When it comes time to buying or renewing auto insurance, doing the appropriate research might help you save money. A September 2013 study released by the Highway Loss Data Institute makes for interesting reading in this regard. The study allocated relative scores to cars of all classes and sizes concerning parameters that affect damage susceptibility ratings of cars. These factors are taken into account when insurers determine insurance premium rates. They scored cars based on relative claim frequency, relative claim severity and relative claim loss (average payment made by the insurer per claim). A score of 100 represents the average relative figure whereas scores less than 100 are considered better than average.
In the study, 4-door small cars received a relative claim frequency score of 109 and a relative claim loss score of 110. In both measures, 4-door small cars had worse than average score giving them a worse than average damage susceptibility rating. Mini cars were the only cars within the 4-door class to have worse score on both counts. Very large 4-door cars were the best performers in the category with scores of 72 and 81 for relative claim frequency and relative claim loss respectively. Midsize and large 4-door cars had roughly the same scores as small 4-door cars.
Bad scores have a direct impact on premiums given that relative claim frequency and relative claim loss are the two main factors that insurers take into account while determining premiums for collision coverage. As of December 2013, collision coverage for a Mitsubishi Lancer (the hatchback as well as 4WD versions) will set you back $521 on average. That makes the Mitsubishi Lancer the most expensive car to insurance within the 4-door small car category. At $417 the Volkswagen Golf is the over a $100 dollars cheaper and, in fact, the cheapest in the category to insure.