Best Rates on Car Insurance – Explained

auto insurance ratesMost automotive consumers do at least some research before buying a new car — checking prices and incentives, looking at styles and options, comparing mileage and safety ratings, noting reliability scores and reading reviews.

But many fail to consider the cost of auto insurance as part of their buying decision when, in fact, the cost of insurance will often exceed the cost of gasoline and, in some cases actually be greater than car payments. Insurance is a major cost of car ownership, yet it’s often overlooked.

One of the major contributors to car insurance cost is the make and model of vehicle. Different vehicles have different insurance rates.

We know that more expensive vehicles have higher insurance rates simply because those vehicles cost more to replace and repair after accidents.  But rates can also be high for less expensive cars — because they are wrecked more often and have higher claim incidents — or are stolen more often.

Therefore, it makes good sense to research auto insurance rates before making a new-car buying decision. A great car deal can actually be not such a great deal when insurance is considered. Insurance can easily double the monthly cost of car ownership fors some car makes and models.

So, what are the vehicles with the cheapest insurance?

Industry sources recently published results of a study of average auto insurance rates for more than 750 vehicles. Following are some of the models with the lowest rates:

The list goes on but there’s a pattern at play here. The vehicles are nearly all SUVs and a smattering of minivans. The reason is pretty obvious. SUVs and minivans are usually driven by sensible adults with families and are not wrecked very often.  Furthermore, none of the vehicles are especially expensive to replace or repair.

A more comprehensive list of vehicles that are relatively cheap to insure would include inexpensive small cars such as the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, and non-luxury family sedans such the Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, and Toyota Camry. Some models such as Honda’s Accord have multiple versions (“trim levels”) such as LX, EX, and Touring. Insurance is nearly always cheaper on the lowest cost version.

Brands with low insurance cost: Kia, Hyundai (except for Equus and Genesis), Jeep, Toyota (except Avalon and Sequoia), Honda (low-priced versions), Ford (small vehicles and family sedans), Chevrolet (small vehicles and family sedans). Actually popular brands such as Honda and Toyota tend to have rates a bit higher than normal, perhaps due the to fact there are more of them on the road and, therefore, involved in more accidents.

Some non-luxury cars have high insurance rates because they are primarily driven by young single males — and wrecked more often by young single males. In general, sports cars, or smaller 2-door “sporty” coupes with larger engines have high insurance costs, especially for teen drivers.

Be aware that even if you are a 45 year-old married woman with a perfect driving record, you’ll still pay higher car insurance rates for cars that are wrecked more often by 17 year-old single teen drivers.  Why? Because insurance companies spread the cost to all customers, not just the worst offenders. Otherwise, young males, who already pay higher rates, would not be able to afford insurance at all.

Summary

Insurance rates depend on the make and model of vehicle, among a number of other factors such as driver sex, age, driving record, miles driven, and location. Rates also vary between insurance companies — often widely — for the same car, same driver. Therefore, it is important for prospective car buyers to not only consider vehicle brand and model but also the insurance company from which they choose to buy a policy.

The absolute best way to find out what you’ll pay for auto insurance is to get fast free rate quotes through online services  directly from major providers such as Esurance.com.  Get quotes for different vehicles before making a decision.

You’ll find that you can save significant money by selecting the right car and the right insurance company.

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