Are Hybrids More Expensive to Insure?
Purchasing a car is a big step, but it can be difficult. You have to put so many factors into consideration. Making a wrong car purchase can be a costly mistake in the long run. Whether you are shopping for your first car or replacing the old car, there are a variety of car types and models in the market. Deciding which one to purchase can be confusing.
You might decide to go the hybrid way for obvious reasons: fuel efficiency, low emissions, great resale value, and less maintenance. However, you might want to check out the cost of insuring hybrids before you sign that cheque. So let’s talk more about insurance for hybrids and how it differs from other types.
What are hybrids?
These are cars that use an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. While traditional cars only have one battery, the motor in hybrids uses and stores energy in multiple batteries. In addition, most hybrid cars have an alternator, enabling them to use two kinds of power: internal combustion & gasoline to propel the car. In comparison with other types of cars, hybrids are more expensive to insure than traditional cars due to various reasons.
Why are hybrids more expensive to insure?
As we mentioned, hybrids are more expensive to insure. It would be uncouth for insurers to raise the cost of insurance for a certain car model without any base. So, what makes hybrids more expensive to insure?
- Hybrid cars are worth more than other cars- Insurance aims at absorbing a risk in case an insured peril occurs. And given that hybrid cars are more expensive, the cost of insurance goes higher since the vehicle’s replacement cost is also high. So, for instance, if a hybrid car is involved in an accident and is totalled, the insurer will incur a higher replacement cost.
- The parts for hybrid cars are expensive- Hybrid car parts are costly. This means that the replacement cost in case a vehicle is involved in an accident can be significantly high, hence the increase in insurance price.
- Higher mileage- Most hybrid car owners invest in the vehicles since they are more cost-effective for driving long distances. A higher mileage puts the vehicle at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Also, the wear and tear are significantly higher, increasing the need for regular maintenance and repair.
- Hybrids have higher damage claims when compared to other types of vehicles- As such, your insurer will consider you to be high risk if you drive the fuel-efficient models.
- Hybrids need specialized repair- Given their highly specific repair needs, your insurer will need a hybrid specialist to repair the car, not to mention the high cost of the parts.
- Higher risk of accident- Most hybrids have low noise levels. While this is great for the environment, it can translate to a higher risk of accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.
What factors affect the cost of insurance for your car?
- The technology used- Hybrid vehicles use the latest and sophisticated technology. Unfortunately, this is often expensive to repair and maintain. In some areas, getting a mechanic who can professionally undertake some hybrid repairs can be difficult, while some models may be simple to repair.
- Your driving history- If you have a clean driving license, you will get better insurance rates. However, a person who has poor driving records will get worse insurance rates, especially when the vehicle model is factored in.
- The initial cost of the car- If you prefer the latest hybrid technology, expect to pay higher insurance rates. The higher the cost of your car, the higher the premiums.
- The safety record of the hybrid model- Hybrids with higher safety records can fetch lower insurance rates, while those with lower safety records may be more costly to insure.
- Your credit history- If you have a bad credit history, you may be required to pay more insurance than someone with a good credit history.
- Age- Younger persons, especially teenagers, are at a higher risk of causing or being involved in an accident since they have limited driving experience.
How can you reduce the insurance cost for your hybrid?
- Choose a hybrid from a lower insurance group- Insurance providers often group car models in different classifications. Before you purchase the hybrid, you can approach your insurer and get the insurance estimates for the said model. Compare this among other car models and see how the insurance rates differ. While hybrids tend to go higher in the insurance groups, you can get one that has lower rates associated with it
- Minimize your annual mileage- If your annual mileage is high, expect to pay higher premiums. The more time you spend on the road, the higher the risks of an accident. This ultimately raises your insurance rates.
- Install security features in your car- Hybrids are expensive to purchase, repair and replace. Car modifications such as dash cams, immobilizers and alarms can make your car safer and reduce the chances of making a claim. You may even get a lower insurance price if your insurer provides coverage for modified cars.
- Ask for higher deductibles- While raising your deductibles can significantly reduce the cost of your premiums, you should only do so if you are a low-risk driver or you can raise the deductible amount easily.
- Insurance bundling- If you have other insurance policies, purchasing your hybrid insurance from the same insurer will earn you massive discounts. And if you own several vehicles, have them insured by the same insurer, provided they are credible.
- Ask around for discounts- Insurance discounts will not lower the cost of hybrid insurance to that of traditional vehicles. However, you still get lower rates. For instance, you may get great discounts if you enrol for a defensive driving course. Similarly, younger drivers may get discounts if they have good grades.
- Purchase your hybrid via group insurance- Some insurers offer better insurance rates for policies purchased via employers, alumni groups and other associations. Again, this may not lower the cost of hybrid insurance to the level of traditional cars. However, it will reduce the cost of the insurance.
- Maintain credible credit rating- You may not understand why you are advised to maintain a credible credit rating until you need financing or insurance. Take the small steps to maintain credible credit, such as paying your bills on time and keeping your credit balances low.
Hybrids may be more expensive to insure compared to other vehicles. However, you can take various measures as discussed above to reduce the cost of insurance. Similarly, your insurer can advise on which hybrid model can fetch lower insurance rates. Check also this post about electric cars.