Electric vehicles rank at both ends of the insurance claims spectrum
The Smart Fortwo had the lowest claims losses, while the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid had one of the highest.
Insurance is something every car owner must consider. It’s one of, if not the most, substantial recurring vehicle expenses. That’s why it’s important to consider the cost of premiums when buying a new car.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) monitors U.S. vehicle insurance claims data. As part of its latest status report the HLDI found two different electric-powered vehicles ranked at both extremes of the scale with regards to collision losses for 2014-2016 model passenger vehicles.
The data measured the frequency of claims per 100 insured vehicle years. Claim severity is calculated as the average loss payment per claim. Overall losses are determined by average payments per insured vehicle year.
The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive was the vehicle ranked as having the lowest overall claims losses. At the other end of the spectrum, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sport coupe had one of the highest overall claims loss ratios.
The Smart Fortwo had a claim frequency of 3.3 vehicles per 100 insured vehicle years, an average claim severity of $4,921 and an overall loss of $162. The BMW i8 had a claim frequency was 7.7 cars per 100 insured vehicle years, an average claim severity of $21,588 and an overall loss of $1,657.
The two-door Bentley Continental GT four-wheel drive had the highest overall collision loss among 2014-16 passenger vehicles. Collision losses were more than six times the average ($390) for all passenger vehicles.
Collision claims for 2014-16 vehicles
|Lowest overall losses||Vehicle size and type||Claim frequency||Claim severity||Overall losses|
|Smart ForTwo electric||2-door microcar||3.3||$4,921||$162|
|Ram 1500 LWB 4WD||large pickup||4.5||$4,065||$185|
|Ford F-250 4WD||very large pickup||3.8||$4,940||$187|
|Kia Soul electric||small station wagon||5||$3,786||$189|
|Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible||midsize sports car||2.8||$7,145||$204|
|Jeep Wrangler 2dr SWB 4WD||small SUV||3.1||$6,555||$205|
|Ram 2500 crew cab SWB 2WD||very large pickup||6.2||$3,451||$215|
|F-350 SuperCab 4WD||very large pickup||4.6||$4,789||$221|
|Subaru Outback 4WD with EyeSight||midsize station wagon||5.9||$3,750||$222|
|Subaru Outback 4WD||midsize station wagon||6||$3,692||$222|
|Highest overall losses||Vehicle size and type||Claim frequency||Claim severity||Overall losses|
|Bentley Continental GT 2dr 4WD||very large luxury car||7.1||$35,744||$2,536|
|Bentley Continental Flying Spur 4dr 4WD||very large luxury car||8.1||$28,816||$2,338|
|Bentley Continental GTC convertible 4WD||very large luxury car||6.5||$29,478||$1,923|
|BMW i8 plug-in hybrid 2dr 4WD||midsize luxury car||7.7||$21,588||$1,657|
|Maserati Granturismo 2dr||large sports car||8.5||$18,785||$1,597|
|BMW M6 2dr||large luxury car||8.6||$17,436||$1,498|
|Audi RS7 4dr 4WD||large luxury car||8.7||$16,013||$1,401|
|BMW M3 4dr||midsize luxury car||8||$16,866||$1,359|
|BMW M4 2dr||midsize luxury car||10||$13,499||$1,349|
|Maserati Ghibli 4dr 4WD||large luxury car||10.1||$13,272||$1,339|
The average passenger car claims frequency was 7.4 vehicles per 100 insured vehicle years. The average passenger car claims severity was $5,256 and the average overall losses for all passenger vehicles was $390.
Predictably, luxury cars were found to have higher than average collision claim costs, while pickups and SUVs incurred lower than average costs. For injury claims, small cars recorded the most frequent claims, while very large pickups had the lowest. And the more expensive the car – you guessed it – the more costly to repair.
However, more than half of all collision claims for passenger vehicles in the United States totalled less than $3,000, with the greatest proportion of claims falling within the $1,000-$1,999 range.