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No one can deny the attraction of a sports car. They’re sleek, fast and the ultimate in cool automobiles. However, the cost of car insurance for a sports car is generally pretty high. While it is not easy to find cheap sports car insurance, there are a few ways to get that auto insurance as low as possible.
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Sports cars have higher car insurance for a variety of reasons. Some reasons that are commonly cited for sports cars’ high insurance rates are actually not borne out by facts and statistics. However, car insurance companies see sports cars as high-risk and high premiums go with the territory. There are some tricks to lowering your insurance rates for a sports car, but it is not as if the rates will be dirt-cheap.
Insurance Factors You Can’t Control
Auto insurance companies assess how likely you are to get into an accident or suffer a loss, and then they assign a dollar amount to cover that risk. That dollar amount is your premium.
If your risk is deemed high, then your car insurance premiums will also be high.
Some of the factors that car insurance companies use to determine your risk are really out of your control. For instance, young drivers have the least amount of experience and thus higher risk; generally, auto insurance premiums for young drivers are higher to cover that risk. You can’t control your age, so you are stuck with paying higher premiums to cover your statistical risk.
Another factor that car insurers use to determine your premium, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), is where you live. Urban areas have a higher concentration of drivers, and you are more likely to be involved in an accident in a city than in the country.
Similarly, urban areas also have a higher rate of car theft, so that increases your risk for filing a claim even more. Most people would not find it feasible to move just to have lower car insurance premiums.
Your gender is also a factor that can’t be controlled. Statistically, women have less risk of filing an accident claim, according to the III.
Women are involved in less crashes, have a lower rate of DUI convictions, and have less serious car accidents overall. Because of these statistics, women tend to pay lower premiums then men.
There are other uncontrollable factors that are not always used by auto insurers, but some do. For instance, married people generally have lower rates of auto accidents, but it is not as if you would run out and get hitched just for lower insurance rates.
Insurance Factors That You can Control
There are factors that auto insurance companies use to determine your car insurance premiums that you can control. For example, auto insurers support the idea that there is a connection between a person’s financial decisions and that person’s driving record; essentially, those who are poor money managers are also more likely to be bad drivers. Thus, drivers with poor credit are deemed to be more of a risk and must pay higher insurance premiums.
One of the most important factors that you can control is your driving record. It is about as common sense as you can get. Those who cause accidents, ignore the speed limit, or display poor driving judgment by getting a DUI are a higher risk and will pay a higher premium for car insurance.
Another factor that is within your control is where you park your vehicle when it is not in use.
Cars parked in garages and monitored lots have a lower risk of being stolen or suffering damage from acts of vandalism, hit-and-runs, or the weather.
Similarly, how much you drive your vehicle is also under your control. The more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident. This causes higher auto insurance rates.
Lastly, you can control what kind of car you drive. As a sports car driver, you know that you didn’t choose your vehicle for its safety features. A sports car has higher insurance rates because the risk for filing an insurance claim is higher, among other factors.
Myths about Sports Cars
There is a lot of misinformation about why sports cars have higher auto insurance rates. These myths are about as prevalent as the myth about red cars getting more speeding tickets. While the myths might hit close to home concerning the true reasons why sports cars have such high insurance, the facts and statistics do not bear them out.
First, many believe that sports cars receive more speeding tickets. However, study after study that break down the data show this is not the case. SUVs such as the Hummer, luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz SL Class or cars that appeal to younger drivers like the Scion XP make up the top ten of vehicles that get the most speeding tickets.
Another myth is that sports cars are more likely to be stolen. While the National Insurance Crime Bureau maintains that Chevy Corvettes are stolen at a rate of one per every ten sold, the most commonly stolen vehicles in 2010 were Hondas, Toyotas, three different pickup trucks, one SUV and one minivan. A sports car may be a desirable choice for joy-riding car thieves, but the vehicles that top the most-stolen lists are older, common vehicles that have few anti-theft features and interchangeable parts that are in demand from chop shops.
A vehicle taken by joy riders is likely stolen and recovered quickly, which doesn’t create a high-dollar claim to your insurance. However, the trucks and sedans that are targeted by professional car thieves are torn apart and sold quickly.
These vehicles are likely to never be recovered, making for higher insurance claims.
Sports Car Risk Factors
While sports cars are not the biggest speeders or the most stolen, they do have certain factors that make them high-risk in the estimation of car insurance companies. Higher risk means higher premiums, so getting cheap sports car insurance is a challenge.
Sports cars do have their share of accidents, though they are not the highest offenders, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory. Small SUVs, full size vans, subcompacts, compacts and midsize sedans all had higher crashes per 1,000 vehicles than sports cars.
The biggest bit of data concerning sports cars and crashes were the rates of injuries and fatalities. Sports cars were shown to have greater risk of death than injury for the number of crashes than any other vehicles, especially when taking into account the lower miles typically driven by sports cars. In essence, auto insurers see sports cars as having a greater risk for generating high-dollar claims because sports cars crashes result in death more than other vehicles.
Sports cars have bigger engines that can reach much higher, more dangerous speeds than the average sedan, minivan, or SUV. This fact alone accounts for much of the higher insurance premiums for sports cars.
Their drivers don’t statistically get into more crashes, but they get into worse crashes that cost insurers more money.
Sports cars are built using high-performance parts and the top-of-the-line accessories. This fact makes sports cars more expensive to fix when they are involved with crashes. A fender bender on a mid-sized sedan will likely cost much more to fix on a sports car. This higher dollar amount also raises the insurance rates for sports cars.
Ways to Lower Your Risk
While there are factors that you can’t control concerning how insurance premiums are assessed, there are some ways to get auto insurance for sports cars as low as possible. If you must have a sports car, but you want insurance that is as cheap as possible, then you should:
- Choose a sports car with the best safety rating. For instance, the Dodge Charger was a 2012 Top Safety Pick based on crash testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Save your sports car for weekend driving. Auto insurers have a designation for vehicles that are only driven very few miles a year and for recreational purposes only.
- Improve your driving record by avoiding tickets, accidents, and serious violations like a DUI.
- Improve your credit to improve your rates. You will also be able to get a better interest rate for your next car loan!
- Park your sports car in a garage or secured parking lot. You want to protect your baby anyway, don’t you?
- Install as many anti-theft devices as possible, such as alarms, GPS locators, and remote overrides to get discounts offered by auto insurance companies.
Having VIN etching performed on your sports car can save from 5% to 10% off insurance premiums, according to the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority. It is a simple procedure that can be done with an inexpensive VIN etching kit, and many cities and police departments offer free VIN etching.
It is not necessary to have your dealership complete VIN etching, as it can be much more costly through the dealership.
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