Auto Insurance Yorktown Heights

Does My Driving a Hybrid Car Affect My Insurance Rates?

The sales of hybrid cars and the up-and-coming all-electric vehicles are increasing as this technology becomes more refined and available to the average driver. The savings in fuel (gasoline) alone is enough of an enticement for some consumers to spend more money initially for a hybrid or electric car. The reasoning is that any initial cost outlay will be made up in miles per gallon. But how does buying and driving an electric car or hybrid affect the amount of money you pay for insurance? Will you pay more to insure these types of vehicles? Is there extra insurance that you need to carry while owning and driving an electric or hybrid vehicle? There are many good reasons to choose a hybrid or electric vehicle. Just make sure to factor in the cost of car insurance.

Here are some facts.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), insurance coverage for hybrid cars may be higher than the rates for gasoline-powered vehicles. A reason for this may be that hybrid and electric vehicles are typically more expensive to service, repair, and replace than regular cars. Also, a 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that hybrids were more likely to get into accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians, probably because they’re so much quieter than other cars.

One study by the government suggests that accidents involving hybrids and electric cars tend to happen at lower speeds, which may cause less damage and thus less expensive to repair. According to the IIHS, the odds of being injured in an accident are 25% lower for people traveling in hybrids than people in non-hybrid models.

Auto insurance rates for hybrids are more predictable than insurance rates for exclusively electric cars simply because hybrids are more common and have been around longer, so there’s more information available to spot trends and set rates. Auto insurer State Farm uses these considerations for setting rates for the Toyota Prius:

  • Collision Damage Index. The Prius earns a “D,” meaning it is charged somewhat higher-than-standard premiums.
  • Damage Theft Index. On this index of the comprehensive premium, the Prius gets a “D” – again, somewhat higher-than-standard premiums.
  • Liability Rating Index. On this index of the bodily injury and property damage liability premium, the Prius earns a “B,” and is charged a somewhat-lower-than standard premium in that area. These indexes are not considered equally when determining the insurance rates for a vehicle. That’s because the different indexes carry different values in the system. For instance, the Liability Rating Index grade may count for as much as half of the amount of the premium.

Hybrid and electric vehicles are a great way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save money on gas. But higher repair costs and some safety concerns can make them slightly more costly when it comes to car insurance quotes. If you’re considering buying a hybrid or electric vehicle, talk to the auto insurance professionals at Guerra Insurance of Yorktown Heights. Luis Guerra and his team can show you how to save money on your insurance for your fuel-sipping, money-saving new ride.