Ask a new car owner whether his or her vehicle has front or rear wheel drive, how many cylinders are in the engine, or where the airbags are located and they’ll tell you all about it. Ask them how much insurance coverage they have and you’re reportedly likely to get a blank stare.
A recent national survey by the Progressive group of insurance companies reportedly found that new car owners know much more about the features of their vehicle than they do about the insurance that protects it, themselves and others. The survey found that a vast majority of drivers who had recently purchased a new vehicle knew its transmission type (98 percent) and number of cylinders (91 percent). Also, nearly all drivers who recently purchased a new vehicle said they knew how many airbags it had and where they were located (99 percent, respectively).
By contrast, more than half (51 percent) did not know the amount of bodily injury liability coverage they had for one person, and 62 percent didn’t know their liability coverage limits per accident.
“Buyers put a lot of thought into the types of features they want in their new vehicle,” said Tom Hollyer, product development manager, Progressive. “Yet our survey showed that many new car buyers don’t pay as much attention to their car insurance.” In fact, the Progressive survey revealed that almost one in three drivers (30 percent) didn’t know how much they paid every six months to insure their newly purchased vehicle.
“Auto insurance can be confusing,” said Hollyer. “Progressive and our agents share a simple goal – we want people to better understand auto insurance and make it easier for them to shop for and buy the product that best meets their needs.”
New car buyers should know that the make and model they choose does affect insurance premium. That’s because rates are determined not only by driver characteristics such as age and gender, but also by vehicle characteristics, which generally include the car’s make, model and year, weight, horsepower, body type, wheel base, and vehicle type (passenger car, van, pickup, SUV, etc.). To illustrate how the cost of insurance can vary by vehicle, Progressive compiled its list of the most and least expensive 2004 vehicles to insure:
Most Expensive 2004 Least Expensive 2004
Vehicles to Insure/Vehicles to Insure
1. Dodge Viper 1. Oldsmobile Silhouette
2. Acura NSX 2. Pontiac Montana
3. Jaguar XKR 3. Saturn SL
4. Porsche 911 4. Chrysler PT Cruiser
5. BMW M5 5. Saturn SC
For more information on auto insurance, comparing rates by vehicle and tips on what to ask when purchasing a new vehicle, visit www.progressive.com .
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