Survey: New Car Owners Know Little About Insurance Coverage

January 14, 2004

A recent national survey by the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based vehicle insurer Progressive found that new car owners know much more about the features of their vehicle than they do about the insurance that protects it, themselves and others.

The survey found that a vast majority of drivers who had recently purchased a new vehicle knew its transmission type (98 percent) and number of cylinders (91 percent). Also, nearly all drivers who recently purchased a new vehicle said they knew how many airbags it had and where they were located (99 percent, respectively).

By contrast, more than half (51 percent) did not know the amount of bodily injury liability coverage they had for one person, and 62 percent didn’t know their liability coverage limits per accident.
The survey revealed that almost one in three drivers (30 percent) didn’t know how much they paid every six months to insure their newly purchased vehicle.

New car buyers should know that the make and model they choose
does affect insurance premium. That’s because rates are determined not only by driver characteristics such as age and gender, but also by vehicle characteristics, which generally include the car’s make, model and year, weight, horsepower, body type, wheel base, and vehicle type (passenger car, van, pickup, SUV, etc.). To illustrate how the cost of insurance can vary by vehicle, Progressive compiled its list of the most and least expensive 2004 vehicles to insure.

The top five most expensive cars to insure were the Dodge Viper, Acura NSX, Jaguar XKR, Porsche 911 and BMW M5. The least expensive to insure were the Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Montana, Saturn SL, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Saturn SC.

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