Auto Insurance – Most Expensive/Cheapest Vehicles to Insure

Update:

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A man was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital following an early Boxing-Day morning crash Dec. 26 at the intersection of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East.John Hanley/Toronto Star

If you’ve ever spent any time the roads, you’ve probably realized how easy it is to get into an accident (or perhaps you’re oblivious; an accident waiting to happen).

While thousands of vehicles are bought and sold in Canada every day, rare is a sale based on a vehicle’s insurability.

Ironically, the cost of insuring a vehicle can add up to one-third of a new vehicle’s purchase cost with just the first year’s premiums.

With that in mind, weighing the true cost of vehicle ownership should include some research into insurance costs of your new or used car or truck. Vehicle insurance costs vary from person to person, company to company, and, of course, vehicle to vehicle, but for ballpark purpose on vehicle model years 1997 to 2009, there is a great resource to be found at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

More: Here are 10 cars least likely to be stolen

More: If you own one of these cars be extra vigilant

More: Do more airbags equal higher insurance premiums?

COLLISION

If you’ve ever spent any time the roads, you’ve probably realized how easy it is to get into an accident (or perhaps you’re oblivious; an accident waiting to happen).

Vehicle collisions, of course, affect your insurance rate as well as the rates of those dwelling in your whereabouts — insurance premiums are generally lower in small towns as opposed to big cities, because crashes and therefore insurance claims are statistically less likely (there’s less to crash into).

But a crash of any sort will also affect the insurance ratings for the make and model of the vehicle involved based on a number of factors, including the car’s prevalence on the road and the cost of repair parts and labour. To wit:

Vehicles with the highest collision claim costs:

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500/SL600/SL55/SL65

2005 Subaru Impreza WRX & WRX STi

2007 Subaru Impreza WRX & WRX STi

2006 Nissan 350z

2004 Nissan 350z

Vehicles with the lowest collision claim costs:

1997 Mazda MX5

1999 Mazda MX5

2002 Mazda MX5

1997 Pontiac Transport / Oldsmobile Silhouette

2001 Mazda MX5

COMPREHENSIVE

While collision insurance is often optional (though usually required on leased or company vehicles) comprehensive personal and general liability insurance usually is not.

Good thing, too, as such policies cover expansively (read: “comprehensively”) injury to people or property resulting from a car collision or vehicle neglect, which can often include damage to expensive stuff like the storefront window of a China shop and personal injury lawsuits well beyond the average driver’s means.

Comprehensive auto insurance, on the other hand, is usually optional (though again, sometimes required depending on you lease/company arrangement) and will cover just one’s vehicle in event of a flood or fire damage, vehicle theft or vandalism as well as plain old, self-imposed dummy collisions like backing into a fire hydrant. But although comprehensive vehicle coverage for your vehicle is not mandated by law (vehicle owners are welcome to foot an entire repair or writeoff bill themselves), it is usually a good idea for newer or more expensive vehicles, especially on these:

Vehicles with the highest comprehensive claim costs:

2006 Hummer H2

2009 Toyota Highlander 4WD

2008 Audi Q7 AWD

2009 Toyota Venza AWD

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX & WRX STi

Vehicles with the lowest comprehensive claim costs:

1998 Ford Escort

1998 Chevrolet Metro Sedan

1998 Buick Skylark

1997 Chevrolet Cavalier Sedan

1998 Chevrolet Metro Hatchback

THEFT

Whether with a new car or older one, insurers also consider how likely a vehicle is to be stolen — not just for desirability, though that surely plays a part, but for ease of jacking (jackability?).

Theft insurance is usually an optional clause within a comprehensive automobile coverage plan. Some people skip theft insurance because their car is a beater and not worth stealing (or getting back), or they’re convinced their car is theftproof, which is never quite true. Still, here are the two ends of the thievability spectrum:

Vehicles with the highest theft frequency rates:

2000 Honda Civic SiR

1999 Honda Civic SiR

2002 Cadillac Escalade

2004 Cadillac Escalade

2005 Acura RSX Type S

Vehicles with the lowest theft frequency rates:

1999 Ford Escort Wagon

2004 Saturn LS2 Sedan

2002 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

2006 Ford Crown Victoria/ Mercury Grand Marquis

2004 Hyundai XG350

Of course, in addition to all the statistical information about your vehicle, your premiums are determined by other factors.

Your personal driving record is probably the biggest variable when shopping for automobile insurance; if you speed a lot, crash a lot or show a habit of drinking and driving, then you can expect to pay more than a calm, unhurried teetotaller does. And where you live will have an effect on rates, as mentioned, not just locally but nationally.

Different provinces have different theft rates, congested cities generally tend to have higher collision rates, and different regions of the country have different environmental factors in play — long icy winters, steep mountain passes and flatland prairie. This means, ironically, that an owner of a ‘98 Ford Escort could still pay more for insurance than someone with a ‘06 Hummer H2.

Moreover, despite data available through the IBC, each insurance company and their corresponding underwriters often rate vehicles contrarily — sometimes with little apparent reasoning. To use a personal example from the motorcycle world, a few years ago I found that company X rated my 250cc cruiser the same as a 250cc sport bike, but company Y noted the distinction between intended use and had specific ratings for each, resulting in lower premiums for me.

The take-away is to use the data available as a guideline and do additional research independently as it relates to your personal situation.

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3 comments

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