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10 Most Expensive 2005 Cars & Trucks to Insure

You've done it! Your youngest child has just graduated from college. No more tuition bills. Yea! Now you and your spouse can relax a little. Maybe take that vacation the two of you have been talking about. You're thinking it would be nice to have a new car also, perhaps a sleek convertible. All the better to take in the scenery on your vacation. You begin to plan for all your expenses. Living with four years of college tuition has helped you hone that skill to fine edge. You know exactly the car you want. You know what options you want with it and how much they'll cost. You figure your insurance will run about the same as for your current auto, maybe a little more because it will be a newer and nicer car.

Hold on there partner. Your insurance might be about the same…but it could be more, much more. Insurance companies based their premiums on two things, what they think about the probability that you will have an accident and how much they think it will cost them. Where you drive, how much you drive, and who's doing the driving are among the factors that affect the probability of an accident. What you drive is a major factor in estimating their cost.

The reality is that some autos cost more to repair than others, which comes as no surprise. Obviously, we would expect to pay more to repair a Jaguar than a Datsun. We might even be a little proud of it. Less obvious is the fact that some vehicles are also likely to cause more damage than others. Picture a Hummer (6400 lbs.) and a Chevy Malibu (3200 lbs.) in an intersection accident. Which one do you think is going to come off worse?

The Insurance Services Office (ISO), an organization that compiles loss data for the insurance industry, assigns vehicles to one of 27 classifications. Each classification reflects a variety of loss elements such as damageability, cost to repair, and the extent to which the vehicle may be a target for theft. The higher the classification, the higher the insurance premium for damage to the vehicle (your collision and comprehensive coverage). Not every insurance company uses the ISO classifications but the great majority do.

The focus of this article is the most expensive autos to insure of the most popular vehicles sold in the U.S. We started with the 20 top selling vehicles according to Reuters Wire Service (11/3/04) and compared insurance rates in cities on both coasts and in the mid-west in arriving at our final list.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Chevrolet Cavalier
  3. Nissan Altima
  4. Ford Focus
  5. GMC Sierra
  6. Ford F-Series Pickup
  7. Chevrolet Silverado
  8. Dodge Ram
  9. Toyota Camry
  10. Honda Accord


Our comparison of insurance rates was based on a 45 year-old single male with no driving violations or convictions and driving to work less than 3 miles one way. We used liability limits of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage. Comprehensive and collision premiums were determined using a $250 deductible. Obviously, you can expect to pay more for insurance in some localities than in others. For example, it may cost $3,100 to insure one of these vehicles in Philadelphia but only $700 to insure the same auto in Indianapolis. In addition, the particular model you purchase will influence your insurance premium (ISO has 10 different classifications for the Honda Civic, for example).

There are many autos that are more expensive to insure than those in our list, the Lamborghini Muriélago Roadster ($319,000), the Ferrari 612 ($260,000, the Rolls Royce Phantom ($328,000), or the Aston Martin DB9 ($155,000), for example. But, if you are seriously considering buying one of those, you probably aren't too concerned about the cost of your auto insurance.

This year, ISO also developed a new system for determining Liability, Personal Injury Protection (No-Fault states), and Medical Payments premiums. The new system applies credits or surcharges ranging from -20% to +25% based on the fact that one auto can cause more damage than another (our Hummer - Malibu example) and the fact that passengers are more likely to sustain injury in some autos than in others. Again, although the new program is available in all states, not all insurance companies have adopted it.

A number of factors may cause your individual premium to differ from the quotes we received. Certainly, if operators in your household have had accidents or traffic violations, your premium will be higher. If you are under 25 or over 50, your premium may be higher or lower. If your commute to work is further than the 3 miles we used, you can expect to pay around $60 - $70 more for your insurance but if you are comfortable with a $500 deductible on your collision and comprehensive coverages instead of $250, you might save $150. That means if you are loss-free for two years, your premium savings will have paid for the first time your have to use your deductible. Hopefully, that will be never, leaving you free to spend that money on other things. And, of course, insurance companies do compete for good insureds. It pays to look around before you buy.

That said, the range of premiums we found and the fact that many insurers have not yet adopted the new Liability, Medical Payments, and Personal Injury Protection rating plan described above gives insurance buyers a very clear message: NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO COMPARISON SHOP!

Happy hunting.

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10 Least Expensive 2005 Cars & Trucks to Insure

If you are looking for a new car and want to spend the least amount possible, you could consider one of the following five vehicles listed in Road and Track magazine as the five least expensive new autos in 2005:

  1. Kia Rio - $9,800
  2. Chevrolet Aveo - $9,995
  3. Hyundai Accent - $10,000
  4. Toyota Echo - $10,355
  5. Saturn Ion $10,999


But, if you are hoping to spend the least to operate a new car, you might do better to look at one of the following autos. Next to the monthly payment for your new car, insurance is one of the biggest expenses you will have. According to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), an organization that compiles loss data for the insurance industry, these 10 vehicles can be expected to enjoy the lowest insurance rates.

  1. Chrysler Town & Country
  2. Chevrolet Venture Wagon
  3. Saturn Ion
  4. Buick LeSabre
  5. Ford Freestar Van
  6. Pontiac Montana Wagon
  7. Ford Escape XLS
  8. Mazda Tribute
  9. Saturn Vue
  10. Suzuki Forenza


Note that none of the vehicles found in the first list above made the least-expensive-to-insure list. Why is that? Like expensive vehicles that cost more to repair because they are expensive, low-priced vehicles cost more to repair precisely because they are inexpensive and more easily damaged. Also, low-price vehicles are less likely to provide the same degree of passenger protection than their more costly brothers and sisters. While you might not find any of the vehicles in our top 10 exciting, ISO does give them high marks for relatively low damageability and for protection to passengers. For example, in 2003, the latest year for which the data is available, the Highway Loss Data Institute rated the Chrysler Town & Country as having 43% lower bodily injury losses, and 16% lower collision losses. In that same year, the least expensive car, the Kia Rio, was rated as having 87% worse than average injury losses and 25% worse than average collision losses.

In addition to buying an auto that's doesn't cost as much to insure, there are several things you can do to lower your insurance premium even further.

  • Shop around. There are literally hundreds of insurance companies in the United States and each files its own rates with state insurance departments. Moreover, insurance companies often use different procedures for determining what your premium should be. ISO filed a new system for determining Liability, Medical Payments, and Personal Injury Protection (no fault) with every insurance department this summer but not all insurance companies have adopted the new program. Depending on your state and your vehicle, the new program might call for a 20% discount off your policy liability premium but if your insurance company hasn't adopted the new program, it could cost you 20% more for the same coverage.


  • Think about higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. If you've financed the purchase of your new car, the lender is going to require that you carry collision and comprehensive coverage but how much of a deductible is on your policy will probably be up to you. You can save substantial sums if you are willing to bear the cost of a higher deductible on your policy. The savings to go from a $250 deductible to a $1,000 deductible could be as much as $600 depending on your location. That means that if you don't have any losses for two years, your premium saving will have more than covered the deductible if you do have a loss. On the other hand, if the value of your vehicle is low, you might want to consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage entirely. In the event of an accident, the insurance company will depreciate the value of your auto based on wear and age and then apply the deductible. You may find that what you end up getting isn't worth the cost of insurance.


  • Ask about discounts. Different insurers give discounts for different reasons depending on the type of customer they are trying to attract but commonly found are discounts for buying your homeowners and auto insurance from the same company, credits for being a safe driver, credits for anti-theft devices, and a good student credit if there is a youthful driver who maintains a B or better grade average.


  • Check with your agent or insurance company to make sure your policy is rated correctly. Youthful operators receive a credit each year up to age 21 and you do not have to wait until your policy renews to apply for it. Your premium is also influenced by whether or not you commute to work and how far that is one way. If your job has changed recently and you no longer drive as far, you may be eligible for a lower-rated classification. If your son or daughter is attending school over 100 miles from where your car is kept, you can ask that they be reclassified on your policy. If your insurance company agrees, this can save you a lot of money. The basis for insurance rates is the location where the vehicle is garaged. Make sure that information is correct on your policy.


  • Do you car pool to work? If not, think about it. If you do not drive more than 2 days to work, this can save you up to 15% on your premium.


  • Keep a good credit record. Many insurance companies have adopted a "credit scoring" system for determining how much they will charge. Not all companies are using it and not all states allow it but for those that do, a good credit history can save you a lot of money on your insurance premium. Check your record at least once a year. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act gives you the right to request a free copy of your credit report annually. Fix any errors you find and be sure your insurance company knows about it.



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