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Higher Horsepower Cars

Date: Apr 11, 2005
Contributor: Neva Herriott

Auto Insurance Co. Study Shows Their Customer's Higher Horsepower Cars Involved in Fewer, But More Costly Claims

Think faster cars are involved in more crashes? You're not alone. According to a recent phone survey of 1,000 people, one-third say that those who drive higher horsepower vehicles are involved in more frequent crashes.

Well, it's just not true according to The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

After studying more than 12 million private passenger cars it insured over the past three years, Progressive finds that cars with more than 200 horsepower are actually involved in an average of 17 percent fewer auto insurance claims than are those with less than 200 horsepower.

But, when a higher horsepower car is involved in a crash, they cause more damage to others. The resulting auto insurance claim payment made to other parties for property and injury claims is an average of 22 percent more costly ($5,673 versus $4,663).

While the reduced frequency of claims works to keep the cost of auto insurance down, the high severity, or the amount paid on the claims, pushes costs up.

The horsepower race continues to heat up: Passenger cars with more than 200 horsepower represented only nine percent of all available makes and models in 1990; today, they represent 54 percent.

So what does all this mean for consumers?

If you choose a vehicle with increased horsepower, you will most likely pay more for auto insurance.

"Insurance rates are based on a lot of information including your vehicle's make and model and information about you and your driving record," said Rick Crawley, product development general manager, Progressive. "So, information about what you drive, as well as who you are, is important to your rate."

Crawley said: "Another reality is that each insurance company has a different claims experience, which leads to a wide range of rates available from company to company."

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