Car Insurance for SUVs

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance for SUVs

What initially drew many Americans into the SUV (sports utility vehicle) market was the promise that these cars would be more substantial, and therefore safer, than other types of cars out there. After all, as the commercials for these cars try to assure us, these vehicles are more rugged, powerful, and durable than smaller compact vehicles and luxury vehicles.

Unfortunately, studies such as “An Analysis of Traffic Deaths by Vehicle Type and Model” have proven time and time again that these vehicles are just as risky as the average midsize or large car, and they are no safer than most compact vehicles. In fact, that same study revealed that the combined risk of an average SUV is actually 30% higher than your average large car and 25% higher than an average midsize vehicle. The result: higher insurance rates for the driver, which the driver is almost never expecting.

Why A Higher Insurance Rate for SUVs?

When compared to the average compact car, you can expect your SUV car insurance rates to be higher for a number of reasons:

  • SUVs present a higher risk on the road
  • This type of vehicle does more damage when involved in an accident due to its size
  • They are not, in fact, safer than other vehicles
  • They are more expensive to repair for insurance companies, as the manufacturers of such vehicles aren’t forced to stick to the same federal standards when it comes to low-speed collisions
  • Despite advancements in design, SUVs are still more likely to tip and roll because of their high centers of gravity
  • SUVs are more desirable to thieves than many other types of cars

Keeping Premiums Low

We’ve all heard that you need to shop around, compare vehicle insurance quotes and hike your deductible to keep your premiums low, but there are other ways that SUV drivers can maintain an affordable deductible:

  • Buy your car insurance from the same company you purchase your home or renters insurance from
  • Ask about group insurance (local auto clubs can give you some nice discounts on your insurance)
  • Drop unnecessary coverage on an older SUV (the older the vehicle, the less its worth and the less valuable coverage like collision will become)

Reports show the SUV “craze” is far from fading, despite climbing gas prices and increased car repair costs. Given the extensive range of SUVs out there today — many of which no longer have that traditional “boxy” SUV appearance — this isn’t overly surprising. Still, it’s important for SUV owners to protect themselves and their families by purchasing SUVs with extensive safety features such as electronic stability control systems, and to research insurance rates prior to investing in one of these vehicles, especially if it is an older SUV.