Safety in the Eyes of the Insurance Industry

The IIHS has a fascinating bit of info we stumbled on recently comparing insurance losses for all different cars as tracked. Check it out below:

[ Insurance losses: Two-door models ] IISH.org

So, you can look at both a MINI and a Silverado and see which one has been better from an insurance company’s perspective.  But more importantly, from a 50,000 ft level, one could interpret this to mean that if an insurance company is paying less, especially in medical expenses, that the car must be performing better in real-world crashes as well.  Having said that, take a look again at the MINI compared to the others in the small car category.

Who says you can’t have a safe small car?

  • Kennedy

    For the sake of pointing out. The numbers presented are an overall comparison to what the industry average is (as opposed to average for each sub-class of car). So an 80 is 20% better than the industry average, 120 is 20% worse than average, etc. For this reason, I do not see any reason to suggest that you cannot make direct comparisons between any two cars.

    Of course one co-factor in all of this that you can’t take out is the influence of driver demographics, driving style, etc. It was stated that they removed any effects of age of the drivers, but I’m not sure you can fully account for that, and certainly not for general driving behavior, there is an inevitable crosslink between cars and driving style of people attracted to those cars.

    For the sake of seeing the fallout of real world data, it’s pretty interesting.

  • ulrich

    It looks as if the cars favored by the tuner crowd are really taking hit.

    Ulrich

  • Beavers

    Pretty interesting to see MINI fare better than many SUVs.

    I have a feeling this will come up in conversation the next time someone asks me if I “feel safe in that little car?”

  • scotteast

    My first though was similar to what Kennedy describes above. For example, the New Beetle convertible did very well. I think it is safe to say that these are driven almost exclusively by women, who tend to be less aggressive drivers than men and are proven to have less accidents, as reflected in insurance rates.

    There are more factors in play than the design of the vehicles, but it is still very interesting information.

  • BrewSwapGuy

    I would counter that the majority of SUV drivers are women and I have seen many of them drive “less safely” than women in smaller cars.

  • GregW

    Yep the VW Convertible looks better than MINI. But you can make graphs and statistics do anything you want if you have selective input. If a Hummer hits a MINI the result is different to a Hummer hitting a Hummer.

  • Kennedy
    But you can make graphs and statistics do anything you want if you have selective input. If a Hummer hits a MINI the result is different to a Hummer hitting a Hummer.

    While I agree, and you are 100% right, I think in your case the Hummer vs. MINI is the selective input. What I’d take away from this is that of all claims processed by multiple insurance companies, those extreme cases are countered by many more “typical” situations of a mid-sized car or SUV vs. a MINI.

  • Moe-jiller

    After scanning all of the catagories I have two observations. * For most all vehicles, that had both a 2wd, and a 4wd listed – the 4wd had better numbers.

    • I was surprised at the over rating of the Buick vehicles compared to the rest in each particular class. I understand the driver aspect of Buick ownership but event the SUV’s scored well – and none of my mothers friends, or the church Ladies crowd drive these.
  • Ben

    I drive an 02 Silverado x-cab with over 100K miles on it. The insurance for a new 07 MCS is cheaper than my truck! Go figure!

  • http://www.rollingdoughnut.com/ Tony

    My insurance rates indicate the same findings as those listed in the link. I switched from an ’03 Jetta to my ’07 MINI and my insurance rate went down for the same coverage.

  • Kennedy
    I was surprised at the over rating of the Buick vehicles compared to the rest in each particular class. I understand the driver aspect of Buick ownership but event the SUV’s scored well – and none of my mothers friends, or the church Ladies crowd drive these.

    I think it has something to do with Tiger Woods…

  • zm

    a big reason why i choose my mini over other sporty cars–the insurance is much less.

    state farm lowered my rate mid-yr & sent a refund check, stating it was partly b/c of mini’s ins claim record.

    when the gf & i moved to dc & became a 1-car ‘family’ it was only $20/mo to get full coverage my ’06 jcw than her ’95 accord.

    best part, they don’t put the jcw into a seperate rate class, so the price to cover my jcw is the same as a cooper s.

    keep the good driving up, folks…

  • zm

    when the gf & i moved to dc & became a 1-car ‘family’ it was only $20/mo more to get full coverage my ‘06 jcw than her ‘95 accord.

  • Vanwall

    “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Imagine the disgruntled owners of the “bad” vehicles in this comparison. Numbers can be made to jump thru hoops, especially by an insurance company, so I’m sceptical of these kinds of charts in general, but it does seem to imply not only that the MINI has superior safety features, but maybe MINI motorers drive in a more safe manner. Wo’da thunk it? 😉

  • http://www.carnutgarage.com CarNut

    While these numbers may have some effect on insurance rates, other factors are more important, such as your driving record, age, marital status and where you live. For example, look at the numbers for Lotus Elise – they are off the charts compared with the MINI numbers, yet the insurance for my 2006 Elise works out to less than $5/month more than my 2004 MINI Cooper S for the same coverage. The Lotus is two years newer and cost more than twice as much, yet despite the huge difference in claim rates, the difference in my insurance rates is negligible.

  • http://www.captiveadvisors.com/why_form_a_captive.html form a captive

    I think that the state farm lowered my rate mid-yr & sent a refund check, stating it was partly b/c of mini’s ins claim record.