A review of the data shows that generally, more expensive models tend to demand higher insurance payouts in categories related to damage repair, in particular when covering collision costs. Close to half of the 25 cars with the highest insurance costs are luxury vehicles, compared to just three of the 25 cars with the lowest insurance costs.
In addition to price, the size of the vehicle appears to be a major determinant of insurance payouts. “One of the truisms of the universe is that bigger and heavier is better from a safety perspective,” Rader explained. Many of the vehicles with low insurance claim payments are large and midsize SUVs. Such cars tend to have low personal injury, medical, and bodily injury insurance payouts, likely the result of being safer.
Many of the vehicles with the highest overall average insurance payments are small to midsize sedans, which tend to protect drivers and passengers less than larger vehicles. “Looking at insurance loss data can help you not only zero in on the vehicles that are less costly to insure, but it can also help you compare the safety of vehicles in real-world driving,” Rader noted.
To determine the 25 Cars with the lowest insurance costs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on insurance claim payments made by insurers by make and model, provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research organization funded by auto insurers. The costs include six types of insurance: collision, property damage, comprehensive, personal injury, medical payment, and bodily injury. The model that is most expensive to insure had the highest overall average cost to the insurer per year. These data are for 575 vehicles of 2014-2016 model years sold in the United States. Average annual insurance payments account for both the frequency of accidents, as well as the average payment made, by model. IIHS breaks down the data for models to sometimes include certain safety-relevant features, such as all wheel drive, and driver assistance technology. To avoid repetition, each model nameplate was listed only once, and the more expensive version to insure is always listed.