurance
- Higher coverage limits. Get better coverage options to keep your assets protected.
- Free perks. Unlock freebies like roadside assistance or gap coverage that might not come with standard insurance.
- Status points. Having luxury car insurance can make you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club.
- More expensive. Luxury car insurance is pricier than regular insurance.
- Fewer options. Fewer insurance companies offer luxury car insurance policies.
- Stricter requirements. Some providers could have stricter driver requirements, which means your teen might not be covered under your policy.
Is luxury car insurance worth it?
If you’re on the fence about whether or not luxury car insurance is worth paying for, consider all of your options before making a decision. You can customize a standard comprehensive car insurance policy to closely resemble a luxury policy, but you may not be able to get all the benefits you want and it may not offer the same value for money.
For example, if you drive a BMW but are still confined to a specific budget, you might want to stick to a conventional insurance policy and pay extra for higher collision and comprehensive coverage. Another option would be to pay for an umbrella policy to get extra liability coverage beyond the limits that your car insurance policy offers.
On the other hand, if you drive a super expensive car like the Aston Martin One-77, which sells for around $1.9 million, getting top-of-the-line luxury car insurance is going to be worth it in the long run, since the cost of repairs could be huge.
If you can’t find a luxury car insurer that’s able to accommodate you, it’s worth considering the mainstream insurers who might be able to provide additional options for valued, long-time customers.
Who should avoid luxury car insurance?
If your vehicle doesn’t cost more than your current insurance company’s highest coverage limit, then you probably don’t need luxury car insurance. However, even if you drive a luxury car, you might be able to find an umbrella policy that works for you, depending on the value of your car and your budget.
An umbrella policy is essentially extra liability coverage. If you have significant assets, an umbrella policy can help protect you if you’re in an expensive accident or if someone tries to sue you because of your high net worth. It’s probably cheaper to add umbrella coverage to your existing coverage than go with a full-on luxury car policy.
What should I watch out for?
When shopping for luxury car insurance, there are a few things to be on the lookout for.
- Ultra-strict driving requirements. Some private luxury car insurance providers will require a squeaky clean driving record before they’ll approve you, and you might have to meet certain age requirements. You might also need to have the car registered to you and not a business.
- Agreed value vs. actual cash value. Some luxury car insurance policies use an agreed value instead of actual cash value to determine the maximum payout in the event of a total loss or extreme damage. Before settling on a number, do your research and know what your car is worth.
- Bait-and-switch scams. Watch out for companies that try to lure you in with seemingly too-good-to-be-true rates, and then turn around and skyrocket your rates to accommodate the higher coverage options you need.
How do I buy luxury car insurance?
Buying luxury car insurance is very similar to buying regular insurance, but the prices are likely significantly higher. When shopping for high-performance car insurance, follow these steps to help you find the best rate.
- Compare rates for car insurance providers that offer luxury car insurance.
- Check coverage options. A cheaper rate might come with less coverage.
- Get a quote that factors in the make and model of your car, plus your driving history. Some companies will want to speak to you over the phone or in person, rather than provide an online quote.
- Choose the option that gives you the best value and fits within your budget.
If you drive an expensive car and want to make sure the cost of repairs is covered after a wreck, theft or vandalism, luxury car insurance could be for you. Otherwise, you still have some options, such as getting an umbrella policy or negotiating an agreed value with your regular insurance company.
To get the most bang for your buck, make sure you understand your options and compare insurance providers first.
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