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Every car and light commercial vehicle in the UK is registered into a ‘car insurance group’ ranging from 1 to 50. The ABI Group Rating Panel created these car insurance groups to determine the risks that a certain vehicle presents to a car insurance company.
Since there are so many types of vehicles and constantly new models being introduced, it helps to organize the different cars into groups according to their make, model, engine size and other factors in order to create suitable insurance policies.
The group ratings are constantly updated by the ABI panel which consists of the ABI (Association of British Insurers), the LMA (Lloyd’s Marketing Association) and is administrated by Thatcham Research Centre. In 2009, the insurance groups were increased from 1-20 groups to 1-50 groups to allow for a more precise group rating systems.
Car insurance groups affect your premium whereby group 1 is the least risky and cheapest to insure and group 50 is the most risky and more expensive to insure.
Those vehicles with a low group rating and going to be worth less and so the cost of repairs is relatively small. Cars with a group 1 rating include the Volkswagen Fox and Fiat Panda.
By comparison, those cars closer to the group 50 rating include high-end Porsches, Lamborghini and Ferraris. This is because they can reach 0 to 60 mph very quickly, have turbocharged engines and the cost to replace any damages or key parts is very high. High performance cars are also more likely to be at risk of theft because of their reputation and status.
The model of the car is important too as those more expensive and faster models will be rated higher. For instance, an Audi R8 is going to fall in a higher category that the Audi A1.
So in the event of an accident, theft, fire or flood, those vehicles closer to a rating of 50 are going to be far more expensive for insurance companies to repair or replace compared to those rated closer to 1.
In the initial group ratings, the size of the vehicle’s engine was crucial in determining the category. More recently, key emphasis has been placed on the acceleration time from 0-60 mph, how long it takes and how much it costs for the repairs to get the car back to its pre-accidental condition.
Here is the list of factors used to make up the car insurance groups:
Damage and Parts Costs The likely extent of damage to each car model and the cost of the parts involved in its repair. The lower these costs, the more likelihood there is of a lower group rating.
Repair Times Longer repair times mean higher costs and the greater likelihood of a higher group rating. Different paint finishes on modern cars are an important factor, so these too are taken into account.
New Car Values The prices of new cars are taken into account as they are often a good guide to the cost of replacement and repair.
Parts Prices A standard list of 23 common parts is used to compare one manufacturer’s parts costs to another. The lower these costs, the more likelihood there is of a lower group rating.
Performance Acceleration and top speed are important factors. Insurers know very well, from their claims statistics, that high performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims.
Safety Cars that are fitted with an Autonomous Emergency Breaking (AEB) system are less likely to be involved in low speed front to rear accidents, therefore where AEB is fitted as standard this will be taken into account and will reduce the insurance rating.
Bumper Compatibility The alignment and structure of front and rear bumpers is an important factor in how cars perform in a front to rear accident. Those cars with bumpers that meet the insurer’s criteria and are therefore compatible receive lower insurance ratings.
Car Security features fitted as standard equipment by motor manufacturers can help to reduce insurance claims costs. Such features include high security door locks, alarm/immobilisation systems, glass etching, coded audio equipment, locking devices for alloy wheels and visible VIN numbers.
Source: Thatcham Research Centre
Whilst your type of vehicle is important when assessing your premium, there are of course other factors that decide what you pay for your car insurance. Notably, the age and level of driving experience is crucial when insurers are calculating your premium. In particular young drivers insurance tends to be more expensive for those aged 25 years and under because they have less experience on the road and are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. Therefore, one can expect very high insurance premiums for those young people looking to insure expensive luxury or sports cars.
Furthermore, if you have a long history of claims or have been convicted of driving charges such as drink driving or speeding, it may also hike up the price of your car insurance.
With this in mind, if you are looking to save money on car insurance, there are several options available including using a no claims bonus, boosting the safety features on your vehicle or taking the Pass Plus Scheme.
If your vehicle falls under a high car insurance group, that doesn’t mean you have to pay huge amounts for your car insurance. At Call Wiser, we have experience working with over 30 of the best insurance companies in the UK so we can search different deals and discounts and find the best policy for you and your vehicle.
All we need is a bit more information about you and the vehicle you are looking to insure. We believe its better to talk so simply call us today on 0333 003 3270 for a free and no-obligation quote.