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How Your Vehicle Affects Insurance Rates

Most drivers have some idea of the way car insurance rates are related to the particular cars they choose to insure. For example, most of us are well aware that a sports car tends to cost more to insure than a simple sedan. But there are other connections between your car and your insurance bills, and other ways in which you should know how your vehicle affects insurance rates. Some of them do involve the make and model of the car, but some of them have to do with much less obvious characteristics you might easily overlook.

Why Sedans Cost Less to Insure Than Sports Cars

It is almost universally known that as a general rule, sedans cost less to insure than sports cars. Once again, generally speaking, this is because sedans are less likely to produce an insurance claim than sports cars, from theft or a car accident or any other type of claim event. Sedans are generally considered safer cars than exotic vehicles, but the truth is some of that difference in safety actually just stems from how they are typically driven. People driving sports cars are more likely to display the unsafe driving habits that can result in claims: speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, failing to keep safe following distances, failing to wear a seat belt...and the list goes on and on.

The euphoric feeling many people associate with sports cars is a part of what draws them to buy these expensive machines in the first place. It is an addictive feeling to get behind the wheel of something so primitive and powerful, to be in "control" of something so hard to control. For this very reason, many accidents occur when people drive sports cars. Truth is, they are very hard to control at high speeds, no matter how much they make us feel like race-car drivers or cops in hot pursuit.

There is a strong connection between vehicle type and driving behavior. For this reason, there is a powerful correlation between vehicle type and insurance cost. Everyone wants to feel the rush of driving a hot sports car-this is why they are so popular, and also so often the target of auto theft. Theft rates are prominent in calculating car insurance rates: a subtle but important advantage to buying that trusty sedan instead of the flashy coupe.

The Connection Between Safety and Affordability

Vehicle type is definitely not the only factor related to your vehicle that has a bearing on its insurance cost. Yes, the car or truck's make, model and age are all important factors. But you could price out two 2003 Ford Rangers and come up with two very different car insurance quotes for coverage. Many optional features found on certain vehicles make them more affordable to insure.

Some of these features have to do with safety, which makes a lot of sense in relation to insurance cost. The safer a vehicle can be, the cheaper it will probably be for an auto insurance company to insure it, and thus the lower the cost the company will pass on to you. One example of such safety features is air bags. Driver's side air bags have been around the longest and are the most common air bag type. Passenger side air bags built into the dash get more common with each passing model year, and newer features like side-curtain air bags and ones for passengers in the back seat will be commonplace someday in the not-too-distant future. For now, they all make a vehicle safer to drive, when used in conjunction with seat belts. And they make your car insurance premium lower if you have them in your vehicle.

Speaking of seat belts, they are a very basic safety feature that helps give drivers and passengers their best chance to survive an auto accident. Seat belts are standard in all cars and trucks built nowadays, but certain seat belts still qualify you for a discount on your car insurance premium. Automatic seat belts, the ones that self-engage when the car is turned on, make the car a much safer place to be, and reduce fatalities in auto accidents. As such, insurance companies love to see them in cars, and they are happy to provide a reduction in your rates when you have them in your vehicle.

ABS or anti-lock braking systems are another important safety feature that can help you save money on your auto insurance. If your vehicle is equipped with ABS and the system is functioning properly, it means your brakes will not lock up and you will be more likely to stop successfully when you have to hit the brakes in a panic. Car insurance companies usually require ABS systems to be factory installed in order to give you a break on your auto insurance price.

Aside from specific features, some vehicle makes and models are just safer than others. Statistics bear this out, as researchers are always testing different cars to see how they respond to different driving and accident situations in an effort to understand which cars are safest and how to make them even safer. The cars that have the best crash test ratings and other safety benchmarks tend to be the ones costing less to insure. All these are things to keep in mind whenever you are thinking about buying a new car. Safety features and safety ratings will not only save you money; they can potentially help keep you from harm if you ever have an accident.

Check Insurance Rates Online to Get the Best Price for Your Vehicle

Regardless of what vehicle you own, there are many factors that come into play regarding how expensive it will be to insure. Some of them are related to its value or how prone it might be to theft. Some may be related to the tendencies of people who drive that model, statistic anomalies that make it more expensive to cover. And some of them are tied to safety features included in the vehicle, including its overall safety rating as determined by researchers.

If you are in a position to buy a car in the near future, these things are important to bear in mind. The particular characteristics of every car go into the determination of its insurance rates. If you are happy with the car you have or unable to make a change right at the moment, you can take this information to try and make the best of what you have. You can make your car safer by driving it in a safer manner. Always abide by the rules of the road, always follow other vehicles at a safe distance, and keep your car maintained to make sure it operates in a safe manner.

Your vehicle will affect insurance rates by the idiosyncrasies it brings to the coverage calculation. But you are not powerless to positively affect these rates yourself; they are not calculated in a vacuum. Find out all the ways you can maximize your savings on auto insurance coverage for your particular vehicle, like discounts and other rebates, and cut down on the money you spend.

 

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