Motor insurer AIG stops insuring McLarens driven to Malaysia, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Motor insurer AIG stops insuring McLarens driven to Malaysia

In a rare move, motor insurer AIG has decided not to insure McLaren sports cars when they are driven across the Causeway.

The move comes after a recent crash in Johor involving three McLarens when a group of the British sports cars was heading south towards Kluang on Oct 29, 2023. No one was injured in the incident.

In a correspondence to an insurance broker, AIG said its decision came on the back of “an exceptional increase in frequency of severe accidents involving McLaren vehicles in Malaysia”.

From April 1, 2024, the insurer said it will not be liable for losses arising from accidents occurring outside Singapore.

AIG declined to comment when contacted by The Straits Times.

The move came as a shock to McLaren owners. Mr Marcus Luah, who was among the trio involved in the Johor crash, said: “I don’t understand why McLaren is being singled out. There have been many past crashes in Malaysia involving other brands. So I’m a bit puzzled.”

Mr Luah, 32, a property agent, said AIG has quoted him a premium that is “five times” that of his current one for policy renewal. “Obviously, I am not going to go back to them. I can understand if it is two times, but five times!”

Insurance broker Eazy, which specialises in insurance for high-end cars, indicated that the stand by AIG was rare but not unheard of.

“It’s not uncommon for cars which cost more than $3 million,” said Eazy chief executive Douglas Chia. “But it’s less common for cars below that price range.”

Prices for the latest McLaren model – the 750S – range between $1.5 million and $1.6 million with certificate of entitlement.

Mr Chia said the annual premium for a car like the McLaren Artura ranges between $6,000 and $10,000 for a regular driver with a 50 per cent no-claim discount.

“We’re sourcing for alternatives for our customers,” he added.

Mr Chong Kah Wei, managing director for McLaren at multi-brand dealership Eurokars, said: “This is a hard call by AIG. They are doing this for their own interest. But we have other insurance partners like Liberty.

“We are working to transition some customers over to Liberty, so that they are taken care of. Meanwhile, we are in talks with AIG to see how we can lessen the impact on existing customers.”

When approached, the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) said it does not comment on the practices of individual members. “This is a matter of each insurer’s risk acceptance,” said GIA chief executive Ho Kai Weng.

Lawyer Chia Boon Teck, a co-managing partner at law firm Chia Wong, said: “When the insurance policy is up for renewal, the insurer is entitled not to cover Malaysian drives. But I don’t think the insurer can unilaterally do this midstream of the insurance policy – unless the policy allows the insurer to do so.”

Not all spectacular crashes involving McLarens take place in Malaysia.

On May 21, 2023, the driver of a McLaren was arrested after his vehicle crashed in Keppel Road. The police said the 43-year-old male driver was arrested for failing to render assistance. His passenger, a 28-year-old woman, was left alone in the wreck at the scene.

According to Land Transport Authority statistics, there are around 200 McLarens in Singapore.