Articles

06/17/2011

The Truth about Sports Car Insurance

Sports Car InsuranceWhether your tastes lie with NASCAR races or endless episodes of the British TV show "Top Gear," chances are good that at some point in your life, you've considered trading in the subcompact you drive to and from work and replacing it with a zippy sports car. Chances are equally good - whatever your gender - that these fantasies have been quickly quashed by your spouse or partner, not because of the cost of the car (though the coolest, zippiest sports cars are pretty pricey), but because of the cost of the car insurance.

But is it really more expensive to insure a sports car? And if so, why?

In a word, yes. Sports cars are more expensive to insure than the average Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. They're even more expensive than a Toyota Prius. There are several reasons for this:

  • Sports cars tend to have large engines and high tops speeds. Insurance companies base premiums on perceived risk. The larger a car's engine, and the faster it goes, the greater the risk.
  • Sports cars tend to have small profiles. Statistics from the Highway Loss Data Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that the smaller the car, the higher the injury claims. SUVs and full-sized cars have the lowest injury rates in crash tests, while 2-door coupes (which are what sports cars frequently are) have much higher injury rates. This contributes to a higher insurance premium for sports cars.
  • Sports cars can cost more to repair. Because performance vehicles frequently feature custom parts that you can't just buy "off the shelf," they can be difficult to repair when things go wrong. Since many repairs are the result of accidents, and therefore covered by insurance, it is this customization that helps boost what you must pay for auto insurance coverage.
  • Sports cars are expensive. Most sports cars are considerably more expensive than their more mainstream counterparts. And - you guessed it - this means they require more insurance coverage, which means your premium will be higher.

These are just some of the factors that contribute to the higher cost of insuring a sports car, but there are three things you can do to offset the greater price:

  1. Shop around: Comparison shopping, especially online, is your key to getting the lowest premiums possible.
  2. Ask for discounts: You can get them for bundling home and auto insurance, taking a defensive driving class, having excellent credit, making automatic electronic payments, among other things. Always ask about any discounts that may be available to you.
  3. Consider a specialty insurer: If your car is really rare or extraordinarily expensive, and you don't drive it all that often, an insurance company that specializes in sports cars may be able to save you money. If you're not sure which insurers are good, you can check with the owner's club for your make of car, but even then, be sure to compare at least two - and ideally four - companies before making a decision.

Bottom line? Yes, it costs more to insure a sports car, but there are still ways to minimize what you pay.