Do you drive an SUV? If you do, you might be surprised to see just how much it costs to insure them. What’s even more shocking is when you read the safety reports – they say that SUVs and other large vehicles are much safer to drive and have a lower injury claim than smaller cars. If they are safe, shouldn’t they be cheaper to insure, not ten to twenty per cent more than other vehicles?
The Issues that Raise Rates
The problem is that SUVs are often seen as very nice, luxurious vehicles. Thus, they are targets for theft. While they rank among the safest vehicles, they also rank among the most often stolen. Any other sporty vehicle or high-performance car will have high premiums because of this, too.
Another factor is their repair cost. It can cost a lot more to repair an SUV, especially its 4-wheel-drive system, than it costs to repair other vehicles.
Then there is the issue surrounding damages. SUVs, because of their size and heavier frames, often do more damage to other vehicles. This means your insurance has to pay out more money to have these other vehicles fixed if you are at fault in an accident.
SUVs are often top heavy because they sit higher off the ground than other vehicles. This means they are more likely to roll, especially if they do not have some of the newer stabilizing features. Rolling can cause more damage and personal injury, which again means the insurance company has to pay out more.
If you are set on driving an SUV, don’t give up and accept the first insurance quote you see. There is hope: it is possible to get cheap SUV insurance, especially if you put a little time and effort into it.
Lowering Your SUV Insurance Rates
Now that we’ve seen why SUVs have higher insurance rates, what can you do to lower them? You cannot really do anything about the repair cost or the fact that an SUV is going to usually do more damage to other cars, but you can help prevent accidents. You can counter each point against SUVs and lower your rates.
Issue: SUVs are often stolen
Solution: insurance companies do take into account where you live. If you make your home in an area with a high crime rate, your premium will reflect that. If you are moving to a new area, do some research into crime and pick an area with a low rate. Also, add an anti-theft device to your SUV.
Issue: SUVs cost more to repair/do more damage to other vehicles
Solution: not much can be done to counter this issue apart from trying not to get into an accident. Taking a defensive driving course can help you avoid accidents and can also get you a discount on your insurance.
Issue: SUVs can easily roll
Solution: make sure your SUV includes features such as electronic stability control. This helps prevent them from rolling in certain situations, and insurance companies will make note of these features.
Many other insurance discounts will apply to your SUV insurance, but because the starting rate is so high, it may not seem like these discounts lower your rate that much. Of course, they do help. Any little discount is definitely worth it, so be sure you are getting every discount you are eligible for. Here are some of the ones that might apply to you:
- Good driver discount
- Multiple policy discount (having your home, life, or multiple cars insured by the same company)
- Good grade discount (for students)
- Woman driver discount (women are seen as better drivers and get a small discount)
- Short commute discount (the longer your commute the more chance of an accident).
What You Need to Know about SUV Insurance
The sport utility vehicle (SUV) has been around since the early 1970s and the commercial Jeep brand. The earliest SUVs were scaled down versions of military vehicles used in World War II and Korea. Believe it or not, the history and design of military SUVs actually plays a role in how much it costs for insurance today.
When a driver is looking to buy cheap SUV insurance, he or she just wants to get the best policy at the best price. Nevertheless, the insurance companies are also pursuing their own agenda. They want to offer a suitable policy without exposing themselves to unnecessary financial risks. So how does that play into the history and design of the SUV?
Despite the fact that there are now three classes of SUVs, they all have one thing in common: the perception that they are rugged vehicles capable of being driven off-road. Even if an owner never takes his or her SUV off-road, the capability exists for them to do so. That capability represents more risk to an insurance company.
Weight and Size
Two additional considerations for insurance companies are the weight and size of SUVs. For example, a compact SUV is no larger or heavier than a compact pickup truck. Insurance for a compact is pretty cheap. On the other hand, a full-size SUV is a large and heavy vehicle that costs more to insure.
Because the full-size SUV is larger and heavier, its potential to inflict damage is greater. Imagine a full-size SUV colliding with a compact sedan. Which do you think will win that battle? From a liability standpoint, the larger and heavier SUV cost more to insure because it can inflict more damage.
The other thing to consider when you are looking for cheap SUV insurance is the replacement value of your vehicle. If it’s a few years old, the value has declined enough that it should not have a noticeable impact on your insurance rates. Nevertheless, if it’s brand-new, that’s a different thing.
Brand-new SUVs are very expensive to replace, partly due to consumer demand and partly due to manufacturing costs. When it comes to collision and comprehensive insurance, that replacement value adds dollars to your monthly premiums.
Purchasing SUV Insurance
When a driver starts looking for SUV insurance quotes a couple of things need to be kept in mind:
- multiple quotes give a driver more options to choose from
- insurance companies offer varying levels of coverage
- there’s a difference between state and bank requirements
Every car insurance policy starts with state-mandated liability insurance. This is insurance you carry to protect someone else in the event that you cause an accident. Liability insurance does not cover your expenses. In addition to liability, some states require two types of insurance known as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) and personal injury protection (PIP).
Since state requirements will be the same for every insurance company, you will not find much difference in the rates they charge for basic coverage. The real differences start to show up when you add collision, comprehensive, glass, and other types of coverage. These the types of things to pay special attention to when you are comparing SUV insurance quotes.
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