Is It A Car, A Boat, A Plane?

New technology could soon bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘fully comprehensive’ says Hyperformance.

It would be hard enough trying to explain to your insurer that you’d been run off the road by a pink Rolls Royce, but how about one that flies?

Ok, so Lady P’s flying pink roller FAB 1 in Thunderbirds is just a special effect (don’t tell the kids) for the moment but why not? There are already cars that go on water: Richard Branson recently broke the cross channel speed record in one. It’s not totally impossible that one day a car will fly.

But what kind of insurance will you need? It could bring a whole new meaning to third party and comprehensive claims says insurance intermediary Hyperformance, part of the award-wining Allen & Allen Group, which until now has specialised in high performance vehicles but is thinking it may be time to expand its horizons.

However Steve McPherson believes that Hyperformance will be better placed than most brokers when it comes to placing these specialised risks. As one of the leading exponents of non-standard car insurance it can call on a large number of insurers.

But what the premium for a boat-car or plane-car will be is anyone’s guess. At least you can be sure that someone, somewhere will name a price, though you may have to dispense with extras like ‘any driver’ or ‘replacement windscreen’ or ‘five years parts warranty.

"This is not as daft as it first seems," he says. "True, many drivers of high performance cars at the moment spend money on devices like spoilers designed to keep their car on the road. What if they started fitting things to try and reverse the process? The flying car in James Bond’s Man with the Golden Gun was 20 years ago and at that time most special effects did owe something to aeronautics. Technology had moved on since then.

"The new Gibbs Aquada that Richard Branson sailed/drove across the channel has a serious commercial purpose: Virgin is to use it to take passengers up the Thames to Heathrow. And the same company’s aptly named Humdinga is a serious vehicle.

"So, whilst you’re watching FAB1 fly around in surround-sound this summer and think ‘why not?’ spare a thought for the poor insurance broker; one day he may have to try and cover you for these flights of fancy, said Steve McPherson."

2 February 2005 Staff

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