June 21, 2024
Truck vs. car insurance

 

Despite higher upfront costs, trucks don’t necessarily cost more to insure than cars. On average, the cost of truck insurance is comparable to car insurance, with slightly higher minimum coverage rates for truck owners and slightly higher full coverage rates for car owners. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team dug into the data to help drivers determine which type of vehicle may be more cost-effective for their insurance budget.

 

Is it cheaper to insure a truck or a car?

In general, it costs around the same amount to insure a truck vs. a car. In Bankrate’s analysis of average premium data from Quadrant Information Services, pickup trucks saw an average annual full coverage premium of $2,424, while mass market cars and hatchbacks cost an average of $2,535 per year for full coverage.

 

Why are trucks cheaper to insure? Trucks have the advantage of size and durability, which can reduce the risk of body damage and occupant injuries, thus resulting in a lower rate of first-party insurance claims. On the other hand, cars typically have a lower insured value and may have better collision mitigation technology, which reduces the financial risk taken on by an insurance company.

 

Keep in mind, however, that your vehicle’s make and model aren’t the primary rating factor that insurance companies consider when setting premiums. Other variables, including your age, ZIP code, driving record and credit score, may have a greater impact on the amount you pay to insure either a car or a truck.

 

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Average car insurance rates for cars vs trucks

The average cost of auto insurance for cars and trucks is fairly similar. Only when it comes to minimum liability insurance are trucks more expensive to insure than a car. In our analysis, we found that while truck owners typically pay more for state minimum coverage, car owners pay a slightly higher average rate for full coverage policies.

 

Vehicle type Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium

Truck $2,424 $735

Car $2,535 $669

The cheapest truck to insure, on average, is the Ford F-150 full-size pickup. However, keep in mind that your truck’s exact configurations, including cab style, bed length and trim level, can all impact the price of your policy.

 

Model Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium

Chevrolet Silverado $2,421 $759

Ford F-150 $2,163 $629

GMC Sierra $2,313 $744

Nissan Titan $2,676 $755

Ram Truck $2,495 $790

Toyota Tacoma $2,261 $734

Toyota Tundra $2,636 $734

The humble Honda Civic was the cheapest car to insure in Bankrate’s analysis, although the uber-popular Tesla Model 3 sees a slightly lower average cost for state minimum insurance. The wide variability of car value, trim levels and safety technology in the car segment contributes to greater variability in insurance premiums.

 

Model Average annual full coverage premium Average annual minimum coverage premium

Chevrolet Bolt $2,440 $728

Honda Civic $2,277 $642

Mazda 3 $2,543 $727

Nissan Altima $2,482 $675

Tesla Model 3 $3,340 $634

Toyota Camry $2,311 $640

Toyota Prius $2,355 $639

Factors that affect your car or truck insurance

When insurance companies determine auto insurance rates for a customer, they compile a wide range of variables together to create a risk estimate. This risk estimate evaluates how likely any driver is to file a claim and how much those claims are likely to cost. Safety ratings, vehicle value and driving styles can all impact the risk estimate for a truck or car.

 

Vehicle crash ratings: Passenger vehicle crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can indicate a vehicle’s overall safety. In general, cars typically have higher overall safety ratings when compared to trucks.

Trim level and MSRP: If you’re purchasing full coverage, your vehicle’s overall value — as determined by MSRP and the trim level you select — will factor into how much you pay to insure it.

Claim rates: According to IIHS, large pickups like the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado have a below-average rate of first-party claims like collision, comprehensive and personal injury. Small cars, on the other hand, have a much higher rate of personal injury and bodily injury claims than the average for all passenger vehicles.

Driving habits: Certain cars — such as high-powered sports cars — may have higher insurance premiums because of the risky type of driving they’re designed for, while more mundane vehicles designed for commuting or work enjoy lower rates.

Crash history: If you have an at-fault accident on your driving record, you can expect to pay a higher rate for insurance for either a car or a truck.

Personal factors: Age, driving record, ZIP code and credit score are just a few of the most important factors that can impact the cost of truck or car insurance.

How to save on your truck or car insurance

Whether you drive a truck or a car, you can use the same strategies to save on auto insurance.

 

Discounts: Many auto insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to help with rates. Check with your agent or the company’s website to determine which discounts are available to you. Bundling policies such as home and auto insurance typically offers the greatest savings potential.

Higher deductibles: Choosing a higher deductible means your insurance company pays less when you file a claim, which also means a lower premium. You may want to ensure you can afford to pay more out of pocket if you have an accident before choosing a higher deductible. Talk with your insurance agent to see which options are best for you.

Shop around: Insurance experts say that comparing rates from multiple insurers for the same coverage is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance. Getting quotes from different providers can help show what average cost of truck insurance you can expect to pay.

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