Might the car you drive be driving up your car insurance rates?

To the insurance companies, pricing is all about risk. So if you drive a luxury sports car, you are probably going to pay more than someone who drives a Toyota Camry.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters/File
Toyota cars are seen on sale in Moscow, Russia

Whenever you fill out a car insurance quote form from your insurance company, it asks for a bunch of information; the type of car you drive is one piece. If you drive a luxury sports car, you are probably going to be paying more than someone who drives a Toyota Camry. To the insurance companies, pricing is all about risk. In their eyes the person who drives the sports car is going to be riskier than the one in the Toyota Camry. So how much of a difference does it make?

The Models That Cost the Most to Insure

In an analysis of about 70 of the most popular car models in the U.S. we found that cars like the Chevy Camaro and Acura MDX were toward the more expensive end to insure. About 13% more expensive than the cheapest model, a Toyota Tundra. Other cars which may be surprising were also on the more expensive side of the rankings. Cars like the Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit were in the top 5 most expensive cars to insure in our study. So why are these cars more expensive? It all comes down to actuarial science.

Actuarial science is the science of risk. Insurance companies employee these large and complex formulas to determine who is most likely to get into an accident, thus costing the insurance company money. When drivers of a certain car keep getting into accidents, all drivers of that car may have to start paying more to insure that vehicle. We found there was actually only a slight correlation between the value of a car and how much it cost to insure. In addition to accidents, a relevant factor was how often the eyes of thief fall on a car. A stolen car is very expensive to replace, and cars that get stolen often are usually more expensive to insure. The Honda Accord for example, though an averaged price car, is stolen often, most likely leading to it being one of the more expensive cars to insure.

The Types of Cars that Are Most Expensive to Insure

We couldn't find rates for every type of car out there, but we got a good sense of which types of car are more expensive to insure. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found convertibles and SUVs to be the most expensive to insure. Convertible cars generally attract younger, riskier drivers, most likely leading to more accidents. SUVs are larger, thus when they do get into accidents, the damage tends to be greater and costlier. On the other side of things, we found Station Wagons and Hatchbacks to be the least expensive cars to insure. Those types of cars tend to be more family oriented, and come with more safety features. Sedans can be found on the most and least expensive side of rankings. It will ultimately depend on the model of the car.

What Can You Do to Lower Car Insurance Costs?

If you're reading this, you most likely aren't going to go out and buy a new car to save money on car insurance. Rather you may consider it for the next time you purchase a car. For now, you can focus on other ways you may be able to lower your car insurance costs. Usually drivers renew policies once a year, but often, they will just stay with their current company. The simplest and most effective way of getting the best car insurance price is to shop around. When it comes time for a policy renewal, rather than just automatically going with your company again, shop around a few companies. You may be surprised who will offer you a much better rate. When you find the best car insurance for you, then you can make sure you are getting the right amount of car insurance. You can talk to your agent, or go here, to see if you are getting the right coverage. Many drivers do not need a lot of personal injury protection insurance, which can be quite costly every month. By shopping around, adjusting your limits, and perhaps getting a cheaper car to insure next time you get a car, you can end up saving hundreds on your car insurance every year.

This story originally appeared on ValuePenguin.

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