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Why SUVs Cost More to Insure (and How to Save)

April 16, 2021
3 mins
An SUV drives through the snow with trees in the distance

Driving an SUV has several advantages. From carrying all your gear to taking you on off-road adventures, a sports utility vehicle is versatile and convenient. Plus, they’re cool to drive. But driving an SUV means you may pay more for car insurance.

Factors like higher liability and repair and replacement costs for SUVs can influence the cost of a policy. A few factors cause SUVs to be seen as a higher risk to insurers, including:

  • Safety. Rollover accidents, when the vehicle flips onto its side or roof, are more prevalent with SUVs. That’s because SUVs are taller than other vehicles, so their height and width may make them prone to flipping over if they’re hit. However, since 2012, all SUVs include electronic stability control. This safety feature can reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle in an accident.
  • Replacement parts. Another drawback with having an SUV is if it’s damaged in an accident. Luxury SUVs have more expensive parts. Insurers recognize that they can cost more for repairs and replacements if the vehicle is considered a total loss.
  • The liability risk. Because SUVs are bigger than standard vehicles, they can cause more damage in an accident. This can lead to higher third-party liability injury claims and property damage in an accident.
  • Theft. The theft risk for SUVs is also greater. SUVs and crossover utility vehicles are stolen more because they are popular with thieves, especially those with keyless entry remotes.
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How to save on SUV insurance

While having an SUV can lead to higher insurance rates, there are ways to save money on the premium you pay, including:

  • Review your policy. When vehicles are totalled in car accidents, your insurer pays out the cash value of the vehicle. If you have an older vehicle worth less than $1,000, and your deductible is $1,000, consider dropping the collision coverage, but talk to your broker first.
  • Invest in an SUV that’s cheaper to insure. One way to lower your premium is to buy an SUV that’s cheaper to insure like a Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, or Jeep Wrangler.
  • Increase your deductible. Your deductible is what you pay out-of-pocket for claims. While you might have a deductible that’s $250 or $500, if you raise it to $1,000, it will reduce your monthly payments. However, you have to make sure you can come up with that amount if you file a claim. Let’s look at an example. You’re in a fender-bender and the damages total $5,000. Your deductible is $1,000. You have to pay the deductible first before your insurer pays the balance of $4,000.
  • Ask about discounts. All insurers offer discounts and there are many ways to save money on your policy. Check with your insurer to see if they offer these:
    • A ‘good student discount’ for earning good grades if you’re a post-secondary student.
    • A good driving record discount if you have no accidents or traffic convictions on your driving record.
    • A driving education discount for having completed a driver training safety course.
    • A low mileage discount if you are driving less during the pandemic.
    • A usage-based insurance (UBI) discount for letting your insurer monitor your driving habits using telematics. Not all insurers offer a UBI program.
    • A safety discount for a newer vehicle with advanced safety features.
    • A multiline discount if you bundle a home or condo insurance policy with your auto policy through the same insurer.
  • Shop your rate. If you’re searching for a way to save on insurance payments, try comparing policies and premiums from a broad range of insurers. It is one of the best ways to save on insurance, and RATESDOTCA’s online comparison tool is free to use.
Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile, seasoned writer and editor. He worked as both a staff writer and freelance writer for many business and technology publications as well as for several newspapers. He writes about home, auto, and travel insurance, and is a media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA.

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