Feb 24 2014, 3:56pm CST | by Forbes
Next time you feel the need to complain about your car insurance rates consider this. The owner of a Mercedes-Benz SLS sports car living in West Virginia can be expected to pay the absolute highest premiums in the nation (that is among models from non-exotic automakers) at an annual average of $7,040, according to a just-released survey of auto insurance costs conducted by Insure.com.
While car insurance rates are still predominantly based on a motorist’s driving record and demographic variables like address, age, gender, marital status and credit rating, some cars are inherently costlier to insure than others. As a rule of thumb, expensive luxury and sports cars cost more to insure than cheaper models, simply because there’s more money at stake. Premiums also vary according to a given make and model’s claims history, including how much damage a given model incurs – and imparts on another vehicle – in a typical crash, the extent of injuries (and fatalities) suffered by occupants and other parties and which models are more or less likely to be stolen.
Overall, the costliest 2014 model to insure at a national annual average of $3,169 is the $100,000 Nissan GT-R, which earned the nickname “Godzilla” for its larger-than-life performance (never mind that the movie version was big and lumbering, but at least he/she breathed fire, which would indeed tend to raise one’s rates). “The GT-R reaches not-so-legal speeds in a blur, where small driving mistakes lead to expensive claims,” says Insure.com’s editorial director Amy Danise. “The GT-R is also a monster to repair – the expensive carbon fiber material used in its body panels generally can’t be repaired after a crash, they have to be replaced.”
We’ve compiled a slideshow of the 10 most-expensive non-exotic-branded models to insure as determined by Insure.com, along with their average anticipated premium costs. As would be expected, all are posh and pricey luxury cars, SUVs and sport coupes/convertibles, with Mercedes-Benz leading all automakers taking four of the top spots.
Budget-busting sports cars on the list include the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT (at a national annual average of $2,986), Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro ($2,917) and the Jaguar XK/XKR Supercharged models ($2,610 and $2,854, respectively). Also featured are higher-performing limited-production versions of what would otherwise be still costly upscale autos and SUVs, including the BMW M6 coupe ($3,065), Porsche Panamera Turbo S sedan ($2,970), and the Mercedes G63 AMG and GL63 AMG SUVs. Arguably the most “normal” autos on the list are the comfortable and capable Mercedes CL 550 luxury coupe and the Audi A8 L sedan.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a 2014 car or truck that will cost less to cover, check out the accompanying post and slide show on “The Cheapest 2014 Cars To Insure.”
And be aware that these are all national averages – according to Insure.com’s study the cost to insure a given model can vary – sometimes by substantial amounts – based on the state in which an owner resides. According to Insure.com rates can differ according to a state’s insurance regulations, the level of competition among carriers and severe weather that produced above-average claims during the previous year. Premiums are also costlier in states that have a higher than average percentage of uninsured and underinsured motorists – largely because of economic reasons – who cause crashes for which they aren’t covered.
Those living in Michigan can be expected to pay the highest car insurance rates in the nation with a state average of $2,551 per vehicle; since those living in urban areas pay more than those in the less-populated areas that make up much of the state, we can only assume that residents of Detroit are likely to pay a hefty premium on top of that for coverage). By comparison, motorists in Ohio are charged an annual average of just $926 for car insurance.
Here’s a list of the 10 states Insure.com identifies as offering the highest average auto insurance rates:
For those keeping score, North Carolina motorists who own the base Sport version of the 2014 Jeep Wrangler SUV can expect to pay the lowest car insurance premiums in the nation at an annual average $670. That’s a substantial $6,370 more than the aforementioned resident of West Virginia would be charged to cover his or her Mercedes-Benz SLS sports car. While few would ever cross-shop the two vehicles, at a whopping $31,850 difference over the course of a five-year ownership period, that’s enough of a savings to buy a nicely equipped Wrangler and still have enough money left over to insure it for several years down the road.
The Fine Print: Data on premiums for the survey was compiled by Quadrant Information Services based on auto insurance rates for 2014 models from six large carriers – Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm – in 10 ZIP codes per state. Rates were not available for all models, particularly exotic-brand cars (Ferrari, Maserati, etc.). Averages assume a single, 40-year-old male with a clean driving record and good credit who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300//50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. State averages were calculated by averaging the rates for all models surveyed for each state.
Source: Forbes Auto
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