Car insurers need to take a range of factors into account when working out the price and details of your car cover policy. Where you live, your age and what sort of job you have are all considered by the insurance company. But the make and model of the car is also significant in the pricing and details of your insurance quote. To make things easier, insurance companies have developed a group system for cars, usually ranging from 1 to 20, but sometimes from 1 to 50. The groups are ordered on the basis of the cost of insurance, with the price of cover ascending from group 1, which is the cheapest.
Because cars in the lower insurance groups are cheaper to insure, it’s worth understanding how the insurance grouping system works. The Group Ratings Panel is the organisation which makes the decisions on the car insurance groups. Every month the panel, which includes members of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds Market Association, gathers to advise on every new car built to United Kingdom specifications. Their recommendations will refer each new model to a particular car insurance group. The Group Ratings Panel gets the information it uses in making decisions from the Thatcham Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre.
To give a car a group rating, the Group Ratings Panel takes into account the value of the car if it was bought new at today’s prices. They would also need to know the damage and parts costs for the vehicle. The less it costs to repair and get new parts then the lower the insurance would be. Almost three-quarters of claims paid out by car insurance policies are for repairing vehicles, so companies often give this the most consideration in determining the cost of covering your vehicle.
The length of time it would take to repair the car is also important; for example certain modern paint jobs could take longer and therefore push the overall rating higher. The performance of the car can affect the group rating as insurers know from experience that faster or more powerful cars can increase the likelihood of an insurance claim. Engine size, the type of gearbox, year of manufacture, and make of the car can also affect the insurance group rating.
Other factors such as security, including Vehicle Identification Numbers, standard manufacturer fitted locks and immobilisation systems and other locking devices will help lower the car’s insurance group rating by the Group Ratings Panel. You can now search on the Thatcham Centre’s online database to get important ratings information on your car or a car you are thinking of getting insurance for. Insurance ratings are also worked out by assessing engine size, gearbox type, year of manufacture and a range of other specifications.
Your car and its insurance group rating
One of the first questions many of us have when choosing a car to buy is whether it will be expensive or cheap to insure. Most of the time we will have a fairly good idea if we know the value and performance of the vehicle. But to get a clear idea it is best to check with reliable sources. A range of established and impartial motoring services offer easy to use online databases to give you an exact group rating for the make and model of car you own or are considering buying. Alongside servicing and road tax, insurance can be one of the biggest purchases you make for a car each year, so its important to know the insurance group rating as part of your search for a good deal on cover for your car.