April 29, 2011

Why Vehicle Trim Options Affect Auto Insurance Quotes

Vehicle trim options are among the most important considerations that a driver must make when purchasing a new car. Different trim can mean a more valuable vehicle and a more comfortable ride and, in some instances, trim can lead to better safety features. However, many drivers aren't aware of the fact that vehicle trim options also impact auto insurance quotes. In some instances, a vehicle's trim can be extremely important to an insurance company and can mean the difference between high and low rates.

There are two main reasons for this. First of all, some vehicle trim options add safety features that aren't available at base levels. An SUV might only offer side curtain airbags on certain trim levels, or electronic safety notification systems. These options make a vehicle safer and decrease the chances of certain types of car insurance claims. Side airbags decrease the chances of a large personal injury protection claim, for example, and an anti-theft system might decrease the chances of a comprehensive claim. Insurance companies take these types of options into account when delivering quotes. Drivers with safer vehicle trim options will usually receive lower auto insurance quotes.

A vehicle's trim also plays a big part in its overall value, and this can mean bigger insurance quotes. On a new vehicle, a luxury trim could increase the value of the car by $10,000 or more, and this can mean a big difference in the cost of collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, both of which pay for damages to the vehicle under certain situations. A more expensive vehicle means a bigger insurance risk and higher auto insurance quotes. This will often counteract the savings provided by a trim's safety features, but only if the policyholder purchases comprehensive and collision coverage. Drivers who don't buy these coverage types can cut their insurance costs significantly, but they also take a great risk when driving their relatively expensive vehicles.

Most drivers won't choose their trim options based on varying insurance rates exclusively, but it's a smart idea to look for insurance quotes for different trim levels before making a decision to buy or lease a vehicle–particularly a new vehicle. Finding and comparing car insurance quotes for different trim options is a fairly simple process, as drivers simply need to enter their driving history info and get quotes for both options of the vehicle from an insurance comparison website. The extra research can mean a better understanding of all of the costs of car ownership and can make a tough decision between two trims of a potential vehicle much easier.