Avid supercar enthusiasts have no problem spouting top speed stats and impressive features of models like Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti. The allure of bold designs, multi-million-dollar price tags and excessive speed capabilities can make them a desired purchase.
But what happens when these road beauties crash? The most expensive car insurance claims ever.
A Bugatti Veyron costs an average of $2,000 monthly for full coverage with a $50,000 deductible. This figure doesn’t factor in potential injuries and property damages sustained during an accident. Learn more about these types of claims, insurance costs and common auto insurance claims below.
- A high-speed supercar collision pileup is the most expensive car insurance claim at $4 million.
- Excessive high speeds, slick roads and driving under the influence contributed to some of the largest insurance claims of all time.
- Other common insurance claims include intersection collisions, backing into cars, break-ins and stolen cars.
What are the most expensive car insurance claims ever?
Accidents can happen to any driver. In most states, liability car insurance coverage is the minimum required, providing affordable protection for injuries and damages the other driver experiences in an accident. While this may be an acceptable option for low-end vehicles, supercars need much more coverage at a higher price tag — where claims can skyrocket to millions of dollars.
Some of the most expensive insurance claims have occurred during car pileups and high-speed road collisions worldwide.
The following are the top five largest insurance claims of all time:
1. Claim amount: $4 million
Incident: 14-car accident with eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benz and a Lamborghini in Japan
In December 2011, the driver of a Ferrari lost control of his vehicle on a freeway in Shimonoseki, Japan. Following him at excessive speeds were nine supercars and three other cars that could not brake in time to avoid the crash. The chain-reaction collision racked up 10 charges of speeding, reckless driving and violation of traffic laws.
2. Claim amount: $3+ million
Incident: Most expensive car in the world crashes in China
Crashing one of the rarest supercars, a Koenigsegg Agera R, into a barrier in China isn’t how most would treat their $4.1 million car. The driver, arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, damaged the supercar when he lost control and collided with sidewalk pylons.
3. Claim amount: $2.2 million
Incident: Slick road accident totals rare Pagani Zonda F Clubsport Roadster in Italy
Losing control of his $1.7 million supercar on a slick highway in Italy and colliding with the barrier was the end of the road for the Pagani and led to one of the most expensive insurance claims ever. Both passengers emerged from the mangled wreckage with only minor bruising.
4. Claim amount: $2.2 million
Incident: 2006 Bugatti Veyron swerves into a swamp in Texas
Andy Lee House claimed he crashed his $1 million Bugatti Veyron into a swamp to avoid hitting a pelican near Galveston, Texas. However, the story was falsified in an attempted cash payout. House had purchased collector’s insurance, increasing the supercar’s value to $2.2 million. Lee served a year and a day in prison for the insurance fraud claim.
5. Claim amount: $2 million
Incident: Ferrari Enzo crashes at 162 mph in Malibu, California
Stefan Eriksson, under the influence of alcohol, hit a bump in the road while driving his rare Ferrari Enzo (one of 400 made), sending it airborne and crashing into a telephone pole. At the time of the accident, Eriksson was going 162 mph along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California.
While the car was totaled, it was rebuilt and sold for $1.76 million. Eriksson, a Swiss criminal with ties to organized crime, was later deported to Switzerland for an 18-month sentence for embezzlement and illegal gun charges. He was not charged for the auto accident.
Which are the 10 most common auto insurance claims?
“Drive defensively” is sage advice. This philosophy helps drivers avoid common road pitfalls, such as accidents, damage and other driving incidents that lead to car insurance claims.
Understanding the most common auto insurance claims can help ensure you stay safe on the road and avoid increases in car insurance premiums after an accident.
1. Backup accident
When you’re behind the wheel, review your surroundings thoroughly before reversing and backing up your vehicle. It can be challenging to see the surrounding areas behind you, so ensure that your mirrors are adjusted to the correct angle and that you utilize your backup camera if you have one.
By backing up slowly and with care, you can avoid being a driver who must make an auto claim for this type of accident.
2. Break-in and theft
Break-ins no longer happen at night or in isolated alleys. Vehicle owners return to their car to find a window smashed and valuables stolen in the middle of the day — or worse yet, their catalytic converter removed. These incidents lead to auto claims and feelings of violation, remorse and anger.
Take care to remove your valuables from your vehicle or put them away in an area out of sight, and park in well-lit garages and neighborhoods at night.
3. Hail storm damage
Many parts of the country experience extreme weather, including hail storms. These incidents occur quickly and often without warning, leaving vehicle owners with broken windshields and body dents. Comprehensive car insurance coverage usually covers hail damage claims after meeting deductibles.
However, it’s essential to assess if minor damage is worth claiming — if repairs cost less than the deductible, it may be cost-effective to pay out of pocket instead.
4. Intersection collision
Traffic laws, lights, and rights of way can be challenging, especially for other drivers. When you’re behind the wheel at an intersection, check all directions before proceeding forward. It can help to wait a few seconds to ensure that other drivers don’t run a red light, especially when turning on a yellow light.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 1,109 people were killed in crashes in 2021 that involved red light running.
5. Parked car damage
If you’ve ever gone shopping and come out to find a ding in your door, you’ve experienced one of the most common auto insurance claims. Parking lot accidents, like cruising through a lot and colliding with another vehicle, and those involving parked cars happen daily.
Distracted driving, being in a hurry or being careless can all contribute to parked car damage.
6. Personal injury
When you’ve been in an accident, one of the first questions asked is, “Does anything hurt?” While it can take several hours before back and neck injuries, such as whiplash, can appear, you can file a claim with your insurance company with your accident claim.
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can help pay for medical bills and lost wages for you and your passengers. If you carry full coverage car insurance, your policy likely has medical coverage inclusion.
Sudden stop and go, quick maneuvering and leaving following space between vehicles are par for the course on the road. How you respond can help avoid another common auto insurance claim: Rear-ending accidents.
When drivers follow too closely, are distracted, are texting and driving or are speeding, it can be hard to stop quickly.
8. Single car accident
It happens: You swear you looked away for a moment, and the next, boom! Single-car accidents, or those where the driver is at-fault, are common in collisions, especially on highways. In 2021, 52% of crashes nationwide were single-car accidents, according to the IIHS.
9. Stolen car
More than 1 million vehicles were stolen in 2022, up 7% from 2021 and surpassing a million for the first time since 2008, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Passenger cars tend to be the most-stolen vehicles at 74% of car owners, making this one of the most common car insurance claims in the United States.
To help decrease the risk of theft, car owners can ensure they lock their vehicle doors, don’t leave the vehicle running unattended and park and store it in a safe location.
10. Windshield damage
Cracks and pits in your windshield are acquired on the road. Driving on roads and highways with loose gravel or behind a semi-truck or another large vehicle can cause small rocks and materials to hit and damage your windshield.
While these incidents are common, you can help avoid a claim by keeping your distance from other vehicles, driving slowly and avoiding road debris as best as possible.
Remember, if you’ve been in an accident, or have experienced theft, vandalism or extreme weather damage, filing an auto insurance claim as soon as possible is essential.
Why can luxury cars mean more expensive car insurance claims?
Luxury, exotic and supercars may turn heads on the road, but those big engines, customized parts and exclusive designs are costly to insure.
The Maserati Quattroporte is one of the most expensive luxury sports sedans to insure, with an annual premium of $5,176 (158% more than the national average of $2,022). And it’s only a steep increase in premiums for high-end luxury cars and supercars from there.
Aside from their hefty purchase price tag and specialty parts and materials, these cars have higher theft, crash risks, and repair costs. Some car insurance companies may determine the risk is too high and won’t cover cars valued over $150,000. In these instances, car insurance typically has to be purchased from a specialty insurer that will provide coverage for thousands of dollars a month.
Final thoughts: Most expensive car insurance claims
While accidents are a part of life, caution is the best defense against road incidents. Remaining diligent, focused, making wise choices and following traffic laws can help avoid common accident claims, such as rear-endings, a cracked windshield or worse, personal injuries and a total vehicle loss.
When purchasing and driving a high-end luxury car — ranging from a $40,000 sports car to a $2 million Bugatti — it’s best to avoid the excessively high road zoomies and focus instead on being the rare beauty cruising down the road.
By treating your car with care worth the millions, you can avoid becoming the next most expensive insurance claim ever.
Resources & Methodology
- Insurance Information Institute. “Facts + Statistics: Auto Insurance.” Accessed June 2023.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “Fatality Facts 2021.” Accessed June 2023.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “Red light running.” Accessed June 2023.
- National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Vehicle thefts nationwide surpass one million for the first time since 2008.” Accessed June 2023.
- Progressive. “Sports car and exotic car insurance.” Accessed June 2023.
Why you can trust CarInsurance.com
The CarInsurance.com editorial team bases its reporting on data it commissioned Quadrant Information Services to gather on average auto insurance rates for more than 34K ZIP codes across the United States.
Typically, averages are based on rates for a single, 40-year-old male, with no violations who commutes 12 miles to work each day and has a full-coverage policy with limits of 100/300/100 and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage.