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Best and Worst Vehicles for Overall Collision Losses

Fisheye view of red car with front end collision damage

Ever wonder why different vehicles get charged different rates for car insurance? Wouldn’t it be easier to just charge the same rate for every vehicle? From a consumer standpoint, that sounds like a great idea and would help eliminate some of the guesswork at how much car insurance would cost.

But realistically, the result would be drivers of safer or lower-cost vehicles would have to subsidize the cost of insurance for more claim-prone or expensive vehicles.

Every vehicle has a specific “fingerprint” when it comes to likelihood of having claims for each type of coverage like comprehensive, collision, medical, bodily injury liability, or property damage liability. The Insurance Services Office, or ISO, which is a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics, specializes in analyzing this data and creating vehicle symbols that insurance companies use to determine rates.

Symbols are broken down by coverage type, so every vehicle has a different symbol for comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance. The symbols help companies predict claims and charge an adequate amount to cover the increased or decreased likelihood of claims being paid out for each coverage.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (specifically the Highway Loss Data Institute) specializes in assembling collision loss information in a way that consumers can find which vehicles are more likely to have certain types of insurance claims.

Vehicle Ratings for Collision Losses

The tables below show the ten vehicles in each model year category that rank the best and worst for collision losses. An average loss rating is 100, so anything lower than that is considered favorable, and any rating higher than 100 is considered to be at higher risk of having more frequent or more costly collision claims.

2014 to 2016 Models with the Best Collision Losses
Vehicle Make and ModelOverall Collision Loss Rating
Smart ForTwo electric42
Ram 1500 LWB 4WD47
Ford F-250 4WD48
Kia Soul electric48
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible52
Jeep Wrangler 2dr SWB 4WD53
Ram 2500 crew cab SWB 2WD55
GMC Canyon ext. cab 2WD57
Ford F-350 SuperCab 4WD57
Subaru Outback 4WD57

The vehicles with the best collision ratings tend to be pickup trucks, with the exception of the Kia and Smart electric sub-compacts, the Corvette, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Subaru Outback.

Now let’s take a look at which vehicles have the worst collision ratings based on the IIHS scores.

2014 to 2016 Models with the Worst Collision Losses
Vehicle Make and ModelOverall Collision Loss Rating
Bentley Continental GT 2dr 4WD650
Bentley Continental Flying Spur 4dr 4WD600
Bentley Continental GTC convertible 4WD493
BMW i8 plug-in hybrid 2dr 4WD425
Maserati Granturismo 2dr410
BMW M6 2dr384
Audi RS7 4dr 4WD359
BMW M3 4dr348
BMW M4 2dr346
Maserati Ghibli 4dr 4WD343

Wow, look at those numbers! The top three vehicles with the worst collision losses are all Bentleys, and are over ten times higher than the vehicles with the best collision losses.

Vehicles with the best and worst collision insurance loss ratings

What do the Numbers Mean?

These numbers are not safety ratings or anything like it. Remember we are talking about collision losses, and collision insurance pays for damages to your vehicle caused by rollover or impact with another object or vehicle. Safety ratings primarily determine the extent of injuries that may be sustained by a vehicle’s occupants in a variety of accident scenarios.

A low number on this rating means one of two things. Either the vehicle model does not have a high frequency of losses, meaning it just doesn’t crash into things or rollover very much, or it does not have a high severity of collision losses, which means when a collision loss does happen, it’s not that expensive to repair.

Conversely, a high rating number means the vehicle costs a lot to repair or has a tendency to have a lot of collision claims. By looking at the types of vehicles in the list of worst collision losses, it’s most likely due to the high cost of repairing the vehicles after a collision.

For example, in the list of the best collision losses, the Jeep Wrangler has been on the top ten list for many years. When a Jeep Wrangler gets damaged, it’s easy for body shops to repair the damage because the panels are easy to repair or replace and vehicle components are easily accessible. Wranglers don’t generally have all the fancy bells and whistles like many other vehicles do, as they are designed to be taken off-road.

On the other hand, the Bentleys, Maseratis, and high-end BMW models have very high repair costs due to the advanced safety and electronics built into the vehicles, and also the specialized parts, finish techniques, and trim materials. A lot of repair shops cannot even repair those types of vehicles, and they have to be transported to a shop that specializes in repairing exotic vehicles.

Collision Loss Ratings for Other Vehicles

Now that we’ve established the best and worst vehicles for collision losses, lets take a look at other popular vehicles and see how they stack up.

Collision Loss Ratings for Other 2014 to 2016 Models
Vehicle Make and ModelOverall Collision Loss Rating
Fiat 50076
Mini Cooper86
Honda Civic 2-Dr120
Honda CR-Z hybrid114
Kia Forte113
Volkswagen Golf99
Honda Accord 2-Dr114
Dodge Challenger161
Kia Rio106
Chevrolet Spark79
Chevrolet Cruze86
Chevrolet Volt88
Nissan Sentra 4-Dr121
Toyota Corolla 4-Dr124
Toyota Prius Hybrid105
Buick Verano92
Ford Fusion 4WD112
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid144
Kia Optima Hybrid152
Nissan Altima113
Toyota Camry107
Volkswagen Jetta112
Buick LaCrosse 2WD105
Chevrolet SS120
Toyota Avalon Hybrid124
Audi A5 2dr 4WD190
BMW 3 series 4dr 2WD131
Cadillac ATS 2dr 2WD121
Infiniti Q50 4dr 4WD157
Lexus IS 200T 4dr200
Lexus IS 350 4dr 4WD177
Mercedes-Benz C class AMG 4dr 4WD212
Volvo S60 4dr 4WD114
BMW 6 series 2dr 4WD288
Cadillac CTS 4dr 4WD129
Jaguar XJ 4dr LWB 4WD240
Lexus RC-F 2dr267
Tesla Model S 4dr electric 2WD315
Lexus LS 460 4dr 4WD206
Lincoln MKS 4dr 2WD124
Volvo V60 Cross Country 4WD116
Chrysler Town & Country82
Dodge Grand Caravan81
Honda Odyssey76
Nissan Quest98
Toyota Sienna 2WD103
Chevrolet Colorado crew cab 4WD82
GMC Canyon crew cab 4WD66
Nissan Frontier crew cab SWB 2WD78
Toyota Tacoma double cab 4WD102
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD92
Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4WD76
Ram 1500 crew cab SWB 4WD93
GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab 4WD87
Toyota Tundra double cab 4WD87
Chevrolet Suburban 1500 4dr 4WD99
Ford Expedition EL 4dr 4WD85
GMC Yukon XL 1500 4dr 4WD111
Buick Enclave 4dr 4WD94
Chevrolet Tahoe 4dr 4WD86
Chevrolet Traverse 4dr 4WD73
Dodge Durango 4dr 4WD96
GMC Acadia 4dr 4WD81
Toyota Sequoia 4dr 4WD82
Ford Edge 4dr 4WD86
Ford Flex 4dr 4WD92
Honda Pilot 4dr 4WD81
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 4dr 4WD92
Nissan Murano 4dr 4WD99
Toyota Highlander 4dr 4WD94
Honda CR-V 4dr 4WD69
Kia Sportage 4dr 4WD89
Nissan Rogue 4dr 4WD96
Toyota RAV4 4dr 4WD93
Infiniti QX80 4dr 4WD120
Lexus LX 570 4dr 4WD140
Porsche Cayenne 4dr 4WD173
Tesla Model X 4dr electric 4WD266
Toyota Land Cruiser 4dr 4WD103
Cadillac Escalade ESV 4dr 4WD118

It’s easy to tell by the numbers which vehicles have higher and lower collision insurance costs. Higher-priced vehicles cost more to insure, and even costs to insure the same model but different trim level can be significantly different.

Hybrid and vehicles have more expensive collision insurance rates than their non-hybrid siblings due to the more expensive electric drive train components and potential for damage to the battery packs.

When it comes to car insurance, accident analytics and collision claim history are two of the tools used by companies to help forecast claims and set appropriate premium levels for each vehicle model. The next time you ask why collision insurance is so expensive for a particular model, you’ll know the answer.

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