UK & World News
Mr Bean Star Settles £900k Car Insurance Bill
Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson has successfully claimed more than £900,000 from car insurers to repair his rare and valuable McLaren F1.
His claim, which is thought to be the highest ever recorded in the UK, follows a 2011 crash on the A605 near Haddon, Cambridgeshire, that left Atkinson with a badly damaged shoulder.
The unusual repair job is extensively documented in Classic & Sports Car magazine, with a picture of the burgundy McLaren on the cover.
Ben Stagg, specialist insurer with RK Harrison, said the quality components used to make an F1 are one reason the repair costs were so high.
The high-performance car makes extensive use of carbon fibre and needed specialist care - it took weeks just to get a proper insurance estimate.
"All modern supercars are predominantly carbon fibre - most Lamborghinis, most Ferraris - and the smallest ding in carbon fibre is a big repair job," said Stagg.
"And part of the engine bay is gold, that's the best heat conductor. It's the materials they used compared to everyday cars that make it so expensive."
He said many owners baby their expensive cars, driving them only a few times a year in perfect weather conditions, but Atkinson actually drives his McLaren extensively.
The Blackadder star told the magazine he believes supercars should be used, not sequestered in garages.
"It depresses me when great cars are hidden away," he said. "It's a crime not to use it."
Magazine editor Alastair Clements said Atkinson, 58, should be applauded.
"He let us do the story because he wanted other enthusiasts to know that he loves it, that he isn't just some celebrity with an expensive car, that he's owned it for 15 years and loved it for 15 years," he said.
"He's put it back exactly as it was. He's a bit of a hero. It's much more than the value."
Although the insurance claim may seem eye-watering to most drivers, the last used McLaren F1 sold on the open market went for about £3.5m, said Stagg.
After the year-long repair project, it is thought the actor's annual insurance premium could be as high as £60,000.
Atkinson, whose Mr Bean act was revived during the Olympics opening ceremony last summer, is currently appearing on the West End stage in Quartermaine's Terms, by Simon Gray.
He has received rave reviews for his portrayal of St John Quartermaine, a hapless and lonely English language teacher at a Cambridge school in the early 1960s.
what do you think?
Well thats why he paid to have the car involved insured.
Shaun. It matters little what you pay. You are only insured until you make a claim
If its more than the value why wasn't it written off same as they would for us normal bods???
It wasnt more than the value,they are worth far more than what it cost to repair.
???? £3.5 million value, approx. Less than £1 million to repair. Have i missed the point , somewhere ?
D-oh !! Don't believe what you read in the press especially if you don't read it properly!!
When I posted comment it stated repairs cost more than balue
He's lucky he wasn't insured with Swiftcover-AXA who have just turned down our claim for recent subsidence damage on the basis that it started before their policy came into force in July.
By law you can only do 70 MPH,what's the point of a F1.Money grows out of their ears.And they're not doing the environment any good either,rich gas
If you really do not get "the point" of a car like the McLaren then its not worth even attempting to explain it to you fella.
It's a tin box.....that is all!
Although I see your point Denis, if you apply that logic, then what is the point of any car as they all go over 70mph......Enthusiasts who have these types of cars usually take them on track days too, where they can legally show off the speed/power in the controlled environment of a race track. As for the environment issue, these cars are highly tuned for top performance and efficiency........same cant be said for Buses and scabby old deisels...........
Matt The diesel I drive like many others are exempt from road tax because they are clean
"Rich fuel" There, I said it
sour grapes. you both need to get out more
good for him.the insurance companies often find loopholes to not pay,or squeeze everything out of it's customers.nice one rowan.you worked for years to earn and own a car like that.your talent has given great enjoyment to the uk and world.a truly great brit.
StretchX. You don't need to tell me that insurance companies will try any trick to avoid paying up.
Disagree.....it's just a car...that is all
Its not "just a car" any more than Concorde was "just a plane" Julie. It was a technical and engineering stroke of genius and, even though i will never get to drive or own one, i am thankful that works of art like the Mclaren do exist. It would be a far poorer and more boring world if they didnt and if we only created things that were necessary.
Ah, Baldrick had a cunning plan :)
atkinson said "It's a crime not to use it"; more so than it's criminal to wreck it? if all owners drove like that there'd be no classic supercars left to hide away. poor excuse for a bad mistake. the gold foil in the engine bay is used as a heat reflector, not conductor as stated. looking at the picture I'm amazed it was even repairable, whole back end gone & fractured monocoque.
"fractured monocoque" Sounds painful can you get it treated on the NHS?
Should of stuck to his little yellow mini !!!!! Wouldn't of had this problem !!!!!
he was probably hit by a woman driver putting her make up on
Us drivers will all pay in the end when our premiums go up because he cant handle a racing car on a public highway....k--b
Malcolm you should be more worried about the un-insured drivers. If he has had the car for 15 years how much has he all ready paid the insurers
as it happens, £60,000 x 15 = £900,000! insurers don't see it that way though; they're in business to make profits, after all.
The article implies his premium will increase to £60,000.00 - nearly as much as a 17 year old pays
It's good publicity for the firm carrying out the repairs and also the Insurance company that authorised it.
did he have to pay the £100 excess
Hopefully 10%, 90,000 excess! Incidentally, thank goodness only he was injured!
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Maclaren's like all those high speed vehicles,were only made to make a noise when revving.Speed kills and next time that driver might lose his life and for what,going vrrrm,vrrm.
Speed does not kill(if it is so bad then why do the unlimited sections of German autobhan's have such a fantastic safety record?) ,excessive speed is in fact only a contributory factor in around 5% of road accidents ,it is bad driving that is the real problem and the real killer but you just carry on populating the myth that speeding is a problem if it makes you feel better chap.
Presumably he paid his car insurance premium with a Barclaycard, which he used to advertise? Anyway, lucky him, hope our insurance premiums don't go up too much because of very expensive repair claims!..
The right place for so called "supercars" is on the race track, where their particular characteristics come to the fore. There is absolutely no point in driving them on the public roads in the UK, as the speed limit here is 70 mph or less, depending on which road you are on. Even the speed limits mean very little when you are slowed down so effectively by jams and general congestion. People would be better off using an affordable, very ordinary, but perfectly serviceable car such as a Ford Focus, or a Vauxhall Astra, or a VW Golf, or (add your own personal choice of family car here).
Or you could just choose to drive whichever vehicle that you want or can afford to? People drive cars or ride motorbikes for a great many different reasons and i am sure that Rowan has a car that he uses for every day humdrum purposes but he also is fortunate enough that he can indulge in his personal passion,which is supercars. I myself have a diesel estate for every day use and a nice motorbike for leisure use. God forbid that we ever get to the stage where motoring is soley for getting from A-B and getting any enjoyment from it is outlawed (along with seemingly everything else these days).