Insure.com’s Most and Least Expensive 2008 Vehicles to Insure
By Chris Haak
Insure.com, a website that offers consumer information as well as acting as a broker with insurance companies, has released a list of the most- and least-expensive mainstream 2008 car models to insure.
Their methodology was to take the 20 top selling vehicles as of May 2007 and get insurance quotes for three different cities (one on each coast and one in the Midwest) from four different insurance companies in each city. The insurance cost among these 12 data points was then averaged to determine the average insurance cost per model. Insure.com then came up with two lists – the ten most expensive and the ten least expensive (both among the top 20 sellers). All of the quotes requested were for a single male driver, age 40, who owns his own home, has a bachelor’s degree and no accidents or driving convictions, and works as a hospital administrator five miles from his home. Policy limits quoted were $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage. The hypothetical policies have a $500 deductible and “no fault” insurance was chosen were possible.
The ten most expensive 2008 vehicles to insure are:
1. Dodge Ram Pickup
2. Chevrolet Silverado C/K Pickup
3. Toyota Prius
4. Honda Accord
5. Nissan Altima
6. Toyota Corolla
7. Ford Focus
8. Chevrolet Cobalt
9. Honda CR-V
10. Dodge Caravan
The ten least expensive 2008 vehicles to insure are:
1. Chrysler Town & Country
2. Ford Escape
3. GMC Sierra Pickup
4. Chevrolet Impala
5. Ford Econoline Club Wagon
6. Ford Fusion
7. Ford F-Series Pickup
8. Honda Civic
9. Toyota Camry
10. Toyota RAV4
According to the site, “Vehicles can land on the most expensive list for numerous reasons. They may be targets of theft, which can increase comprehensive premiums for all owners of that model; they may have high repair costs, which can increase collision premiums; or passengers may suffer more injuries in accidents, which can affect personal injury protection premiums.”
I wonder if typical driver demographics play a role in insurance rates, because otherwise I’d assume that a Chevrolet Silverado (second most expensive to insure) would have very similar theft rates, passenger protection capabilities, and repair costs to a GMC Sierra (third least expensive to insure). Looking into details of the report, the Silverado has “substantially worse than average” losses for comprehensive claims, while the Sierra has “better than average” collision claims and “substantially better than average” personal injury protection, medical payment, and bodily injury liability.
The Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country both made the least expensive list, and are obviously very similar vehicles, but the Town & Country was the #1 least expensive while the Caravan was only the #10 least expensive (or, #11 most expensive).
The report also states that many consumers do not consider insurance costs at all when making purchase decisions, and only call their agent after the purchase is complete to transfer the policy and learn what the new rate will be. This has been true for me in large part; moving from an SUV to a minivan last month, I assumed that our rates would decrease, but it turned out that they actually went up by a few dollars.
My biggest critique about this list is that it’s really omitting data on a LOT of vehicles. By restricting it to the top 20 selling vehicles, they are omitting data from more than half of the new vehicle market. Many people don’t want to drive the same car that everyone else drives and prefer something less mainstream.
The lesson to take from this is that it pays to call your insurance agent before signing the dotted line on a car deal, as for some individuals the insurance premium can add a significant expense to the monthly tab for owning or leasing a new car. It’s something I plan to do next time I buy another car, and is probably just as important as checking reliability statistics and current deals on the car that you want to buy.
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