Insuring Sports Cars is Spendy

You've probably heard the conversations. A friend buys a tricked-out sports car and their spouse immediately reacts, not with excitement about the new wheels, but horror about the new cost of their auto insurance. If you thought they were just exaggerating, think again. While there are many factors that make up the auto insurance premium that you pay, the type of vehicle you drive is a significant element.

Insurance companies look at many facets of your vehicle. They begin with the price, which affects the replacement cost in the event of your car or truck being either "totaled" in a severe accident, or stolen. Then they factor in the expected cost to repair the vehicle, including parts and labor. Older cars that are no longer produced, and performance vehicles with non-standard parts cost more to repair than the average four-door sedan, for example.

As well, your insurer may include a surcharge if your vehicle is one that is frequently stolen, or has a high rate of injury claims when involved in accidents. The latter two statistics come from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which has a website at, and is affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

There, you (or your insurance company) can find industry-wide information on collision repair costs, injury claims, and theft rates, all sorted by vehicle make and model. According to their data, the larger the vehicle, the lower the injury claims. SUVs and full-sized cars have the lowest, while small cars - 2-door coupes and economy-sized sedans - and sports cars have the highest injury claims as well as the highest collision costs. What About Those Sports Cars and SUVs? There is truth in the myth that owning a sports car will cost you a lot. High performance models tend to come with insurance premiums that are two or three times higher than what you pay when you drive a more "normal" kind of car.

SUVs also, are a "hot" insurance item. While some are relatively inexpensive to insure they are among the most frequently stolen vehicles in the United States, and they tend to have high price tags. As well, SUVs can be more expensive to repair after an accident, especially if the four-wheel-drive system is damaged.

You Better Shop Around Despite all these trends, insurance companies still set their final rates (within legally mandated guidelines) based on their own experiences: One company may have had more claims for specific kinds of cars than another, and may have adjusted their rates to account for this. Whether you're driving a three-year-old SUV or have succumbed to the call of a modern muscle car, take the time to shop around before committing to an insurance plan. By doing research, you can save yourself a lot of money, and a big headache when it comes to paying the deductible should you get into an accident.

How much does it really cost to insure your new ragtop? Check out some car insurance quotes to find out.

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