OAI: New Mobile App Underscores Key Factor in Auto Insurance Rates

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OnlineAutoInsurance.com advises consumers that they have a number of tools to use to compare the price of car insurance for particular makes and models.

A new mobile application recently released from Progressive is highlighting a fact that many consumers may not take into account when shopping for an automobile: The type of car that you purchase could have a significant effect on car insurance rates.

The new app is called VIN Capture, and it allows consumers to conduct a stripped-down auto insurance quotes comparison between vehicles. Users scan Vehicle Identification Numbers of two or more cars with their iPhone or Android and have the insurer rank cars on a scale from 1 to 10 by how expensive they would be to cover.

VIN Capture does not provide exact quotes, according to the company. But it does allow consumers to compare the relative costs of insuring multiple vehicles based on make and model, a key factor in pricing a policy.

Insurance providers consider a host of variables in figuring out policy rates, including a motorist’s age, gender and driving record, claims statistics in the area where the vehicle is garaged and the type of coverage purchased.

But make and model play an important role, particularly in regard to rates for collision policies that cover repairs to a policyholder’s vehicle. In general terms, the more expensive the car, the more it will cost to cover.

According to Brittany Senary, a Progressive public relations representative, the VIN Capture rankings are based on “many factors like age of the vehicle and replacement costs.”

Another tool consumers can use to get a general idea of a particular vehicle’s insurance record is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report released earlier this year that compares 2008-2010 vehicles by average collision claim costs compared to the average for all vehicles.

The federal agency releases comparison reports every year in booklet form and requires that auto dealerships have copies available for customers to peruse.

The report does not deal with the costs of insuring particular models, but rather how their claims records compare to the average for all cars. Some insurers use the data to adjust personal injury protection, medical payment and collision coverage rates for those vehicles.

The most recent report ranked the Maserati—an Italian sports car—as having the highest average claim costs. The average collision claim for a two-door Maserati Granturismo was more than three times the average for all cars.

By contrast, the more modest Chevrolet Express 3500 cargo series had the least costly average collision claim, coming in nearly 70 percent below the average for all vehicles.

Source: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/administration/program_development/2011_Comparison_Insurance_Costs.pdf

To read more about this and other car coverage issues, go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/quotes/ where you will find informative resource pages and a free-to-use quote-comparison generator that consumers can use to get sample premiums for many vehicle makes and models.

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Gregor McGavin