Insurance companies use many factors to determine premiums – how much you pay for your auto insurance. Some of these factors reflect the relative risk of your personal situation, such as age, gender, and location. But what about the car you’re insuring? Yes, the car brand, model and age are very important factors. Insurance companies are meticulous about calculating the possible payouts for claims from their insured customers, and they base their calculations on huge amounts of data about drivers, the cars they drive, and the accidents that occur.
Believe it or not, companies actually create psychological profiles about the drivers and the cars they drive. When you think of how emotionally connected people can be to their cars, this makes a lot of sense. Do you ever feel that your car is a kind of projection of your own personality? Of course. The things we buy and show to the world often reflect our own images of self, and the way we want others to see us. So, it only follows that excessive horsepower could be correlated with the driver’s own aggressive tendencies. Conversely, low horsepower may signal a more practical, less risky personality.
Are colors also important predictors of accident risk? You might think so. For one thing, colors could vary in their visibility to other drivers and pedestrians. Colors might also match up to personality types like “red equals bold and aggressive”. But the truth is that, as far as we can tell, insurance companies do not explicitly factor your car’s color into rate calculations. There is some debate as to whether your car’s color can be determined by its VIN number, which the insurer could use even if you didn’t state the color; but we couldn’t find any conclusive evidence that this routinely used in evaluating insurance rates.
Insurance companies base some of their rate decisions on historical data about accident frequency, injuries, property damage and repair costs related to specific vehicle models. A particular model that consistently shows more collision, liability and medical costs than any other mid-size sedan will reflect those costs in relatively higher premiums for that model.
Body styles enter into rate calculations as well. Of the top-20 2010 car models with the highest premiums, four are 2-door convertibles (“ragtop” sports cars), and nine are 2-door coupes (“hardtop” sports cars). Nearly all of the top 20 have either 8-cylinder or 12-cylinder engines. And bearing names like Porsche, Mercedes and BMW, you know they carry high price tags and hefty repair costs. Conversely, the models with lowest premiums tend to be small, practical SUVs and minivans.
So let’s get to it (drum roll please). With credit to a recent study by Quadrant Information Services, the ten car models with the highest average premiums are:
- Porsche 911 Carrera GT2: $2944
- Mercedes S65 AMG: $2863
- Porsche Panamera TurboAWD: $2837
- Mercedes CL600: $2755
- Audi R8: $2752
- Porsche Panamera S: $2745
- Mercedes SL600: $2716
- Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo: $2706
- Mercedes CL65 AMG: $2700
- BMW M6: $2689