If you have auto insurance, you probably already know that many factors influence your premium, and they include your credit score and driving record, where you live, how you use your vehicle and much more. You might not know, however, that your vehicle's industry safety rating is also a factor.
Each car insurance company analyzes the industry rating and replacement value as well as safety features, safety record and more for each car, truck, van and SUV to determine the risk level of the vehicle. They examine the risk of insuring the vehicle by considering such things as the amount of glass in the vehicle, whether or not it has anti-theft devices, acceptable airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, daytime running lights and more. Moreover, the crash test results are significant in their rating process.
All vehicles in the U.S. are evaluated for performance during crash testing (such as the testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Typically, the higher the crash test rating a vehicle earns, the lower the risk assigned to it. This impacts auto insurance rates.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs exhaustive testing on all sizes of cars, vans, SUVs and trucks. Each year, the IIHS publishes its list of Top Safety Picks which are based on five criteria:
- Good Frontal Crashworthiness based on a 40MPH frontal offset crash test
- Good Side Crashworthiness based on results when the vehicle's side is struck by a barrier at 31MPH
- Good Rollover Crashworthiness based on testing of the roof strength as compared to vehicle weight
- Good Rear Crashworthiness based ont he structure of the head restraint and a test of the seat and head restraints in the vehicle.
- Electronic Stability Control which is a measure of the degree to which a driver can maintain control when a vehicle might spin out
It is worthwhile to look closely at the crash test rating before purchasing a vahicle. In fact, we advise that you speak to an insurance agent such as those at the Sparks Insurance Agency to find out about insurance rates before signing your next vehicle purchase agreement.