Do Insurance Companies Believe You’re Driving a Risky Vehicle?

In most places within North America, auto insurance represents one of the most costly ongoing expenses attached to automotive ownership. A monthly or annual cost that varies wildly between driver, we barely understand the number of factors affecting our individual insurance rate. Driver’s age, gender and history behind the wheel plays the key part in establishing what we need to pay in order to venture on roadways legally.

Besides the human factor, your chosen automobile also weighs on the determination for the insurance premium amount. While the calculations of auto insurance quotes differ between companies and policies, a car-insurance.com chart cited that the vehicle accounts for thirteen percent of a driver’s rate. When buying a new car, we assume that a 2012 Porsche 911’s sporty agility will drive car insurance coverage reasonably higher than a fuel-efficient economy car. As automotive consumers, we can assume (often with some certainty) that certain vehicles are high risk for collision. In the case of auto insurance companies, more scientific data collection assists in the conclusion of vehicle rates.

Founded in 1959 as a non-profit organization meant to study vehicle and drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has spawned to cover an array of automotive safety-related topics including new car crash testing. In the 1970s, the IIHS created the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) designed specifically to collect and examine information on human as well as financial loss in automobile accidents. One aspect researched by the IIHS and HLDI is the insurance losses based on a specific vehicle. Among six different types of insurance (Collision, liability, comprehensive, personal injury, medical and bodily injury), the IIHS records the comparable losses of almost every popular newer vehicle.

For the most recent vehicle data based on 2008 to 2010 model year products, data showed that the Scion tC topped the list as the highest overall insurance loss. As an import sports vehicle, the Scion tC caters to younger, riskier group of drivers therefore leading to worse than average insurance loss. In addition, being a Japanese-built vehicle, the collision insurance costs would be understandably high for North American drivers. Since introduction, the Scion tC has been a rated in the overall top-five of the vehicle insurance loss list.

Other vehicles found on the highest insurance loss list between the 2008 and 2010 model years involves a mix of everyday, Luxury and performance. Below the Scion tC coupe on the IIHS list is the long wheelbase variant of the Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan, Mitsubishi Lancer (not specifically the Evolution model) and the Chevrolet Cobalt. While the Cobalt’s appearance on the list could also be cited for sizeable production numbers, the compact Chevrolet joins six of the top-ten highest loss vehicles targeted for the youth market.

On the other side of the insurance data, some of the lowest loss vehicles Subaru Outback wagon, Honda CR-V and the Ford F-150. While the presence a two-door sport compact car at the top of the IIHS list of highest insurance losses is not a surprise, two popular sports cars make an amusing stand on the lowest insurance loss chart. The Chevrolet Corvette and the Mazda MX-5 Miata present lower than average insurance loss data. Topping the list on the lowest insurance loss chart is the Smart ForTwo. From the collection of automobile types assembled on the lowest insurance loss list, it could be assumed sport cars like the Corvette and MX-5 Miata are driven with more care.

When identifying individual vehicles, the insurance loss data displays some interesting observations among vehicle categories. While the insurance loss numbers constructed by the IIHS and the HLDI reveals that many mid-sized sedans are less risky than smaller vehicles, there are several exceptions. For example, the Smart ForTwo, MINI Cooper Clubman and Volkswagen New Beetle all overcome the small car stigma to have lower insurance loss numbers. Perhaps reinforcing the sense many American automobile buyers maintained over the last decade, sport utility and crossover vehicles were rated favourably for insurance loss. Every SUV and crossover vehicle built from 2008 to 2010 model year achieved either average or under the auto insurance industry’s average for loss.

Blind to gender, driving experience or even location in the United States, vehicle insurance loss information collected by the IIHS and HLDI will definitely influence your next auto quote for a late model automobile.

Information source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Photo Source: Chris Nagy


Categories:: Car NewsChevySafetyScionSmart


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