Auto insurance after vehicle customization
The fad for electric and hybrid drive is still on the rise these days, with more models being introduced by car makers and new incentives offered for purchasing such environmental-friendly vehicles. You see more of these vehicles on the road and it may look like a good bargain to buy one. But what's the situation when you actually try to insure such cars? Are they on par with their carbon-footprint peers or there are some peculiarities when it comes to covering such vehicles?
While electric motor vehicles haven't been around for long enough to speak about any lengthy claims history, hybrid cars have been on the market for almost a decade and insurance providers have all the statistics they need to determine adequate insurance rates for such vehicles. And to much surprise, owning a hybrid vehicle doesn't automatically mean that you'll get better insurance rates.
The insurance company won't give you better rates just because you're driving a hybrid (unless they offer special discounts for this type of vehicles). Each car model is taken into evaluation and the premiums a car owner is charged with depend on the claims history through different coverage domains. For example, the popular Toyota Prius has the following ratings across the majority of car insurance providers:
- Collision Damage Index. The evaluation of claims assigns the Prius with "D," which is higher than average in terms of premiums.
- Damage Theft Index. In this category the Prius also gets a "D".
- Liability Rating Index. With regards to third party liability, the Prius scores with a higher "B", which reflects in lower than average premiums.
As you see, the popular hybrid model doesn't perform any better than the majority of other vehicles, and there are many ordinary drive cars that have better scores than this hybrid. A head to head comparison of another popular hybrid model - Toyota Camry Hybrid - with its internal combustion engine analogue indicates that they both have the same scores across all coverage types. What this means is that there's no particular benefit from owning a hybrid drive if you're looking for lower car insurance rates, unless you find a company that offers special discounts for hybrid drives.
As for electric cars, there aren't as widespread as hybrid vehicles and there's no sufficient data regarding claim history with these vehicles. So by far the insurance companies tend to rate them "neutrally" until sufficient amount of information is accumulated. Still, there's room for speculation regarding car insurance quotes for electric drive vehicles as we have a recent example in hybrids of how the rates can change over time. It's likely that insurance rates for electric cars will increase at first because the repair costs with such cars are higher than with ordinary vehicles. But as the number of such vehicles will grow, newer models will be introduced and the level of technology will become more advanced the cost of repair such vehicles will drop and so will the average insurance rates for electric motor cars. But only the future will tell whether it'll be this way or not.