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Luxury Vehicles, Sports Cars Cost More to Crash

img771736724 1515105619600 jpg Bentley Continental GT at the Beijing Auto Show 2016 | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — Based on the latest data available, the insurance industry’s Highway Loss Data Institute has come up with lists of the best and worst model-year 2014-16 cars for collision damage and personal-injury claims. They are aimed at helping guide car shoppers on which vehicles are likely to be more or less expensive to insure, as well as provide another measure of which are relatively safer.

Related: IIHS Toughens Up Crash-Test Standards for 2018

HLDI lists the top 10 vehicles from those model years for the highest and lowest average insurance claims for collision damage and claims for injuries to drivers and passengers. The ratings supplement the crash-test and technology ratings from the companion Insurance Institute for Highway Safety industry research group.

“Whenever consumers are on the hunt for a new vehicle, they should consult two key resources: safety ratings from IIHS and insurance loss results from HLDI,” said Matt Moore, HLDI’s senior vice president. “Combined, they give a good picture of a vehicle’s overall safety and insurance costs.”

Takeaways from the newest data:

  • Luxury cars dominate the list of models with highest total insured collision losses. No surprise here; even a minor incident can be expensive with fancier, more technology-loaded vehicles. And the owners may be more likely to make claims given the cost and the fact that they probably are unlikely to want to drive around in a Bentley beater. Since few of us are tooling around in a Bentley Continental GT, the car with the highest average collision claim and most total losses, HLDI also has helpfully provided a best and worst list for the rest of us that tallies collision losses for 2014-16 vehicles that sold for less than $30,000.
  • Pickup trucks and SUVs have lower-than-average collision losses. That’s more surprising given how expensive many have become.
  • Among the 10 vehicles with the lowest overall collision losses, there are four pickups, two conventional wagons, a small SUV, the Smart ForTwo and Kia Soul EV electric cars, and (!) the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
  • Among a gaggle of sporty coupes that made the most-expensive-under-$30,000 list, the now-discontinued Hyundai Genesis coupe had the highest overall losses, followed by the Scion FR-S, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Subaru BRZ and Dodge Challenger.
  • The Subaru Outback makes the top 10 for lowest losses among all vehicles, as well as for vehicles priced less than $30,000.
  • Small cars have the most frequent claims for injuries to their occupants; very large pickups have the lowest. Imagine a collision between these two vehicle types and you get the picture. Injury-claim frequencies are affected by factors that include how often a vehicle is driven and on what kinds of roads, so a vehicle with a low injury-claim rate isn’t necessarily the safest. But in general, larger, heavier models with good safety ratings offer the best protection.


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The insurance loss data reflects both the vehicle and how it is driven, and it’s adjusted to control for driver age, gender and marital status; calendar year; model year; where the vehicle is based and the density of vehicles per square mile there; and for deductibles. Overall collision losses for a vehicle are the average insurance payment per insured vehicle year (an insured year is one of these cars insured for a year). Claim frequency for a vehicle is the average claims per 100 insured vehicle years, while claim severity is the average payment per claim.

The injury loss list tallies payments under personal-injury protection coverage, which is sold
in states with no-fault insurance systems. This type of insurance pays for injuries to vehicle occupants no matter who is at fault and is one measure of how well a vehicle protects its occupants.

When looking at the collision lists, note that the average claim for all 2014-16 vehicles was $5,256 and the average frequency was 7.4 claims per 100 insured vehicle years, making for average overall losses per vehicle of $390.

Lowest Insurance Losses for Vehicles Overall

(Vehicle; claim frequency; claim severity; overall losses)

  1. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive; 3.3 claims per 100 insured vehicle years; $4,921; $162
  2. Ram 1500 long-wheelbase four-wheel drive; 4.5; $4,065; $185
  3. Ford F-250 4WD; 3.8; $4,940; $187
  4. Kia Soul EV; 5.0; $3,786; $189
  5. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible; 2.8; $7,145; $204
  6. Jeep Wrangler two-door, short-wheelbase 4WD; 3.1; $6,555; $205
  7. Ram 2500 crew-cab short-wheelbase two-wheel drive; 6.2; $3,451; $215
  8. Ford F-350 SuperCab 4WD; 4.6; $4,789; $221
  9. Subaru Outback with EyeSight; 5.9; $3,750; $222
  10. Subaru Outback; 6.0; $3,692; $222

Highest Insurance Losses for Vehicles Overall

(Vehicle; claim frequency; claim severity; overall losses)

  1. Bentley Continental GT; 7.1 claims per 100 insured vehicle years; $35,744; $2,536
  2. Bentley Flying Spur; 8.1; $28,816; $2,338
  3. Bentley Continental GTC convertible; 6.5; $29,478; $1,923
  4. BMW i8; 7.7; $21,588; $1,657
  5. Maserati GranTurismo; 8.5; $18,785; $1,597
  6. BMW M6; 8.6; $17,436; $1,498
  7. Audi RS7; 8.7; $16,013; $1,401
  8. BMW M3; 8.0; $16,866; $1,359
  9. BMW M4; 10.0; $13,499; $1,349
  10. Maserati Ghibli 4WD; 10.1; $13,272; $1,339

Lowest Losses for Vehicles Priced Less Than $30,000

(Vehicle; claim frequency; claim severity; overall losses)

  1. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive; 3.3 claims per 100 insured vehicle years; $4,921; $162
  2. Jeep Wrangler two-door, short-wheelbase 4WD; 3.1; $6,555; $205
  3. Subaru Outback with EyeSight; 5.9; $3,750; $222
  4. Subaru Outback; 6.0; $3,692; $222
  5. GMC Canyon extended cab; 5.2; $4,298; $223
  6. Ram 1500 long-wheelbase; 5.4; $4,384; $236
  7. Volkswagen e-Golf; 5.1; $4,644; $236
  8. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4WD; 3.5; $6,774; $240
  9. Ford F-150; 3.9; $6,190; $240
  10. Mazda CX-5; 6.3; $3,903; $245

Highest Losses for Vehicles Priced Less Than $30,000

(Vehicle; claim frequency; claim severity; overall losses)

  1. Hyundai Genesis coupe; 11.4 claims per 100 insured vehicle years; $6,755; $769
  2. Scion FR-S; 12.1; $6,197; $753
  3. Ford Mustang; 10.3; $6,622; $686
  4. Chevrolet Camaro; 10.2; $6,469; $659
  5. Subaru BRZ; 10.5; $6,215; $656
  6. Dodge Challenger; 10.6; $5,906; $628
  7. Kia Optima Hybrid; 10.5; $5,614; $592
  8. Mitsubishi Lancer 4WD; 10.2; $5,787; $591
  9. Dodge Charger; 11.4; $4,997; $571
  10. Mitsubishi Lancer; 11.2; $5,027; $563

Personal Injury Protection Claims

(Claim frequencies per 1,000 insured vehicle years)

Lowest Injury Claim Frequency

  1. Porsche 911 Carrera; 4.4
  2. Chevrolet Corvette Z06; 5.1
  3. Porsche Boxster; 5.2
  4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class station wagon 4WD; 5.5
  5. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class convertible; 6.3
  6. Porsche Cayman; 6.8
  7. Land Rover Range Rover 4WD; 6.9
  8. Chevrolet Corvette coupe; 7.0
  9. Chevrolet Corvette convertible; 7.1
  10. Tesla Model S 2WD; 7.1

Highest Injury Claim Frequency

  1. Mitsubishi Lancer 2WD; 36.0
  2. Scion iA; 31.6
  3. Nissan Versa; 31.2
  4. Kia Rio sedan; 30.8
  5. Chevrolet Sonic four-door; 29.8
  6. Chrysler 200 2WD; 29.7
  7. Kia Forte four-door; 29.7
  8. Scion iM; 29.4
  9. Dodge Charger 2WD; 29.1
  10. Kia Rio hatchback; 28.6’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Fred Meier
Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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