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What Do Insurance Companies Consider a Sports Car?

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Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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sports car

Insurance Q&A: “What do insurance companies consider a sports car?”

So, you’re in the market for a new car. Perhaps you’re looking to make a conservative purchase, but one that still makes driving fun.

Being a savvy consumer, you’ve decided to do some research on how “fun” your car can be before you get dinged on the insurance for driving a “sports car.” Good thinking.

Many of us buy first and think later, which can lead to excessive insurance premiums.

The cost to insure your “fun” car can make it a lot less “fun,” and more of a pain…especially when you realize that you don’t have the luxury of driving at 90 miles an hour “on a closed road” like the guy in the commercial.

There’s nothing worse than sitting in rush hour traffic in a hot-rod.

What Makes My Camry A Sports Car?

Insurers designate vehicles with a symbol that represents their overall characteristics. Each symbol is assigned a “rating variable,” which more or less helps determine how much you pay for insurance (this is an extremely simple explanation of the concept).

You guessed it; sports cars have higher symbols, and here’s why.

While each insurer may have a different definition of exactly what they consider a sports car, there are some basic characteristics they look at to determine where to draw the line. Some of which may be pretty obvious.

Make & Model – A Porsche 911 is a sports car. No further consideration necessary

Number of Cylinders – A car with 4-cylinder engine will almost always cost less to insure than an 8-cylinder. Of course, there are some 4-cylinder cars that fly, which is why this list contains more items.

Motor Size – Expect to pay a sports car premium with a 350-cubic inch motor.

Horsepower – There may not be an exact cutoff, but there is no rocket science degree required for this one.

Height to Weight Ratio – Let’s not get too far into the laws of physics here, but a light weight car that sits low to the ground typically means it has some “get up and go.”

Number of Doors – Not all two-door cars are sports cars and not all four-door cars are not sports cars. Go ahead and re-read that if you need to. We did.

“Sports Package” – This may be an otherwise tame vehicle model with a wild package added to it.

Turbo-Charged/Super Charged – You knew that.

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Why Do Sports Cars Cost More to Insure?

We all know that “sports cars” cost more to insure. But why?

The allure of this type of vehicle is that it’s fast, sexy and inherently more dangerous to drive than a minivan. This is especially true of convertibles, which also cost more to insure.

While “sexy” is not a rating factor for any insurer that we are aware of, terms such as “fast” and “dangerous” certainly stir up images of police lights, speeding tickets and accidents for insurers…not just images though, as the insurers have the data to back it all up.

It boils down to this. Sports cars typically cost more to manufacture, therefore they cost more, and are more expensive to repair or replace in the event they are damaged.

Combine that with the fact that tickets and accidents may be more common and you’ve got a higher insurance rate.

SHOP YOUR PREMIUM! Get insurance quotes online and/or visit an independent insurance agent.

Those are your best options for a lower insurance payment, regardless of what type of car your drive.

Additionally, switching insurance companies might mean you’ll pay less for your new sports car than what you paid for your sedan with your last company. Don’t believe us? Get quotes and prove us wrong.

Read more: How are car insurance rates are determined.

(photo: tokyosucks)

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