Insurers have always blamed pricey car insurance claims for rising premiums, but one just broke the record: Rowan Atkinson’s massive claim for his McLaren F1.
The actor and comedian, famous for his turns as Blackadder and Mr Bean, is an avowed performance car fanatic. His favourite is his £640,000 McLaren F1, which he had been driving in 2011 when hit a slippery bit of roadway in Peterborough. Losing control, Atkinson ended up ploughing into a tree in a collision so catastrophic that the F1’s engine was ejected from the rest of the vehicle coming to rest some 20 metres away. Miraculously, the talented comedic actor only suffered a minor shoulder injury.
However, the McLaren needed some extensive repairs. It ended up spending an entire year in Woking at a specialised McLaren repair centre to get the 240 mph car back in working order. The price tag for these tender ministrations? An eye-watering £910,000! Atkinson’s car insurance company had no choice but to pay for the repairs, as the value of the F1 had increased since the time the comedian had purchased it – and the massive payout has broken the previously-held record set in 2010, where insurers paid out a comparatively measly £300,000 to repair a Pagani Zonda.
So there you have it – when you start grousing about how car insurance companies keep raising rates on you, remember that they have to absorb the costs of insurance claims. This is exactly why insurers go absolutely mad when they feel like they’re having to foot the bill for fraudulent claims from sources like trumped-up personal injuries or for ‘cash for crash’ schemes that involve multiple cars getting into accidents on purpose. It’s part of why insurers campaign so long and hard to minimise the impact of these sorts of things though legislation and regulation.
Thankfully not everyone is driving performance cars worth millions of pounds, or we would really be paying through the nose for motor car insurance. At the same token, you should better hope that you’re not insured by the same company Atkinson is – he may be a comedic genius, but I have some serious doubts about his ability to handle that monster car – this is actually the second time he’s crashed his McLaren since he purchased it! Then again, if he has the money to burn to pay for his most likely exorbitant car insurance rates, who am I to judge? Just keep clear of the pavement whenever Mr Bean gets behind the wheel, and you’re likely to be safe. Better yet, just stay inside. Preferably underground.