A ‘top ten’ list caught my eye today: ‘The world’s biggest insurance payouts’. Whilst world disasters never fail to capture attention for obvious reasons, we often don’t think about the cost in terms of insurance claims. For example, I was stunned to learn that claims related to Hurricane Katrina totalled £45 billion, to 9/11 some £25 billion, and the Japan Tsunami £22 billion.

This prompted me to take a look at the biggest insurance payouts in the UK, and I came across some interesting and fairly recent records, two of them car-related, which just goes to prove the importance of specialist insurance for prestige vehicles – and insurance against flood damage.

2012 Floods: £1.19 billion

According to the Met Office, 2012 was the wettest year since records began in England and Wales. This resulted in the biggest flood insurance payouts for 5 years, since the major floods of 2007. It is reported that just under 500,000 home and business owners and motorists made insurance claims for storm and flood damage in 2012, with the average payout for a flood damaged property £18,200.

Rowan Atkinson: £910K

When I think of Rowan Atkinson driving a car, I always think of a little green mini. But a damaged little green mini would never have commanded a whopping £910,000 insurance payout, as did Mr Atkinson’s McLaren F1. Worth £3.5 million, the rare carbon fibre car with an engine bay made partly from gold, took a year to restore after it was crashed leaving the Mr Bean actor with minor injuries.

Zonda Supercar: £300K

Prior to Rowan Atkinson’s payout, it is thought that the UK’s highest ever repair bill stumped up by an insurer was £300,000. The damaged supercar in question was an Italian made Zonda, worth £528,000 which was on loan from its owner when the driver spun out of control, hitting a telegraph pole and smashing through a fence. The driver was unhurt, which is more than can be said for the car which was sent back to its native Italy to be repaired.