Heavy on horsepower–but often light on fuel efficiency–sports cars have played a significant role in automotive culture since Ferdinand Porsche was credited with designing one of the first, The “Prince Henry Vauxhall” in 1910. In America, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors have produced dozens of sports and “muscle” cars which have infiltrated American culture as a symbol of freedom, success and excitement through their depiction in movies, advertisements, showrooms and on the streets. The sight and sound of a sleek car makes us think the person driving that vehicle is, well, pretty cool. So let’s take a look at what would happen if a sedan driver were to (yes, upgrade) to a slightly used Chevy Corvette Z06 V8 as a 40th birthday (mid-life crisis *cough cough*) present.
What factors would affect the insurance premium of a sports car?
Revved up horsepower can mean higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies take several factors into consideration:
High performance car parts are often more expensive. If you are in an accident, getting the right parts, which may be in limited production, is likely going to cost more than parts for a car that is mass produced.
With extra power comes more risk, a word that will have your insurance underwriter cringing. Can the average driver go from safely commanding a 150 horsepower vehicle to one that has 400+ horsepower?
Is this a second car? Typically, if you drive your car for 4,000 miles per year or less, insurance companies may consider you to be lower risk than those who drive more miles
Advanced safety features are typically lacking on a sports cars, especially older ones. A 1969 Corvette has no airbags, no crumple zones, no multi-point seat belts and no OnStar®, which can automatically contact emergency services after an accident.
How about theft? Sports cars have a higher rate of being stolen over regular vehicles so that puts your new wheels at extra risk. According to Forbes.com, more than one out of every 10 Corvettes sold over the past three decades is said have been stolen at least once.
So what’s the bottom line?
Let’s take “Jeff”–a 40 year old male living in Los Angeles, CA, who lives in a house and has another driver on his policy. He plans on garaging the Corvette and will purchase the following insurance coverage: Bodily Injury Liability Limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, Property Damage Limits of $25,000 per accident, Uninsured Motorist coverage equal to his Bodily Injury and $500 deductibles on his Collision and Comprehensive coverage. About how much would his insurance change if he traded in his 2008 Toyota Camry for a 512 horsepower, 2008 Chevy Corvette Z06? Just for fun, we also considered a vintage Corvette for Jeff. The results may surprise you.*
As you can see, insuring a sports car as Jeff’s primary vehicle has increased his insurance policy’s premium, but in our test instance not by much–$132 for the year. Actual quotes may vary based on factors specific to you. Here’s a tip: Before you fall in love with that sports car, give us a call, and we’ll give you an insurance quote before you buy it. After all, your friends and family should be the only ones surprised with your new wheels, not you as you deal with a possible increase in your insurance premium!
Most car insurance policies are written for standard vehicles: those driven to and from work, to run errands and to take your kids to school in. And most cars can go fast – but not all cars were designed to go fast. Sports cars, however, were made to reach top speeds. And while they may be a thrill to drive, their ability to accelerate quickly makes them more expensive to insure.
It pays to shop around.
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What is a Sports Car?
There is no one industry-wide definition of a sports car, but in general they tend to have the following attributes:
A lighter weight than a standard car.
A V8 engine or greater. What this means is that the engine is stronger than that of a typical vehicle (typically V4 or V6) so the car can accelerate quickly and reach its top speeds.
Each insurance company will have their own precise definition, so be sure to check to see if your car qualifies.
Why Do Sports Cars Require Special Insurance?
The insurance industry, in general, is concerned with one thing: risk. When a company agrees to provide car insurance, they are collecting premiums from you in exchange for promising to reimburse you should various things happen to you or your car. When setting premiums, insurance companies look at the type of the car and the likelihood that it will have any future claims.
Sports cars have a number of characteristics that make them riskier than the average vehicle:
They are designed for speed. This increases the chances that they could be in an accident.
They are lightweight. Lighter cars are not as safe as their heavier counterparts, and tend to fare worse in a collision.
They are more prone to theft. Because sports cars are often expensive, they are more likely to catch the eye of prospective thieves.
They are expensive to repair. Replacement parts are more expensive than those for the average car.
They are often driven by young men, which is a well-known high-risk insurance demographic. (Men, in general, pay higher insurance premiums because statistically they get in more accidents than women.)
As a result of these details and characteristics, insurance premiums are more expensive than premiums for standard everyday vehicles.
How to Save Money on Sports Car Insurance
There’s no getting around the fact that insurance for a sports car is going to be more than for a regular car. Fortunately, there are still some things you can do to save on your premiums:
Only use the car occasionally. This will lessen the chances that you’ll be in an accident, which reduces the insurer’s risk. Many insurance companies also offer discounts to people who insure multiple cars through them, so if you have a regular everyday vehicle as well, you may be able to get an additional discount by insuring both through the same company.
Install an approved anti-theft device. Because theft is one of the top risks for sports cars, addressing it might get you a cut on your insurance.
Add an older driver if you’re younger. Especially if you’re a young man, insurers will be leery if you are the sole driver of a sports car. Sharing the car with a more experienced driver may result in a discount on your premiums. However, note that you are not allowed to name that person as the main driver if they are not, as this is considered fraudulent.
Be a responsible driver. Owning a sports car and subsequently getting multiple speeding tickets or found to be at fault for a number of accident is a recipe for soaring insurance costs. The best thing to do is demonstrate over time to your insurance company that you are a good risk by being a safe driver who obeys the rules of the road.
Consider a higher deductible. This option applies to car insurance, in general, but it will lower your premiums if you own a sports car.
Who Offers Sports Car Insurance?
Unlike antique car insurance, which is only available through some providers, most insurance companies offer sports car insurance. When you get a quote on our site and make contact with the insurance company, triple-check they offer sports car insurance – and shop around, until you get the best car insurance rate.