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This article is about the risk management method. For insurance in blackjack, see Blackjack. Collector car insurance company An advertising poster for an insurance company from ca. 1900-1918 depicts an armoured knight.
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Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss.

An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, or insurance carrier. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured or policyholder. The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, and must involve something in which the insured has an insurable interest established by ownership, possession, or preexisting relationship.

The insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated. The amount of money charged by the insurer to the insured for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium. If the insured experiences a loss which is potentially covered by the insurance policy, the insured submits a claim to the insurer for processing by a claims adjuster.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Early methods
    • 1.2 Modern insurance
  • 2 Principles
    • 2.1 Insurability
    • 2.2 Legal
    • 2.3 Indemnification
  • 3 Social effects
    • 3.1 Methods of insurance
  • 4 Insurers' business model
    • 4.1 Underwriting and investing
    • 4.2 Claims
    • 4.3 Marketing
  • 5 Types
    • 5.1 Auto insurance
    • 5.2 Gap insurance
    • 5.3 Health insurance
    • 5.4 Income protection insurance
    • 5.5 Casualty insurance
    • 5.6 Life insurance
    • 5.7 Burial insurance
    • 5.8 Property
    • 5.9 Liability
    • 5.10 Credit
    • 5.11 Other types
    • 5.12 Insurance financing vehicles
    • 5.13 Closed community and governmental self-insurance
  • 6 Insurance companies
  • 7 Across the world
    • 7.1 Regulatory differences
  • 8 Controversies
    • 8.1 Does not reduce the risk
    • 8.2 Insurance insulates too much
    • 8.3 Complexity of insurance policy contracts
    • 8.4 Limited consumer benefits
    • 8.5 Redlining
    • 8.6 Insurance patents
    • 8.7 Insurance industry and rent-seeking
    • 8.8 Religious concerns
  • 9 See also
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 Bibliography
  • 12 External links


Main article: History of insurance

Early methods

Car insurance literature character Merchants have sought methods to minimize risks since early times. Pictured, Governors of the Wine Merchant's Guild by Ferdinand Bol, c. 1680.

Methods for transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively.[1] Chinese merchants travelling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing. The Babylonians developed a system which was recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi, c. 1750 BC, and practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants. If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen, or lost at sea.

At some point in the 1st millennium BC, the inhabitants of Rhodes created the 'general average'. This allowed groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods being shipped together. The collected premiums would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during transport, whether to storm or sinkage.[2]

Separate insurance contracts (i.e., insurance policies not bundled with loans or other kinds of contracts) were invented in Genoa in the 14th century, as were insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates. The first known insurance contract dates from Genoa in 1347, and in the next century maritime insurance developed widely and premiums were intuitively varied with risks.[3] These new insurance contracts allowed insurance to be separated from investment, a separation of roles that first proved useful in marine insurance.

Modern insurance

Insurance became far more sophisticated in Enlightenment era Europe, and specialized varieties developed.

Car insurance company near me always lyrics Lloyd's Coffee House was the first organized market for marine insurance.

Property insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses. The devastating effects of the fire converted the development of insurance "from a matter of convenience into one of urgency, a change of opinion reflected in Sir Christopher Wren's inclusion of a site for 'the Insurance Office' in his new plan for London in 1667".[4] A number of attempted fire insurance schemes came to nothing, but in 1681, economist Nicholas Barbon and eleven associates established the first fire insurance company, the "Insurance Office for Houses", at the back of the Royal Exchange to insure brick and frame homes. Initially, 5,000 homes were insured by his Insurance Office.[5]

At the same time, the first insurance schemes for the underwriting of business ventures became available. By the end of the seventeenth century, London's growing importance as a center for trade was increasing demand for marine insurance. In the late 1680s, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house, which became the meeting place for parties in the shipping industry wishing to insure cargoes and ships, and those willing to underwrite such ventures. These informal beginnings led to the establishment of the insurance market Lloyd's of London and several related shipping and insurance businesses.[6]

Ladybird books for adults sainsbury's car insurance Leaflet promoting the National Insurance Act 1911.

The first life insurance policies were taken out in the early 18th century. The first company to offer life insurance was the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, founded in London in 1706 by William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen.[7][8] Edward Rowe Mores established the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorship in 1762.

It was the world's first mutual insurer and it pioneered age based premiums based on mortality rate laying "the framework for scientific insurance practice and development" and "the basis of modern life assurance upon which all life assurance schemes were subsequently based".[9]

In the late 19th century, "accident insurance" began to become available.[10] The first company to offer accident insurance was the Railway Passengers Assurance Company, formed in 1848 in England to insure against the rising number of fatalities on the nascent railway system.

By the late 19th century, governments began to initiate national insurance programs against sickness and old age. Germany built on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s. In the 1880s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced old age pensions, accident insurance and medical care that formed the basis for Germany's welfare state.[11][12] In Britain more extensive legislation was introduced by the Liberal government in the 1911 National Insurance Act. This gave the British working classes the first contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment.[13] This system was greatly expanded after the Second World War under the influence of the Beveridge Report, to form the first modern welfare state.[11][14]


Insurance involves pooling funds from many insured entities (known as exposures) to pay for the losses that some may incur. The insured entities are therefore protected from risk for a fee, with the fee being dependent upon the frequency and severity of the event occurring. In order to be an insurable risk, the risk insured against must meet certain characteristics. Insurance as a financial intermediary is a commercial enterprise and a major part of the financial services industry, but individual entities can also self-insure through saving money for possible future losses.[15]


Main article: Insurability

Risk which can be insured by private companies typically shares seven common characteristics:[16]

  1. Large number of similar exposure units: Since insurance operates through pooling resources, the majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes, allowing insurers to benefit from the law of large numbers in which predicted losses are similar to the actual losses. Exceptions include Lloyd's of London, which is famous for insuring the life or health of actors, sports figures, and other famous individuals. However, all exposures will have particular differences, which may lead to different premium rates.
  2. Definite loss: The loss takes place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause. The classic example is death of an insured person on a life insurance policy. Fire, automobile accidents, and worker injuries may all easily meet this criterion. Other types of losses may only be definite in theory. Occupational disease, for instance, may involve prolonged exposure to injurious conditions where no specific time, place, or cause is identifiable. Ideally, the time, place, and cause of a loss should be clear enough that a reasonable person, with sufficient information, could objectively verify all three elements.
  3. Accidental loss: The event that constitutes the trigger of a claim should be fortuitous, or at least outside the control of the beneficiary of the insurance. The loss should be pure, in the sense that it results from an event for which there is only the opportunity for cost. Events that contain speculative elements such as ordinary business risks or even purchasing a lottery ticket are generally not considered insurable.
  4. Large loss: The size of the loss must be meaningful from the perspective of the insured. Insurance premiums need to cover both the expected cost of losses, plus the cost of issuing and administering the policy, adjusting losses, and supplying the capital needed to reasonably assure that the insurer will be able to pay claims. For small losses, these latter costs may be several times the size of the expected cost of losses. There is hardly any point in paying such costs unless the protection offered has real value to a buyer.
  5. Affordable premium: If the likelihood of an insured event is so high, or the cost of the event so large, that the resulting premium is large relative to the amount of protection offered, then it is not likely that the insurance will be purchased, even if on offer. Furthermore, as the accounting profession formally recognizes in financial accounting standards, the premium cannot be so large that there is not a reasonable chance of a significant loss to the insurer. If there is no such chance of loss, then the transaction may have the form of insurance, but not the substance (see the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board pronouncement number 113: "Accounting and Reporting for Reinsurance of Short-Duration and Long-Duration Contracts").
  6. Calculable loss: There are two elements that must be at least estimable, if not formally calculable: the probability of loss, and the attendant cost. Probability of loss is generally an empirical exercise, while cost has more to do with the ability of a reasonable person in possession of a copy of the insurance policy and a proof of loss associated with a claim presented under that policy to make a reasonably definite and objective evaluation of the amount of the loss recoverable as a result of the claim.
  7. Limited risk of catastrophically large losses: Insurable losses are ideally independent and non-catastrophic, meaning that the losses do not happen all at once and individual losses are not severe enough to bankrupt the insurer; insurers may prefer to limit their exposure to a loss from a single event to some small portion of their capital base. Capital constrains insurers' ability to sell earthquake insurance as well as wind insurance in hurricane zones. In the United States, flood risk is insured by the federal government. In commercial fire insurance, it is possible to find single properties whose total exposed value is well in excess of any individual insurer's capital constraint. Such properties are generally shared among several insurers, or are insured by a single insurer who syndicates the risk into the reinsurance market.


When a company insures an individual entity, there are basic legal requirements and regulations. Several commonly cited legal principles of insurance include:[17]

  1. Indemnity – the insurance company indemnifies, or compensates, the insured in the case of certain losses only up to the insured's interest.
  2. Benefit insurance – as it is stated in the study books of The Chartered Insurance Institute, the insurance company does not have the right of recovery from the party who caused the injury and is to compensate the Insured regardless of the fact that Insured had already sued the negligent party for the damages (for example, personal accident insurance)
  3. Insurable interest – the insured typically must directly suffer from the loss. Insurable interest must exist whether property insurance or insurance on a person is involved. The concept requires that the insured have a "stake" in the loss or damage to the life or property insured. What that "stake" is will be determined by the kind of insurance involved and the nature of the property ownership or relationship between the persons. The requirement of an insurable interest is what distinguishes insurance from gambling.
  4. Utmost good faith – (Uberrima fides) the insured and the insurer are bound by a good faith bond of honesty and fairness. Material facts must be disclosed.
  5. Contribution – insurers which have similar obligations to the insured contribute in the indemnification, according to some method.
  6. Subrogation – the insurance company acquires legal rights to pursue recoveries on behalf of the insured; for example, the insurer may sue those liable for the insured's loss. The Insurers can waive their subrogation rights by using the special clauses.
  7. Causa proxima, or proximate cause – the cause of loss (the peril) must be covered under the insuring agreement of the policy, and the dominant cause must not be excluded
  8. Mitigation – In case of any loss or casualty, the asset owner must attempt to keep loss to a minimum, as if the asset was not insured.


Main article: Indemnity

To "indemnify" means to make whole again, or to be reinstated to the position that one was in, to the extent possible, prior to the happening of a specified event or peril. Accordingly, life insurance is generally not considered to be indemnity insurance, but rather "contingent" insurance (i.e., a claim arises on the occurrence of a specified event). There are generally three types of insurance contracts that seek to indemnify an insured:

  1. A "reimbursement" policy
  2. A "pay on behalf" or "on behalf of policy"[18]
  3. An "indemnification" policy

From an insured's standpoint, the result is usually the same: the insurer pays the loss and claims expenses.

If the Insured has a "reimbursement" policy, the insured can be required to pay for a loss and then be "reimbursed" by the insurance carrier for the loss and out of pocket costs including, with the permission of the insurer, claim expenses.[18][19]

Under a "pay on behalf" policy, the insurance carrier would defend and pay a claim on behalf of the insured who would not be out of pocket for anything. Most modern liability insurance is written on the basis of "pay on behalf" language which enables the insurance carrier to manage and control the claim.

Under an "indemnification" policy, the insurance carrier can generally either "reimburse" or "pay on behalf of", whichever is more beneficial to it and the insured in the claim handling process.

An entity seeking to transfer risk (an individual, corporation, or association of any type, etc.) becomes the 'insured' party once risk is assumed by an 'insurer', the insuring party, by means of a contract, called an insurance policy. Generally, an insurance contract includes, at a minimum, the following elements: identification of participating parties (the insurer, the insured, the beneficiaries), the premium, the period of coverage, the particular loss event covered, the amount of coverage (i.e., the amount to be paid to the insured or beneficiary in the event of a loss), and exclusions (events not covered). An insured is thus said to be "indemnified" against the loss covered in the policy.

When insured parties experience a loss for a specified peril, the coverage entitles the policyholder to make a claim against the insurer for the covered amount of loss as specified by the policy. The fee paid by the insured to the insurer for assuming the risk is called the premium. Insurance premiums from many insureds are used to fund accounts reserved for later payment of claims – in theory for a relatively few claimants – and for overhead costs. So long as an insurer maintains adequate funds set aside for anticipated losses (called reserves), the remaining margin is an insurer's profit.

Social effects

Insurance can have various effects on society through the way that it changes who bears the cost of losses and damage. On one hand it can increase fraud; on the other it can help societies and individuals prepare for catastrophes and mitigate the effects of catastrophes on both households and societies.

Insurance can influence the probability of losses through moral hazard, insurance fraud, and preventive steps by the insurance company. Insurance scholars have typically used moral hazard to refer to the increased loss due to unintentional carelessness and insurance fraud to refer to increased risk due to intentional carelessness or indifference.[20] Insurers attempt to address carelessness through inspections, policy provisions requiring certain types of maintenance, and possible discounts for loss mitigation efforts. While in theory insurers could encourage investment in loss reduction, some commentators have argued that in practice insurers had historically not aggressively pursued loss control measures—particularly to prevent disaster losses such as hurricanes—because of concerns over rate reductions and legal battles. However, since about 1996 insurers have begun to take a more active role in loss mitigation, such as through building codes.[21]

Methods of insurance

In accordance with study books of The Chartered Insurance Institute, there are the following types of insurance:

  1. Co-insurance – risks shared between insurers
  2. Dual insurance – risks having two or more policies with same coverage (Both the individual policies would not pay separately- a concept named contribution, and would contribute together to make up the policyholder's losses. However, in case of contingency insurances like Life insurance, dual payment is allowed)
  3. Self-insurance – situations where risk is not transferred to insurance companies and solely retained by the entities or individuals themselves
  4. Reinsurance – situations when Insurer passes some part of or all risks to another Insurer called Reinsurer

Insurers' business model

Red cars and insurancePlay media Accidents will happen (William H. Watson, 1922) is a slapstick silent film about the methods and mishaps of an insurance broker. Collection EYE Film Institute Netherlands.

Underwriting and investing

The business model is to collect more in premium and investment income than is paid out in losses, and to also offer a competitive price which consumers will accept. Profit can be reduced to a simple equation:

Profit = earned premium + investment income – incurred loss – underwriting expenses.

Insurers make money in two ways:

  • Through underwriting, the process by which insurers select the risks to insure and decide how much in premiums to charge for accepting those risks
  • By investing the premiums they collect from insured parties

The most complicated aspect of the insurance business is the actuarial science of ratemaking (price-setting) of policies, which uses statistics and probability to approximate the rate of future claims based on a given risk. After producing rates, the insurer will use discretion to reject or accept risks through the underwriting process.

At the most basic level, initial ratemaking involves looking at the frequency and severity of insured perils and the expected average payout resulting from these perils. Thereafter an insurance company will collect historical loss data, bring the loss data to present value, and compare these prior losses to the premium collected in order to assess rate adequacy.[22] Loss ratios and expense loads are also used. Rating for different risk characteristics involves at the most basic level comparing the losses with "loss relativities"—a policy with twice as many losses would therefore be charged twice as much. More complex multivariate analyses are sometimes used when multiple characteristics are involved and a univariate analysis could produce confounded results. Other statistical methods may be used in assessing the probability of future losses.

Upon termination of a given policy, the amount of premium collected minus the amount paid out in claims is the insurer's underwriting profit on that policy. Underwriting performance is measured by something called the "combined ratio", which is the ratio of expenses/losses to premiums.[23] A combined ratio of less than 100% indicates an underwriting profit, while anything over 100 indicates an underwriting loss. A company with a combined ratio over 100% may nevertheless remain profitable due to investment earnings.

Insurance companies earn investment profits on "float". Float, or available reserve, is the amount of money on hand at any given moment that an insurer has collected in insurance premiums but has not paid out in claims. Insurers start investing insurance premiums as soon as they are collected and continue to earn interest or other income on them until claims are paid out. The Association of British Insurers (gathering 400 insurance companies and 94% of UK insurance services) has almost 20% of the investments in the London Stock Exchange.[24]

In the United States, the underwriting loss of property and casualty insurance companies was $142.3 billion in the five years ending 2003. But overall profit for the same period was $68.4 billion, as the result of float. Some insurance industry insiders, most notably Hank Greenberg, do not believe that it is forever possible to sustain a profit from float without an underwriting profit as well, but this opinion is not universally held.

Naturally, the float method is difficult to carry out in an economically depressed period. Bear markets do cause insurers to shift away from investments and to toughen up their underwriting standards, so a poor economy generally means high insurance premiums. This tendency to swing between profitable and unprofitable periods over time is commonly known as the underwriting, or insurance, cycle.[25]


Claims and loss handling is the materialized utility of insurance; it is the actual "product" paid for. Claims may be filed by insureds directly with the insurer or through brokers or agents. The insurer may require that the claim be filed on its own proprietary forms, or may accept claims on a standard industry form, such as those produced by ACORD.

Insurance company claims departments employ a large number of claims adjusters supported by a staff of records management and data entry clerks. Incoming claims are classified based on severity and are assigned to adjusters whose settlement authority varies with their knowledge and experience. The adjuster undertakes an investigation of each claim, usually in close cooperation with the insured, determines if coverage is available under the terms of the insurance contract, and if so, the reasonable monetary value of the claim, and authorizes payment.

The policyholder may hire their own public adjuster to negotiate the settlement with the insurance company on their behalf. For policies that are complicated, where claims may be complex, the insured may take out a separate insurance policy add-on, called loss recovery insurance, which covers the cost of a public adjuster in the case of a claim.

Adjusting liability insurance claims is particularly difficult because there is a third party involved, the plaintiff, who is under no contractual obligation to cooperate with the insurer and may in fact regard the insurer as a deep pocket. The adjuster must obtain legal counsel for the insured (either inside "house" counsel or outside "panel" counsel), monitor litigation that may take years to complete, and appear in person or over the telephone with settlement authority at a mandatory settlement conference when requested by the judge.

If a claims adjuster suspects under-insurance, the condition of average may come into play to limit the insurance company's exposure.

In managing the claims handling function, insurers seek to balance the elements of customer satisfaction, administrative handling expenses, and claims overpayment leakages. As part of this balancing act, fraudulent insurance practices are a major business risk that must be managed and overcome. Disputes between insurers and insureds over the validity of claims or claims handling practices occasionally escalate into litigation (see insurance bad faith).


Insurers will often use insurance agents to initially market or underwrite their customers. Agents can be captive, meaning they write only for one company, or independent, meaning that they can issue policies from several companies. The existence and success of companies using insurance agents is likely due to improved and personalized service. Companies also use Broking firms, Banks and other corporate entities (like Self Help Groups, Microfinance Institutions, NGOs etc.) to market their products.[26]


Any risk that can be quantified can potentially be insured. Specific kinds of risk that may give rise to claims are known as perils. An insurance policy will set out in detail which perils are covered by the policy and which are not. Below are non-exhaustive lists of the many different types of insurance that exist. A single policy that may cover risks in one or more of the categories set out below. For example, vehicle insurance would typically cover both the property risk (theft or damage to the vehicle) and the liability risk (legal claims arising from an accident). A home insurance policy in the United States typically includes coverage for damage to the home and the owner's belongings, certain legal claims against the owner, and even a small amount of coverage for medical expenses of guests who are injured on the owner's property.

Business insurance can take a number of different forms, such as the various kinds of professional liability insurance, also called professional indemnity (PI), which are discussed below under that name; and the business owner's policy (BOP), which packages into one policy many of the kinds of coverage that a business owner needs, in a way analogous to how homeowners' insurance packages the coverages that a homeowner needs.[27]

Auto insurance

Main article: Vehicle insurance Racq car insurance policy A wrecked vehicle in Copenhagen

Auto insurance protects the policyholder against financial loss in the event of an incident involving a vehicle they own, such as in a traffic collision.

Coverage typically includes:

  • Property coverage, for damage to or theft of the car
  • Liability coverage, for the legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage
  • Medical coverage, for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses

Gap insurance

Main article: Gap insurance

Gap insurance covers the excess amount on your auto loan in an instance where your insurance company does not cover the entire loan. Depending on the company's specific policies it might or might not cover the deductible as well. This coverage is marketed for those who put low down payments, have high interest rates on their loans, and those with 60-month or longer terms. Gap insurance is typically offered by a finance company when the vehicle owner purchases their vehicle, but many auto insurance companies offer this coverage to consumers as well.

Health insurance

Main articles: Health insurance and Dental insurance London and victoria car insurance Great Western Hospital, Swindon

Health insurance policies cover the cost of medical treatments. Dental insurance, like medical insurance, protects policyholders for dental costs. In most developed countries, all citizens receive some health coverage from their governments, paid for by taxation. In most countries, health insurance is often part of an employer's benefits.

Income protection insurance

Progressive car insurance payment phone number Workers' compensation, or employers' liability insurance, is compulsory in some countries
  • Disability insurance policies provide financial support in the event of the policyholder becoming unable to work because of disabling illness or injury. It provides monthly support to help pay such obligations as mortgage loans and credit cards. Short-term and long-term disability policies are available to individuals, but considering the expense, long-term policies are generally obtained only by those with at least six-figure incomes, such as doctors, lawyers, etc. Short-term disability insurance covers a person for a period typically up to six months, paying a stipend each month to cover medical bills and other necessities.
  • Long-term disability insurance covers an individual's expenses for the long term, up until such time as they are considered permanently disabled and thereafter Insurance companies will often try to encourage the person back into employment in preference to and before declaring them unable to work at all and therefore totally disabled.
  • Disability overhead insurance allows business owners to cover the overhead expenses of their business while they are unable to work.
  • Total permanent disability insurance provides benefits when a person is permanently disabled and can no longer work in their profession, often taken as an adjunct to life insurance.
  • Workers' compensation insurance replaces all or part of a worker's wages lost and accompanying medical expenses incurred because of a job-related injury.

Casualty insurance

Main article: Casualty insurance

Casualty insurance insures against accidents, not necessarily tied to any specific property. It is a broad spectrum of insurance that a number of other types of insurance could be classified, such as auto, workers compensation, and some liability insurances.

  • Crime insurance is a form of casualty insurance that covers the policyholder against losses arising from the criminal acts of third parties. For example, a company can obtain crime insurance to cover losses arising from theft or embezzlement.
  • Terrorism insurance provides protection against any loss or damage caused by terrorist activities. In the United States in the wake of 9/11, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 2002 (TRIA) set up a federal program providing a transparent system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism. The program was extended until the end of 2014 by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act 2007 (TRIPRA).
  • Kidnap and ransom insurance is designed to protect individuals and corporations operating in high-risk areas around the world against the perils of kidnap, extortion, wrongful detention and hijacking.
  • Political risk insurance is a form of casualty insurance that can be taken out by businesses with operations in countries in which there is a risk that revolution or other political conditions could result in a loss.

Life insurance

Main article: Life insurance Good girl car insurance telephone number Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street, London, 1801

Life insurance provides a monetary benefit to a decedent's family or other designated beneficiary, and may specifically provide for income to an insured person's family, burial, funeral and other final expenses. Life insurance policies often allow the option of having the proceeds paid to the beneficiary either in a lump sum cash payment or an annuity. In most states, a person cannot purchase a policy on another person without their knowledge.

Annuities provide a stream of payments and are generally classified as insurance because they are issued by insurance companies, are regulated as insurance, and require the same kinds of actuarial and investment management expertise that life insurance requires. Annuities and pensions that pay a benefit for life are sometimes regarded as insurance against the possibility that a retiree will outlive his or her financial resources. In that sense, they are the complement of life insurance and, from an underwriting perspective, are the mirror image of life insurance.

Certain life insurance contracts accumulate cash values, which may be taken by the insured if the policy is surrendered or which may be borrowed against. Some policies, such as annuities and endowment policies, are financial instruments to accumulate or liquidate wealth when it is needed.

In many countries, such as the United States and the UK, the tax law provides that the interest on this cash value is not taxable under certain circumstances. This leads to widespread use of life insurance as a tax-efficient method of saving as well as protection in the event of early death.

In the United States, the tax on interest income on life insurance policies and annuities is generally deferred. However, in some cases the benefit derived from tax deferral may be offset by a low return. This depends upon the insuring company, the type of policy and other variables (mortality, market return, etc.). Moreover, other income tax saving vehicles (e.g., IRAs, 401(k) plans, Roth IRAs) may be better alternatives for value accumulation.

Burial insurance

Burial insurance is a very old type of life insurance which is paid out upon death to cover final expenses, such as the cost of a funeral. The Greeks and Romans introduced burial insurance c. 600 CE when they organized guilds called "benevolent societies" which cared for the surviving families and paid funeral expenses of members upon death. Guilds in the Middle Ages served a similar purpose, as did friendly societies during Victorian times.


Main article: Property insurance What does car insurance group 9e mean median This tornado damage to an Illinois home would be considered an "Act of God" for insurance purposes

Property insurance provides protection against risks to property, such as fire, theft or weather damage. This may include specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, inland marine insurance or boiler insurance. The term property insurance may, like casualty insurance, be used as a broad category of various subtypes of insurance, some of which are listed below:

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  • Aviation insurance protects aircraft hulls and spares, and associated liability risks, such as passenger and third-party liability. Airports may also appear under this subcategory, including air traffic control and refuelling operations for international airports through to smaller domestic exposures.
  • Boiler insurance (also known as boiler and machinery insurance, or equipment breakdown insurance) insures against accidental physical damage to boilers, equipment or machinery.
  • Builder's risk insurance insures against the risk of physical loss or damage to property during construction. Builder's risk insurance is typically written on an "all risk" basis covering damage arising from any cause (including the negligence of the insured) not otherwise expressly excluded. Builder's risk insurance is coverage that protects a person's or organization's insurable interest in materials, fixtures or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from an insured peril.[28]
  • Crop insurance may be purchased by farmers to reduce or manage various risks associated with growing crops. Such risks include crop loss or damage caused by weather, hail, drought, frost damage, insects, or disease.[29]
  • Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that pays the policyholder in the event of an earthquake that causes damage to the property. Most ordinary home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance policies generally feature a high deductible. Rates depend on location and hence the likelihood of an earthquake, as well as the construction of the home.
  • Fidelity bond is a form of casualty insurance that covers policyholders for losses incurred as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a business for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees.
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  • Flood insurance protects against property loss due to flooding. Many U.S. insurers do not provide flood insurance in some parts of the country. In response to this, the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program which serves as the insurer of last resort.
  • Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowners insurance (often abbreviated in the real estate industry as HOI), provides coverage for damage or destruction of the policyholder's home. In some geographical areas, the policy may exclude certain types of risks, such as flood or earthquake, that require additional coverage. Maintenance-related issues are typically the homeowner's responsibility. The policy may include inventory, or this can be bought as a separate policy, especially for people who rent housing. In some countries, insurers offer a package which may include liability and legal responsibility for injuries and property damage caused by members of the household, including pets.[30]
  • Landlord insurance covers residential and commercial properties which are rented to others. Most homeowners' insurance covers only owner-occupied homes.
  • Marine insurance and marine cargo insurance cover the loss or damage of vessels at sea or on inland waterways, and of cargo in transit, regardless of the method of transit. When the owner of the cargo and the carrier are separate corporations, marine cargo insurance typically compensates the owner of cargo for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier or the carrier's insurance. Many marine insurance underwriters will include "time element" coverage in such policies, which extends the indemnity to cover loss of profit and other business expenses attributable to the delay caused by a covered loss.
  • Supplemental natural disaster insurance covers specified expenses after a natural disaster renders the policyholder's home uninhabitable. Periodic payments are made directly to the insured until the home is rebuilt or a specified time period has elapsed.
  • Surety bond insurance is a three-party insurance guaranteeing the performance of the principal.
Australian car insurance uk The demand for terrorism insurance surged after 9/11
  • Volcano insurance is a specialized insurance protecting against damage arising specifically from volcanic eruptions.
  • Windstorm insurance is an insurance covering the damage that can be caused by wind events such as hurricanes.


Main article: Liability insurance

Liability insurance is a very broad superset that covers legal claims against the insured. Many types of insurance include an aspect of liability coverage. For example, a homeowner's insurance policy will normally include liability coverage which protects the insured in the event of a claim brought by someone who slips and falls on the property; automobile insurance also includes an aspect of liability insurance that indemnifies against the harm that a crashing car can cause to others' lives, health, or property. The protection offered by a liability insurance policy is twofold: a legal defense in the event of a lawsuit commenced against the policyholder and indemnification (payment on behalf of the insured) with respect to a settlement or court verdict. Liability policies typically cover only the negligence of the insured, and will not apply to results of wilful or intentional acts by the insured.

Recommended car insurance coverage texas The subprime mortgage crisis was the source of many liability insurance losses
  • Public liability insurance or general liability insurance covers a business or organization against claims should its operations injure a member of the public or damage their property in some way.
  • Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) protects an organization (usually a corporation) from costs associated with litigation resulting from errors made by directors and officers for which they are liable.
  • Environmental liability or environmental impairment insurance protects the insured from bodily injury, property damage and cleanup costs as a result of the dispersal, release or escape of pollutants.
  • Errors and omissions insurance (E&O) is business liability insurance for professionals such as insurance agents, real estate agents and brokers, architects, third-party administrators (TPAs) and other business professionals.
  • Prize indemnity insurance protects the insured from giving away a large prize at a specific event. Examples would include offering prizes to contestants who can make a half-court shot at a basketball game, or a hole-in-one at a golf tournament.
  • Professional liability insurance, also called professional indemnity insurance (PI), protects insured professionals such as architectural corporations and medical practitioners against potential negligence claims made by their patients/clients. Professional liability insurance may take on different names depending on the profession. For example, professional liability insurance in reference to the medical profession may be called medical malpractice insurance.

Often a commercial insured's liability insurance program consists of several layers. The first layer of insurance generally consists of primary insurance, which provides first dollar indemnity for judgments and settlements up to the limits of liability of the primary policy. Generally, primary insurance is subject to a deductible and obligates the insured to defend the insured against lawsuits, which is normally accomplished by assigning counsel to defend the insured. In many instances, a commercial insured may elect to self-insure. Above the primary insurance or self-insured retention, the insured may have one or more layers of excess insurance to provide coverage additional limits of indemnity protection. There are a variety of types of excess insurance, including "stand-alone" excess policies (policies that contain their own terms, conditions, and exclusions), "follow form" excess insurance (policies that follow the terms of the underlying policy except as specifically provided), and "umbrella" insurance policies (excess insurance that in some circumstances could provide coverage that is broader than the underlying insurance).[31]


Main article: Payment protection insurance

Credit insurance repays some or all of a loan when the borrower is insolvent.

  • Mortgage insurance insures the lender against default by the borrower. Mortgage insurance is a form of credit insurance, although the name "credit insurance" more often is used to refer to policies that cover other kinds of debt.
  • Many credit cards offer payment protection plans which are a form of credit insurance.
  • Trade credit insurance is business insurance over the accounts receivable of the insured. The policy pays the policy holder for covered accounts receivable if the debtor defaults on payment.
  • Collateral protection insurance (CPI) insures property (primarily vehicles) held as collateral for loans made by lending institutions.

Other types

  • All-risk insurance is an insurance that covers a wide range of incidents and perils, except those noted in the policy. All-risk insurance is different from peril-specific insurance that cover losses from only those perils listed in the policy.[32] In car insurance, all-risk policy includes also the damages caused by the own driver.
Enterprise car liability insurance cost High-value horses may be insured under a bloodstock policy
  • Bloodstock insurance covers individual horses or a number of horses under common ownership. Coverage is typically for mortality as a result of accident, illness or disease but may extend to include infertility, in-transit loss, veterinary fees, and prospective foal.
  • Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income, and the expenses incurred, after a covered peril interrupts normal business operations.
  • Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance provides coverage for civilian workers hired by the government to perform contracts outside the United States and Canada. DBA is required for all U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, U.S. Green Card holders, and all employees or subcontractors hired on overseas government contracts. Depending on the country, foreign nationals must also be covered under DBA. This coverage typically includes expenses related to medical treatment and loss of wages, as well as disability and death benefits.
  • Expatriate insurance provides individuals and organizations operating outside of their home country with protection for automobiles, property, health, liability and business pursuits.
  • Legal expenses insurance covers policyholders for the potential costs of legal action against an institution or an individual. When something happens which triggers the need for legal action, it is known as "the event". There are two main types of legal expenses insurance: before the event insurance and after the event insurance.
  • Livestock insurance is a specialist policy provided to, for example, commercial or hobby farms, aquariums, fish farms or any other animal holding. Cover is available for mortality or economic slaughter as a result of accident, illness or disease but can extend to include destruction by government order.
  • Media liability insurance is designed to cover professionals that engage in film and television production and print, against risks such as defamation.
  • Nuclear incident insurance covers damages resulting from an incident involving radioactive materials and is generally arranged at the national level. (See the nuclear exclusion clause and for the US the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.)
  • Pet insurance insures pets against accidents and illnesses; some companies cover routine/wellness care and burial, as well.
  • Pollution insurance usually takes the form of first-party coverage for contamination of insured property either by external or on-site sources. Coverage is also afforded for liability to third parties arising from contamination of air, water, or land due to the sudden and accidental release of hazardous materials from the insured site. The policy usually covers the costs of cleanup and may include coverage for releases from underground storage tanks. Intentional acts are specifically excluded.
  • Purchase insurance is aimed at providing protection on the products people purchase. Purchase insurance can cover individual purchase protection, warranties, guarantees, care plans and even mobile phone insurance. Such insurance is normally very limited in the scope of problems that are covered by the policy.
  • Tax insurance is increasingly being used in corporate transactions to protect taxpayers in the event that a tax position it has taken is challenged by the IRS or a state, local, or foreign taxing authority[33]
  • Title insurance provides a guarantee that title to real property is vested in the purchaser or mortgagee, free and clear of liens or encumbrances. It is usually issued in conjunction with a search of the public records performed at the time of a real estate transaction.
  • Travel insurance is an insurance cover taken by those who travel abroad, which covers certain losses such as medical expenses, loss of personal belongings, travel delay, and personal liabilities.
  • Tuition insurance insures students against involuntary withdrawal from cost-intensive educational institutions
  • Interest rate insurance protects the holder from adverse changes in interest rates, for instance for those with a variable rate loan or mortgage
  • Divorce insurance is a form of contractual liability insurance that pays the insured a cash benefit if their marriage ends in divorce.

Insurance financing vehicles

  • Fraternal insurance is provided on a cooperative basis by fraternal benefit societies or other social organizations.[34]
  • No-fault insurance is a type of insurance policy (typically automobile insurance) where insureds are indemnified by their own insurer regardless of fault in the incident.
  • Protected self-insurance is an alternative risk financing mechanism in which an organization retains the mathematically calculated cost of risk within the organization and transfers the catastrophic risk with specific and aggregate limits to an insurer so the maximum total cost of the program is known. A properly designed and underwritten Protected Self-Insurance Program reduces and stabilizes the cost of insurance and provides valuable risk management information.
  • Retrospectively rated insurance is a method of establishing a premium on large commercial accounts. The final premium is based on the insured's actual loss experience during the policy term, sometimes subject to a minimum and maximum premium, with the final premium determined by a formula. Under this plan, the current year's premium is based partially (or wholly) on the current year's losses, although the premium adjustments may take months or years beyond the current year's expiration date. The rating formula is guaranteed in the insurance contract. Formula: retrospective premium = converted loss + basic premium × tax multiplier. Numerous variations of this formula have been developed and are in use.
  • Formal self-insurance is the deliberate decision to pay for otherwise insurable losses out of one's own money.[citation needed] This can be done on a formal basis by establishing a separate fund into which funds are deposited on a periodic basis, or by simply forgoing the purchase of available insurance and paying out-of-pocket. Self-insurance is usually used to pay for high-frequency, low-severity losses. Such losses, if covered by conventional insurance, mean having to pay a premium that includes loadings for the company's general expenses, cost of putting the policy on the books, acquisition expenses, premium taxes, and contingencies. While this is true for all insurance, for small, frequent losses the transaction costs may exceed the benefit of volatility reduction that insurance otherwise affords.[citation needed]
  • Reinsurance is a type of insurance purchased by insurance companies or self-insured employers to protect against unexpected losses. Financial reinsurance is a form of reinsurance that is primarily used for capital management rather than to transfer insurance risk.
  • Social insurance can be many things to many people in many countries. But a summary of its essence is that it is a collection of insurance coverages (including components of life insurance, disability income insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance, and others), plus retirement savings, that requires participation by all citizens. By forcing everyone in society to be a policyholder and pay premiums, it ensures that everyone can become a claimant when or if he/she needs to. Along the way this inevitably becomes related to other concepts such as the justice system and the welfare state. This is a large, complicated topic that engenders tremendous debate, which can be further studied in the following articles (and others):
    • National Insurance
    • Social safety net
    • Social security
    • Social Security debate (United States)
    • Social Security (United States)
    • Social welfare provision
  • Stop-loss insurance provides protection against catastrophic or unpredictable losses. It is purchased by organizations who do not want to assume 100% of the liability for losses arising from the plans. Under a stop-loss policy, the insurance company becomes liable for losses that exceed certain limits called deductibles.

Closed community and governmental self-insurance

Some communities prefer to create virtual insurance amongst themselves by other means than contractual risk transfer, which assigns explicit numerical values to risk. A number of religious groups, including the Amish and some Muslim groups, depend on support provided by their communities when disasters strike. The risk presented by any given person is assumed collectively by the community who all bear the cost of rebuilding lost property and supporting people whose needs are suddenly greater after a loss of some kind. In supportive communities where others can be trusted to follow community leaders, this tacit form of insurance can work. In this manner the community can even out the extreme differences in insurability that exist among its members. Some further justification is also provided by invoking the moral hazard of explicit insurance contracts.

In the United Kingdom, The Crown (which, for practical purposes, meant the civil service) did not insure property such as government buildings. If a government building was damaged, the cost of repair would be met from public funds because, in the long run, this was cheaper than paying insurance premiums. Since many UK government buildings have been sold to property companies, and rented back, this arrangement is now less common and may have disappeared altogether.

In the United States, the most prevalent form of self-insurance is governmental risk management pools. They are self-funded cooperatives, operating as carriers of coverage for the majority of governmental entities today, such as county governments, municipalities, and school districts. Rather than these entities independently self-insure and risk bankruptcy from a large judgment or catastrophic loss, such governmental entities form a risk pool. Such pools begin their operations by capitalization through member deposits or bond issuance. Coverage (such as general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers compensation, and property) is offered by the pool to its members, similar to coverage offered by insurance companies. However, self-insured pools offer members lower rates (due to not needing insurance brokers), increased benefits (such as loss prevention services) and subject matter expertise. Of approximately 91,000 distinct governmental entities operating in the United States, 75,000 are members of self-insured pools in various lines of coverage, forming approximately 500 pools. Although a relatively small corner of the insurance market, the annual contributions (self-insured premiums) to such pools have been estimated up to 17 billion dollars annually.[35]

Insurance companies

Munster group ennis car insurance Certificate issued by Republic Fire Insurance Co. of New York c. 1860

Insurance companies may be classified into two groups:

  • Life insurance companies, which sell life insurance, annuities and pensions products.
  • Non-life or property/casualty insurance companies, which sell other types of insurance.

General insurance companies can be further divided into these sub categories.

  • Standard lines
  • Excess lines

In most countries, life and non-life insurers are subject to different regulatory regimes and different tax and accounting rules. The main reason for the distinction between the two types of company is that life, annuity, and pension business is very long-term in nature – coverage for life assurance or a pension can cover risks over many decades. By contrast, non-life insurance cover usually covers a shorter period, such as one year.

Insurance companies are generally classified as either mutual or proprietary companies.[36] Mutual companies are owned by the policyholders, while shareholders (who may or may not own policies) own proprietary insurance companies.

Demutualization of mutual insurers to form stock companies, as well as the formation of a hybrid known as a mutual holding company, became common in some countries, such as the United States, in the late 20th century. However, not all states permit mutual holding companies.

Other possible forms for an insurance company include reciprocals, in which policyholders reciprocate in sharing risks, and Lloyd's organizations.

Insurance companies are rated by various agencies such as A. M. Best. The ratings include the company's financial strength, which measures its ability to pay claims. It also rates financial instruments issued by the insurance company, such as bonds, notes, and securitization products.

Reinsurance companies are insurance companies that sell policies to other insurance companies, allowing them to reduce their risks and protect themselves from very large losses. The reinsurance market is dominated by a few very large companies, with huge reserves. A reinsurer may also be a direct writer of insurance risks as well.

Captive insurance companies may be defined as limited-purpose insurance companies established with the specific objective of financing risks emanating from their parent group or groups. This definition can sometimes be extended to include some of the risks of the parent company's customers. In short, it is an in-house self-insurance vehicle. Captives may take the form of a "pure" entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the self-insured parent company); of a "mutual" captive (which insures the collective risks of members of an industry); and of an "association" captive (which self-insures individual risks of the members of a professional, commercial or industrial association). Captives represent commercial, economic and tax advantages to their sponsors because of the reductions in costs they help create and for the ease of insurance risk management and the flexibility for cash flows they generate. Additionally, they may provide coverage of risks which is neither available nor offered in the traditional insurance market at reasonable prices.

The types of risk that a captive can underwrite for their parents include property damage, public and product liability, professional indemnity, employee benefits, employers' liability, motor and medical aid expenses. The captive's exposure to such risks may be limited by the use of reinsurance.

Captives are becoming an increasingly important component of the risk management and risk financing strategy of their parent. This can be understood against the following background:

  • Heavy and increasing premium costs in almost every line of coverage
  • Difficulties in insuring certain types of fortuitous risk
  • Differential coverage standards in various parts of the world
  • Rating structures which reflect market trends rather than individual loss experience
  • Insufficient credit for deductibles or loss control efforts

There are also companies known as "insurance consultants". Like a mortgage broker, these companies are paid a fee by the customer to shop around for the best insurance policy amongst many companies. Similar to an insurance consultant, an 'insurance broker' also shops around for the best insurance policy amongst many companies. However, with insurance brokers, the fee is usually paid in the form of commission from the insurer that is selected rather than directly from the client.

Neither insurance consultants nor insurance brokers are insurance companies and no risks are transferred to them in insurance transactions. Third party administrators are companies that perform underwriting and sometimes claims handling services for insurance companies. These companies often have special expertise that the insurance companies do not have.

The financial stability and strength of an insurance company should be a major consideration when buying an insurance contract. An insurance premium paid currently provides coverage for losses that might arise many years in the future. For that reason, the viability of the insurance carrier is very important. In recent years, a number of insurance companies have become insolvent, leaving their policyholders with no coverage (or coverage only from a government-backed insurance pool or other arrangement with less attractive payouts for losses). A number of independent rating agencies provide information and rate the financial viability of insurance companies.

Across the world

Compare car insurance aami nrmal Life insurance premiums written in 2005 Sheilas wheels car insurance freepost address book Non-life insurance premiums written in 2005

Global insurance premiums grew by 2.7% in inflation-adjusted terms in 2010 to $4.3 trillion, climbing above pre-crisis levels. The return to growth and record premiums generated during the year followed two years of decline in real terms. Life insurance premiums increased by 3.2% in 2010 and non-life premiums by 2.1%. While industrialised countries saw an increase in premiums of around 1.4%, insurance markets in emerging economies saw rapid expansion with 11% growth in premium income. The global insurance industry was sufficiently capitalised to withstand the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 and most insurance companies restored their capital to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2010. With the continuation of the gradual recovery of the global economy, it is likely the insurance industry will continue to see growth in premium income both in industrialised countries and emerging markets in 2011.

Advanced economies account for the bulk of global insurance. With premium income of $1.62 trillion, Europe was the most important region in 2010, followed by North America $1.409 trillion and Asia $1.161 trillion. Europe has however seen a decline in premium income during the year in contrast to the growth seen in North America and Asia. The top four countries generated more than a half of premiums. The United States and Japan alone accounted for 40% of world insurance, much higher than their 7% share of the global population. Emerging economies accounted for over 85% of the world's population but only around 15% of premiums. Their markets are however growing at a quicker pace.[37] The country expected to have the biggest impact on the insurance share distribution across the world is China. According to Sam Radwan of ENHANCE International LLC, low premium penetration (insurance premium as a % of GDP), an ageing population and the largest car market in terms of new sales, premium growth has averaged 15–20% in the past five years, and China is expected to be the largest insurance market in the next decade or two.[38]

Regulatory differences

Main article: Insurance law

In the United States, insurance is regulated by the states under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, with "periodic proposals for federal intervention", and a nonprofit coalition of state insurance agencies called the National Association of Insurance Commissioners works to harmonize the country's different laws and regulations.[39] The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) also works to harmonize the different state laws.[40]

In the European Union, the Third Non-Life Directive and the Third Life Directive, both passed in 1992 and effective 1994, created a single insurance market in Europe and allowed insurance companies to offer insurance anywhere in the EU (subject to permission from authority in the head office) and allowed insurance consumers to purchase insurance from any insurer in the EU.[41] As far as insurance in the United Kingdom, the Financial Services Authority took over insurance regulation from the General Insurance Standards Council in 2005;[42] laws passed include the Insurance Companies Act 1973 and another in 1982,[43] and reforms to warranty and other aspects under discussion as of 2012[update].[44]

The insurance industry in China was nationalized in 1949 and thereafter offered by only a single state-owned company, the People's Insurance Company of China, which was eventually suspended as demand declined in a communist environment. In 1978, market reforms led to an increase in the market and by 1995 a comprehensive Insurance Law of the People's Republic of China[45] was passed, followed in 1998 by the formation of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), which has broad regulatory authority over the insurance market of China.[46]

In India IRDA is insurance regulatory authority. As per the section 4 of IRDA Act 1999, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), which was constituted by an act of parliament. National Insurance Academy, Pune is apex insurance capacity builder institute promoted with support from Ministry of Finance and by LIC, Life & General Insurance companies.


Does not reduce the risk

Insurance is just a risk transfer mechanism wherein the financial burden which may arise due to some fortuitous event is transferred to a bigger entity called an Insurance Company by way of paying premiums. This only reduces the financial burden and not the actual chances of happening of an event. Insurance is a risk for both the insurance company and the insured. The insurance company understands the risk involved and will perform a risk assessment when writing the policy. As a result, the premiums may go up if they determine that the policyholder will file a claim. If a person is financially stable and plans for life's unexpected events, they may be able to go without insurance. However, they must have enough to cover a total and complete loss of employment and of their possessions. Some states will accept a surety bond, a government bond, or even making a cash deposit with the state.[citation needed]

Insurance insulates too much

An insurance company may inadvertently find that its insureds may not be as risk-averse as they might otherwise be (since, by definition, the insured has transferred the risk to the insurer), a concept known as moral hazard. This 'insulates' many from the true costs of living with risk, negating measures that can mitigate or adapt to risk and leading some to describe insurance schemes as potentially maladaptive.[47] To reduce their own financial exposure, insurance companies have contractual clauses that mitigate their obligation to provide coverage if the insured engages in behavior that grossly magnifies their risk of loss or liability.[citation needed]

For example, life insurance companies may require higher premiums or deny coverage altogether to people who work in hazardous occupations or engage in dangerous sports. Liability insurance providers do not provide coverage for liability arising from intentional torts committed by or at the direction of the insured. Even if a provider desired to provide such coverage, it is against the public policy of most countries to allow such insurance to exist, and thus it is usually illegal.[citation needed]

Complexity of insurance policy contracts

Cheap liability car insurance virginia 9/11 was a major insurance loss, but there were disputes over the World Trade Center's insurance policy

Insurance policies can be complex and some policyholders may not understand all the fees and coverages included in a policy. As a result, people may buy policies on unfavorable terms. In response to these issues, many countries have enacted detailed statutory and regulatory regimes governing every aspect of the insurance business, including minimum standards for policies and the ways in which they may be advertised and sold.

For example, most insurance policies in the English language today have been carefully drafted in plain English; the industry learned the hard way that many courts will not enforce policies against insureds when the judges themselves cannot understand what the policies are saying. Typically, courts construe ambiguities in insurance policies against the insurance company and in favor of coverage under the policy.

Many institutional insurance purchasers buy insurance through an insurance broker. While on the surface it appears the broker represents the buyer (not the insurance company), and typically counsels the buyer on appropriate coverage and policy limitations, in the vast majority of cases a broker's compensation comes in the form of a commission as a percentage of the insurance premium, creating a conflict of interest in that the broker's financial interest is tilted towards encouraging an insured to purchase more insurance than might be necessary at a higher price. A broker generally holds contracts with many insurers, thereby allowing the broker to "shop" the market for the best rates and coverage possible.

Insurance may also be purchased through an agent. A tied agent, working exclusively with one insurer, represents the insurance company from whom the policyholder buys (while a free agent sells policies of various insurance companies). Just as there is a potential conflict of interest with a broker, an agent has a different type of conflict. Because agents work directly for the insurance company, if there is a claim the agent may advise the client to the benefit of the insurance company. Agents generally cannot offer as broad a range of selection compared to an insurance broker.

An independent insurance consultant advises insureds on a fee-for-service retainer, similar to an attorney, and thus offers completely independent advice, free of the financial conflict of interest of brokers or agents. However, such a consultant must still work through brokers or agents in order to secure coverage for their clients.

Limited consumer benefits

In United States, economists and consumer advocates generally consider insurance to be worthwhile for low-probability, catastrophic losses, but not for high-probability, small losses. Because of this, consumers are advised to select high deductibles and to not insure losses which would not cause a disruption in their life. However, consumers have shown a tendency to prefer low deductibles and to prefer to insure relatively high-probability, small losses over low-probability, perhaps due to not understanding or ignoring the low-probability risk. This is associated with reduced purchasing of insurance against low-probability losses, and may result in increased inefficiencies from moral hazard.[48]


Redlining is the practice of denying insurance coverage in specific geographic areas, supposedly because of a high likelihood of loss, while the alleged motivation is unlawful discrimination. Racial profiling or redlining has a long history in the property insurance industry in the United States. From a review of industry underwriting and marketing materials, court documents, and research by government agencies, industry and community groups, and academics, it is clear that race has long affected and continues to affect the policies and practices of the insurance industry.[49]

In July 2007, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report presenting the results of a study concerning credit-based insurance scores in automobile insurance. The study found that these scores are effective predictors of risk. It also showed that African-Americans and Hispanics are substantially overrepresented in the lowest credit scores, and substantially underrepresented in the highest, while Caucasians and Asians are more evenly spread across the scores. The credit scores were also found to predict risk within each of the ethnic groups, leading the FTC to conclude that the scoring models are not solely proxies for redlining. The FTC indicated little data was available to evaluate benefit of insurance scores to consumers.[50] The report was disputed by representatives of the Consumer Federation of America, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Center for Economic Justice, for relying on data provided by the insurance industry.[51]

All states have provisions in their rate regulation laws or in their fair trade practice acts that prohibit unfair discrimination, often called redlining, in setting rates and making insurance available.[52]

In determining premiums and premium rate structures, insurers consider quantifiable factors, including location, credit scores, gender, occupation, marital status, and education level. However, the use of such factors is often considered to be unfair or unlawfully discriminatory, and the reaction against this practice has in some instances led to political disputes about the ways in which insurers determine premiums and regulatory intervention to limit the factors used.

An insurance underwriter's job is to evaluate a given risk as to the likelihood that a loss will occur. Any factor that causes a greater likelihood of loss should theoretically be charged a higher rate. This basic principle of insurance must be followed if insurance companies are to remain solvent.[citation needed] Thus, "discrimination" against (i.e., negative differential treatment of) potential insureds in the risk evaluation and premium-setting process is a necessary by-product of the fundamentals of insurance underwriting. For instance, insurers charge older people significantly higher premiums than they charge younger people for term life insurance. Older people are thus treated differently from younger people (i.e., a distinction is made, discrimination occurs). The rationale for the differential treatment goes to the heart of the risk a life insurer takes: Old people are likely to die sooner than young people, so the risk of loss (the insured's death) is greater in any given period of time and therefore the risk premium must be higher to cover the greater risk. However, treating insureds differently when there is no actuarially sound reason for doing so is unlawful discrimination.

Insurance patents

Further information: Insurance patent

New assurance products can now be protected from copying with a business method patent in the United States.

A recent example of a new insurance product that is patented is Usage Based auto insurance. Early versions were independently invented and patented by a major US auto insurance company, Progressive Auto Insurance (U.S. Patent 5,797,134) and a Spanish independent inventor, Salvador Minguijon Perez (EP 0700009 ).

Many independent inventors are in favor of patenting new insurance products since it gives them protection from big companies when they bring their new insurance products to market. Independent inventors account for 70% of the new U.S. patent applications in this area.

Many insurance executives are opposed to patenting insurance products because it creates a new risk for them. The Hartford insurance company, for example, recently had to pay $80 million to an independent inventor, Bancorp Services, in order to settle a patent infringement and theft of trade secret lawsuit for a type of corporate owned life insurance product invented and patented by Bancorp.

There are currently about 150 new patent applications on insurance inventions filed per year in the United States. The rate at which patents have been issued has steadily risen from 15 in 2002 to 44 in 2006.[53]

Inventors can now have their insurance US patent applications reviewed by the public in the Peer to Patent program.[54] The first insurance patent to be granted was [55] including another example of an application posted was US2009005522 "risk assessment company". It was posted on March 6, 2009. This patent application describes a method for increasing the ease of changing insurance companies.[56]

Insurance industry and rent-seeking

Certain insurance products and practices have been described as rent-seeking by critics.[citation needed] That is, some insurance products or practices are useful primarily because of legal benefits, such as reducing taxes, as opposed to providing protection against risks of adverse events. Under United States tax law, for example, most owners of variable annuities and variable life insurance can invest their premium payments in the stock market and defer or eliminate paying any taxes on their investments until withdrawals are made. Sometimes this tax deferral is the only reason people use these products.[citation needed] Another example is the legal infrastructure which allows life insurance to be held in an irrevocable trust which is used to pay an estate tax while the proceeds themselves are immune from the estate tax.

Religious concerns

Muslim scholars have varying opinions about life insurance. Life insurance policies that earn interest (or guaranteed bonus/NAV) are generally considered to be a form of riba[57] (usury) and some consider even policies that do not earn interest to be a form of gharar (speculation). Some argue that gharar is not present due to the actuarial science behind the underwriting.[58] Jewish rabbinical scholars also have expressed reservations regarding insurance as an avoidance of God's will but most find it acceptable in moderation.[59]

Some Christians believe insurance represents a lack of faith[citation needed] and there is a long history of resistance to commercial insurance in Anabaptist communities (Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, Brethren in Christ) but many participate in community-based self-insurance programs that spread risk within their communities.[60][61][62]

See also

  • Agent of Record
  • Earthquake loss
  • Financial adviser
  • Financial services (broader industry to which insurance belongs)
  • Geneva Association (the International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics)
  • Global assets under management
  • Insurance broker
  • Insurance fraud
  • Insurance Hall of Fame
  • Insurance law
  • Insurance Premium Tax (UK)
  • List of Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament, 1960-1979
  • Loss-control consultant
  • Reinsurance
  • Intergovernmental Risk Pool
  • The Invisible Bankers: Everything the Insurance Industry Never Wanted You to Know (book)
  • List of finance topics
  • List of insurance topics
  • List of United States insurance companies
  • Social security
  • Uberrima fides
  • Universal health care
  • Welfare state

Country-specific articles:

  • Insurance in Australia
  • Insurance in India
  • Insurance in the United States
  • Insurance in the United Kingdom


  1. ^ See, e.g., Vaughan, E. J., 1997, Risk Management, New York: Wiley.
  2. ^ "Lex Rhodia: The Ancient Ancestor of Maritime Law - 800 BC". 
  3. ^ J. Franklin, The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 274-277.
  4. ^ Dickson (1960): 4
  5. ^ Dickson (1960): 7
  6. ^ Palmer, Sarah (October 2007). "Lloyd, Edward (c.1648–1713)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16829. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Anzovin, Steven, Famous First Facts 2000, item # 2422, H. W. Wilson Company, ISBN 0-8242-0958-3 p. 121 The first life insurance company known of record was founded in 1706 by the Bishop of Oxford and the financier Thomas Allen in London, England. The company, called the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, collected annual premiums from policyholders and paid the nominees of deceased members from a common fund.
  8. ^ Amicable Society, The charters, acts of Parliament, and by-laws of the corporation of the Amicable Society for a perpetual assurance office, Gilbert and Rivington, 1854, p. 4
  9. ^ "Today and History:The History of Equitable Life". 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  10. ^ "Encarta: Health Insurance". Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. 
  11. ^ a b E. P. Hennock, The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914: Social Policies Compared (2007)
  12. ^ Hermann Beck, Origins of the Authoritarian Welfare State in Prussia, 1815-1870 (1995)
  13. ^ The Cabinet Papers 1915-1982: National Health Insurance Act 1911. The National Archives, 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  14. ^ Bentley B. Gilbert, British social policy, 1914-1939 (1970)
  15. ^ Gollier C. (2003). To Insure or Not to Insure?: An Insurance Puzzle. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory.
  16. ^ This discussion is adapted from Mehr and Camack "Principles of Insurance", 6th edition, 1976, pp 34 – 37.
  17. ^ Irish Brokers Association. Insurance Principles.
  18. ^ a b C. Kulp & J. Hall, Casualty Insurance, Fourth Edition, 1968, page 35
  19. ^ However, bankruptcy of the insured with a "reimbursement" policy does not relieve the insurer. Certain types of insurance, e.g., workers' compensation and personal automobile liability, are subject to statutory requirements that injured parties have direct access to coverage.
  20. ^ Dembe, A. E., Boden, L. I. (2000). Moral hazard: A question of morality?. New Solutions.
  21. ^ Kunreuther H. (1996). Mitigating Disaster Losses Through Insurance. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.
  22. ^ Brown RL. (1993). Introduction to Ratemaking and Loss Reserving for Property and Casualty Insurance. ACTEX Publications.
  23. ^ Feldstein, Sylvan G.; Fabozzi, Frank J. (2008). The Handbook of Municipal Bonds. Wiley. p. 614. ISBN 978-0-470-10875-8. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  24. ^ What we do ABI. Abi.org.uk. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  25. ^ Fitzpatrick, Sean, Fear is the Key: A Behavioral Guide to Underwriting Cycles, 10 Conn. Ins. L.J. 255 (2004).
  26. ^ Berger, Allen N.; Cummins, J. David; Weiss, Mary A. (October 1997). "The Coexistence of Multiple Distribution Systems for Financial Services: The Case of Property-Liability Insurance.". Journal of Business. 70 (4): 515–46. doi:10.1086/209730.  (online draft)
  27. ^ Insurance Information Institute. "Business insurance information. What does a businessowners policy cover?". Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  28. ^ "Builder's Risk Insurance: Specialized Coverage for Construction Projects". Adjusting Today. Adjusters International. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  29. ^ US application 20,060,287,896  "Method for providing crop insurance for a crop associated with a defined attribute"
  30. ^ Insurance Information Institute. "What is homeowners insurance?". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  31. ^ Seaman, S. M.; Kittredge, C. (Spring 1997). "Excess Liability Insurance: Law and Litigation". Tort & Insurance Law Journal. 32 (3): 653–714. JSTOR 25763179. 
  32. ^ Types of Business Insurance | SBA.gov. Business.gov. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  33. ^ Blitz, Gary; Schoenberg, Daniel. "Private REITs: Facilitating a Cleaner Exit with Tax Insurance". Transaction Advisors. ISSN 2329-9134. 
  34. ^ Margaret E. Lynch, Editor, "Health Insurance Terminology", Health Insurance Association of America, 1992, ISBN 1-879143-13-5
  35. ^ Marcos Antonio Mendoza, "Reinsurance as Governance: Governmental Risk Management Pools as a Case Study in the Governance Role Played by Reinsurance Institutions", 21 Conn. Ins. L.J. 53, 55-60 (2014) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2573253
  36. ^ David Ransom (2011). IF1 – Insurance, Legal & Regulatory. Chartered Insurance Institute. p. 2/5. ISBN 978 0 85713 094 5. 
  37. ^ (PDF) http://www.thecityuk.com/assets/Uploads/Insurance-2011-F2.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help) (365 KB) p. 2
  38. ^ Sam Radwan, "China's Insurance Market: Lessons Learned from Taiwan", Bloomberg Businessweek, June 2010.
  39. ^ Randall S. (1998). Insurance Regulation in the United States: Regulatory Federalism and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW.
  40. ^ J Schacht, B Foudree. (2007). A Study on State Authority: Making a Case for Proper Insurance Oversight. NCOIL
  41. ^ C. J. Campbell, L. Goldberg, A. Rai. (2003). The Impact of the European Union Insurance Directives on Insurance Company Stocks. The Journal of Risk and Insurance.
  42. ^ Haurant S. (2005). FSA takes on insurance regulation. The Guardian.
  43. ^ Adams J. (2012). The impact of changing regulation on the insurance industry. Financial Services Authority.
  44. ^ Lloyds. (2012). Reforming UK insurance contract law.
  45. ^ Insurance Law of the People's Republic of China – 1995. Lehman, Lee & Xu.
  46. ^ Thomas JE. (2002). The role and powers of the Chinese insurance regulatory commission in the administration of insurance law in China. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance.
  47. ^ O'Hare, Paul; White, Iain; Connelly, Angela (2015-09-01). "Insurance as maladaptation: Resilience and the 'business as usual' paradox". Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy: 0263774X15602022. doi:10.1177/0263774X15602022. ISSN 0263-774X. 
  48. ^ Schindler, R. M. (1994). Consumer Motivation for Purchasing Low-Deductible Insurance. In Marketing and Public Policy Conference Proceedings, Vol. 4, D. J. Ringold (ed.), Chicago, IL: American Marketing Association, 147–155.
  49. ^ Gregory D. Squires (2003) Racial Profiling, Insurance Style: Insurance Redlining and the Uneven Development of Metropolitan Areas Journal of Urban Affairs Volume 25 Issue 4 pp. 391–410, November 2003
  50. ^ Credit-Based Insurance Scores: Impacts on Consumers of Automobile Insurance, Federal Trade Commission (July 2007)
  51. ^ Consumers Dispute FTC Report on Insurance Credit Scoring www.consumeraffairs.com (July 2007)
  52. ^ Insurance Information Institute. "Issues Update: Regulation Modernization". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  53. ^ (Source: Insurance IP Bulletin, December 15, 2006)
  54. ^ Mark Nowotarski "Patent Q/A: Peer to Patent", Insurance IP Bulletin, August 15, 2008
  56. ^ Bakos, Nowotarski, "An Experiment in Better Patent Examination", Insurance IP Bulletin, December 15, 2008.
  57. ^ "Islam Question and Answer – The true nature of insurance and the rulings concerning it". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  58. ^ "Life Insurance from an Islamic Perspective". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  59. ^ "Jewish Association for Business Ethics – Insurance". Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  60. ^ Rubinkam, Michael (October 5, 2006). "Amish Reluctantly Accept Donations". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  61. ^ Donald B. Kraybill. The riddle of Amish culture. p. 277. ISBN 0-8018-3682-4. 
  62. ^ "Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, Insurance". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 


  • Dickson, P. G. M. (1960). The Sun Insurance Office 1710–1960: The History of Two and a half Centuries of British Insurance. London: Oxford University Press. p. 324. 

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Share14 Tweet2 Pin +1Shares 16Here's what you need to know...
  • Buying a reliable car is another step you can take in your cost-cutting efforts
  • This guide examines safety ratings as well as fuel efficiency and maintenance costs
  • Many factors will play a role in your individual car insurance premiums

The more reliable your vehicle is known to be, the less money you’ll have to use out of your pocket in the future for extraneous mishaps and repairs.

We took the time to find the most reliable cars ever! So forget the stylish red muscle car that breaks down every thousand miles with a new problem and needs to be refueled every time you go to the store for groceries and check out these reliable cars.

Start thinking and saving green by looking into a reliable car with trusted car safety ratings and a solid reputation backing it to the bumper.

These type of statistics could save you tons of money when looking for car insurance! After finding your perfect car, enter your ZIP code and begin to compare car insurance companies for FREE with our ZIP code search!

Everyone likes to save money, and in an economy that seems to be sinking with no real end in sight, saving money has never been more prudent.

If you have done everything from coupon clipping to cutting down on shopping, look now to see how you can save on your car and find cheap coverage for car insurance.

Certain factors are taken into account when your insurance is projected, such as:

  • how green your reliable car runs
  • overall safety ratings
  • fuel economy
  • expected maintenance costs

The better your car rates on any of these platforms, the better your chances of saving money every month.

The following list is compiled from Warranty Direct’s most reliable vehicles over the past ten years, used and new.

In it, you will find reasons why these vehicles made the cut over all the rest and what you can expect when driving behind the wheel.

The car insurance quotes suggested are overall estimates based on full coverage and liability, and depending upon your individual circumstances and driving history, you could end up paying more or less than the prices listed.

Several factors will influence your total car insurance rates and only a licensed insurance representative can tell you.

Make sure that when shopping for insurance, you check various insurance companies to see where you can get the best rates when it comes to your vehicle.

The more environmentally friendly properties, anti-theft mechanisms, and fuel saving technologies, the more money you are likely to save.

You can take a look at our guide for auto insurance and find some different ways to save on car insurance!

Most Reliable Cars

Multiple vehicle insurance policy

1. Honda Accord

The most classic vehicle of all, the Cinderella of the ball, this family sedan ranks number one with good reason.

From the smooth engine, great fuel economy and solid riding capabilities, the most reliable car gives a solid sense of environmental responsibility and power for your money.

Accord Awards:

  • Best Family Car, consumersearch.com (2006)
  • Best Overall Value of the Year, IntelliChoice (2003, 2006)
  • Car of the Year, Drive (2008)
  • Wheels Magazine (2008)
  • South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (2009)
  • Best Upscale Small Car for Families, US News & World Report (2011)

Retail Price: $21,473 – $31,500
Insurance Average: $1,131/annually

2. Subaru Forester

This compact SUV crossover model is lightweight and durable. It seats a total of five passengers while still providing maximum cargo space. This model provides standard all-wheel drive, designed to last and

This model provides standard all-wheel drive, designed to last and outperform most with a great, powerful engine under the hood. If you have one of the most reliable cars in the Subaru Forest, then you should expect

If you have own one, then you should expect your Subaru Forester car insurance to be pretty reasonable!

Forester Awards:

  • Top Safety Pick, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Best Small SUV, Car and Driver (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Best Compact SUV Award, Wheels Magazine (2008)
  • Sport/Utility of the Year Award, Motor Trend (2009)

Retail Price: $20,480 – $29,635
Insurance Average: $1,136/annually

3. Mazda MX-5

One of the most popular sports vehicles on the road today, this is the best-selling two-seat convertible in history.

Its light weight and frame are designed for maximum torque, so a driver does have to settle for a low price without the engine power or shell out the extra car insurance for extra safety precautions.

MX-5 Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Wheels Magazine (1989 and 2005)
  • Best Sports Car of the 1990s, Sports Car International (2000)
  • Car of the Year, Japan (2005-2006)
  • Car of the Year, Australia (2005)

Retail Price: $22,385 – $30,419
Insurance Average: $1,400/annually

4. Mitsubishi Carisma

A larger family sized sedan co-developed with the Volvo corporation, the Carisma offered conservative style meant to appeal to the middle-class buyer and was one of the first models to offer plastic and fabric frames that were less likely to wear an tear.

Remember, the top companies offering car insurance love reliability and low maintenance costs.

Carisma Awards:

  • Fleet Car of the Year Award (1999, 2000)
  • Most Reliable Car, Britain (2000)

Retail Price: $16,718.40 – $17,298.90
Insurance Average: $1,197/ annually

5. Toyota Yaris

A highly fuel efficient, compact, supermini with a perky engine to boot, the Yaris is listed as one of the best small, reliable cars to buy and own.

With some of the lowest maintenance costs projected on the books, this model was recently remodeled to offer larger tires for better traction and a smoother ride on the roads. Those features have reliable car written all over it!

Yaris Awards:

  • Listed, Top 10 Urban Car, Cars.com (2011)
  • Best Bet, Cars.com (2011)
  • Excellent Value, IntelliChoice (2011)
  • SmartChoice Fuel Costs Winner, IntelliChoice (2011)
  • Retail Price: $14,115 – $17,200

Insurance Average: $1,990/annually

6. Honda Civic

The Civic is easily one of the most popular compact cars ever sold on American soil since its initial release in the 1970s.

It is also one of the most reliable cars on the market! It has gone on as one of the most reliable models ever produced with low repair costs and a conservative style.

Civic Awards:

  • Top Safety Pick, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2011)
  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (2007)
  • Greenest Car, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (2005)
  • Car of the Year, South African (2007)
  • Auto Esporte (2006)
  • North American International Auto Show (2006)

Retail Price: $16,254 – $22,520
Insurance Average: $1,363/ annually

7. Nissan Almera

Produced in different countries, the Almera sedan is also sold as the Nissan Pulsar or Sentra, depending which country you live in.

No matter the name, it offers the same quality and assurance across the board. Models are available in four to five-door options (a three-door is available only in Europe) with above-average rated dependability and sensible costs of running.

Almera Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Japan (1987)

Retail Price: $18,990- $24,990
Insurance Average: $1,163/ annually

8. Honda CR-V

The CR-V was the Honda’s answer to the full-sized SUV market; initially, it was a compact station wagon that evolved into a crossover design with sedan-like facilities and handling. The cabin offers a comfortable, quiet ride with a host of accessories to play with, ideal for families with children they need to distract, and spacious cargo room for trips. All of these great, reliable car features will lead to lower

The cabin offers a comfortable, quiet ride with a host of accessories to play with, ideal for families with children they need to distract, and spacious cargo room for trips. All of these great, reliable car features will lead to lower Honda CR-V insurance!

CR-V Awards:

  • Best Resale Value Award (2011)
  • Compact SUV People’s Choice Award (2007)

Retail Price: $22,501 – $30,689
Insurance Average: $1,258/ annually

9. Toyota RAV4

Insurance companies don’t care if you’re a car or truck, just so long as you perform great on gas. Perhaps the smallest in the Toyota family of sport-utility vehicles, this was the company’s first line in the ever-growing SUV market

Despite its size, the RAV4 managed to achieve superior fuel economy than most in its class.

RAV 4 Awards:

  • Best Buy, Cars.com (2011)
  • Excellent Value, IntelliChoice (2010)
  • SmartChoice Maintenance Costs Winner, IntelliChoice (2010)

Retail Price: $22,619 – $28,790
Insurance Average: $1,300/ annually

10. Nissan Micra

Reasonable car insurance rates even with a dui

image source

Known as the Nissan March (Asia) and Versa (North America), this ride is one tough cookie. Although a hatchback model, passengers and drivers alike are treated to a roomy interior and user-friendly appliances.

The Micra is credited across the board for its great quality build and for having some of the best crash-test car safety ratings for hatchback models.

Micra Awards:

  • European Automotive Design Award (2003)
  • Most Environmental Friendly Car of the Year, Thailand (2010)

Retail Price: $10,990 – $15,560
Insurance Average: $1,163/annually

11. Lexus IS 200

Among luxury vehicles on the market and class, this entry-class sedan is rated at the highest level of safety afforded to most in the luxury category. Insurance companies love to see those high marks, much like colleges view high SAT scores.

IS 200 Awards:

  • Golden Steering Wheel Award (2007)
  • Executive Car of the Year, Top Gear (2006)
  • Best New Technology Award, Canadian Car of the Year (2006)
  • Top Ranked Entry Luxury Car, J.D. Power & Associates (2005)
  • Best to Hold Value Award , Kelley Blue Book (2001)

Retail Price: $33,382 – $46,106
Insurance Average: $1,800/annually

12. Mazda 626

While not the flashiest of the bunch on the list, the 626 has a trim frame built for optimum speed and four-wheel-steering capabilities to permit smooth handling over twists and turns.

It was produced in Japan with the intention of being the flagship model of the exportation market.

Mazda 626 Awards:

  • Recommended Buy,  (2002)
  • Ten Best List, Car and Driver (1998)
  • Best Buy, Consumer Guide (1998, 1999, 2000)
  • Car of the Year, Wheels Magazine (1988, 1991)

Retail Price: $4,300 – $5,250
Insurance Average: $1,103.29/ annually

13. Jaguar X-Type

The compact style Jag was widely received with praise and positive reviews when it first appeared on the market, and not just because of the sexy name.

It was the first and smallest of the Jaguar family to evenly blend performance style and interior luxury, seated with a four-cylinder diesel engine that promoted greater fuel economy and a graceful acceleration.

This very reliable car is great for any type of driver. Check out the average premiums for the Jaguar X-Type and see where one can find the best savings!

X-Type Awards:

  • Editors Choice Award, The Most Significant Car, AutoWeek (2001)
  • Winner, Vehicle Satisfaction Award, AutoPacific (2007, 2008)

Retail Price: $35,060 – $35,060
Insurance Average: $2,533.48/annually

14. Toyota Landcruiser

The Landcruiser design combines tough off-road capabilities with on-the-road steering power. Its powerful V8 gives that extra reliable edge and empowers a stronger towing capacity than most in its class.

The Landcruiser is designed to rough it on rough roads and adverse weather.

Landcruiser Awards:

  • 4×4 of the Year, Australian 4WD Monthly (1998-2000)
  • 4WD of the Year, Australia Magazine (2001)

Retail Price: $68,753 – $68,753
Insurance Average: $1,455/annually

15. Volvo S/V40

Despite being an entry-level sedan, the S/V40 provides the latest in interior functionality and quality with efficient engine technology.

Sharp traction control and four-wheel anti-lock brakes provide the driver optimum control while enjoying the benefits of Bluetooth media and auxiliary sound system control, a perfect blend of fashion and function.

S/V40 Awards:

  • UK Safety Award (1998)
  • Import Car of the Year (1997-1998)
  • Best Bet, Car Books (2010)

Retail Price: $26,945 – $30,140
Insurance Average: $1,268/annually

16. MINI

A beginner concept model for BMW, this British-born retro design caught the world by storm and took a drastic stand against the common look of the automotive world. If this were school, the Mini is the cool foreigner who turns heads in the hallway.

MINI Awards:

  • Car of the Century, Autocar Magazine (1995)
  • European Car of the Century, Global Automotive Elections Foundation (1999)
  • North American Car of the Year Award (2003)
  • Small Car of the Year, Top Gear (2006)
  • Listed, Top 10 Green Cars, Kelley Blue Book (2010)

Retail Price: $19,690 – $34,200
Insurance Average: $1,345/ annually

17. Suzuki Vitara

A compact SUV built around a car-based platform to offer enhanced control behind the wheel and interior comfort. Standard features include large cargo capacity and excellent brake system and powerful engine performance.

The rugged frame was built to hold against the elements and stand the test of time. Luckily for you, we have dedicated a whole page for Suzuki car insurance. On this page, one can compare quotes and find out all the information on Suzuki!

Vitara Awards:

  • Best Small Wagon, Overlander (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Best in Compact SUV Class Award, AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction (2006)
  • Buy Award for Compact Sport Utility Vehicles (2007)

Retail Price: $19,009 – $24,424
Insurance Average: $1,500/ annually

18. Mazda 323

Sold in Europe and North America, the 323 is also marketed as the Protégé.

Pulled from older Porsche designs, the reliability for this model ranks high with the best-selling vehicle brands, surprising audiences and buyers alike with its fantastic gas mileage and powerful turbocharged engine.

Mazda 323 Awards:

  • Best New Family Sedan (Under $25,000), Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (1999)
  • Engine of the Year (2003)
  • #1 Compact Sedan, Car and Driver (2000)

Retail Price: $26,005 – $31,957
Insurance Average: $85-100/ month

19. Toyota Carina E

Considered the “sister” to the Toyota Corolla, this large family sedan was produced in Japan for major exportation to the UK and North America, renamed Carina E from the Corona after its debut at the Geneva Auto Show.

With a sportier design and smaller body, the Carina E fit Japanese size regulations to offer buyers in Japan an annual tax break.

Carina E Awards:

  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (1993)
  • Best Used Toyota, CarHunt.co.UK (2006)

Retails Price: $16,221 – $18,868
Insurance Average: $92/ per month

20. Saab 9-5

Citibank gold mastercard car rental insurance

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Probably one of the longest lasting and most reliable cars ever introduced to the market when it first came out, this mid-sized luxury sedan remains cheaper than most, but it’s comfortable ride and lasting reliability makes it work every small penny.

Saab 9-5 Awards:

  • The Safest Car, Sweden (2003)
  • Top Safety Pick, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2011)
  • 5 (*****) Frontal Crash Test Rating, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2006)
  • Best Bet, The Car Book (2004)

Retail Price: $37,082 – $47,013
Insurance Average: $1,382/ annually

21. Lexus LS400

A luxury sedan? Check. V8 powered engine? Check. Rear-wheel controls? Check. Silent ride in the cabin? Check. Skid control? Check. Maximum interior comfort? Check. Child anchor seats? Check. Brake assistance systems? Check. High-performance ratings? Check.

Criteria necessary for saving money when it comes to shopping for coverage? Yes, and check.

LS400 Awards:

  • Canadian Car of the Year (1991)
  • Car of the Decade-1990’s, Wheels (2002)

Retail Price: $66,309 – $74,115
Insurance Average: $2,407/annually

22. Ford Ka

This European designed minicar is the epitome of cityscape maneuverability, perfect for the big cities and narrow streets and alleys. Provided with quick steering for sharp maneuvering, this model is exceptionally good on gas mileage overall.

Don’t expect this car to be on the worst gas mileage list but it is on the most reliable car list!

Ka Awards:

  • European Award of Automotive Design (1997)
  • Industrial Design Excellence Awards (1997)
  • Car of the Year, Autocar Magazine (1996), Autoweek (1997)
  • Best Small Car of the Year, What Car? and AutoExpress (1997)
  • Favorite Car, Telegraph (1996)
  • Car of the Year Design Award, Croatia (1996)
  • Small Car of the Decade, UK (2000)

Retail Price: $10,209.50 – $16,662
Insurance Average: $1,560/ annually

23. Rover 45

A series of saloon, hatchback, and estate cars were manufactured until 2005 for a British customer base. The Rover 45 was generally one of the better selling models of car on British soil, highly appraised for its anti-theft ratings across the board. The price generally consisted

The price generally was consistent with small family line vehicles, so it was very affordable for the middle-class market. If this car has made the least stolen cars in Europe, we wonder if you have seen The Most Stolen Cars in the US?

Rover 45 Awards:

  • Britain’s Best Selling New Car of the Month-April (2000)

Retail Price: $10,812.00- $16,042.00
Insurance Average: $1,400/ annually

24. Hyundai Lantra

This model vehicle is primarily available overseas and comes in four-door sedan and five-door station wagon body styles. Each has been designed to provide optimum miles per gallon with steady handling and maneuverability.

Inside, passengers and the driver are fitted with desirable comfort and conventional style design.

Lantra Awards:

  • Motorist Choice Awards, Intellichoice and AutoPacific (2011)
  • Ideal Vehicle Compact Car of the Year, AutoPacifica Vehicle Voice (2011)
  • Vehicle Satisfaction Award (2011)

Retail Price: $14,145 – $17,845
Insurance Average: $1,217/annually

25. Mercedes SLK

A luxury roadster great for city and urban driving, this was the first Mercedes model to offer powered convertible tops and equipped with a magnesium subframe, all around lighter and more convenient for accelerating. The coupe profile provided heavy wind resistance when on the open roads, turbo-charged with a

The coupe profile provided heavy wind resistance when on the open roads, turbo-charged with a six-speed manual transmission. Insurance will charge you more for the style, but you won’t lack for awesome presence.

SLK Awards:

  • Winner Premium Sports Car, J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (2003)

Retail Price: $46,900 – $51,900
Insurance Average: $1,960/ annually

26. Citroen Xsara

Built for the French market, this compact, petrol fueled, family vehicle has also been a featured car in the World Rally Championships.

It is cheaper than most, but still handles expertly behind the wheel and is more dependable than those other more expensive competitors.

Xsara Awards:

  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (1998)
  • Rally Car of the Year, Autosport (2003, 2004, 2005)

Retail Price: $10,200 – $16,800
Insurance Average: $1,360/ annually

27. Ford Cougar

Named after a famous American muscle car (the Mercury Cougar), this European family sedan flew under the radar of the automotive industry.

Described by the few who did pay attention as a “driver’s car,” the Cougar manages the road like a champ, effectively and accurately with hefty V6 engine power. It falls on the pricey side, but the intelligent security and anti-theft system make it extra worth it.

Cougar Awards: N/A

Retail Price: $31,447.70 – $34,596.20
Insurance Average: $2,400/ annually

28. Subaru Impreza

An excellent alternative to the standard hatchback, coupe, or wagon on the road, providing all of the same amenities and interior toys with equal or better fuel economy.

Though little in size, the frame allows the driver swift movements with assured precision on an all-wheel drive powertrain. Find and compare Subaru Impreza insurance by getting all the car reliability facts.

Impreza Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Wheels Magazine (2000)
  • Residual Value Award Winner, ALG (2011)
  • MSN Cars Handling Award (2011)
  • Towcar Of The Year, The Caravan Club (2007)

Retail Price: $17,905 – $21,247
Insurance Average: $1,650/ annually

29. Skoda Octavia

One of the most reliable vehicles in Europe, produced in Czech and based on the German Volkswagon group platform, the small family car was openly embraced by consumers for its low price and even lower overall maintenance fees.

Despite being small, this little guy did not lack for a classy, roomy interior or for a full-on turbocharged four-wheel drive.

Octavia Awards:

  • #1, Driver Power Top 100, Auto Express (2007)
  • Car of the Year in Serbia (2004)
  • Car of the Year in Montenegro (2004)

Retail Price: $17,291
Insurance Average: $1,345/annually

30. Audi A4

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Optimal steering and handling, spacious interior, six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, anti-skid systems, anti-lock brakes, and high score safety features.

All these features are criteria for the selective buyer in search of a vehicle worth its value in stylish and drive appeal who wants to pay less for their insurance premium.

A4 Awards:

  • Imported Car of the Year, Japan (2001)
  • Family Car of the Year, Spain (2001)
  • European Magazine Award (2008)

A4 Price: $31,450 – $33,550
Insurance Average: $1,550 /annually

31. Nissan Primera

The Primera recently underwent a major facelift, earning a modern bumper front end with larger headlights and automatic control features for the interior.

Its petrol-fueled engines produce cleaner emissions. If tour car drivers are willing to risk their lives in these medium-sized sedans, that should ease the minds of many that Nissan is a safe choice.

Primera Awards:

  • British Touring Car Championship Manufacturers Title (1998, 1999)
  • British Touring Car (P.O.S) Independents Cup (1999, 2000)

Retail Price: $23,336.80-$27,909.40
Insurance Average: $1,478/ annually

32. Toyota Avensis

The family sedan choice of the United Kingdom, this baby proved an overall financial success when it came off the assembly line.

The combination of tough four-wheel suspension, stylish frame, and diesel engineering meant the Avensis outperformed, reaching maximum speeds with stellar performance quality and exceptional steering control.

Avensis Awards:

  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (2004)
  • Best Family Car, What Car? (2004, 2005)
  • Australia’s Best People Mover (2001)

Retail Price: $17,700
Insurance Average: $1,300/ annually

33. Volvo 850

Highest-standard safety ratings of any vehicle, equipped with front, passenger, and side airbags and a strong, solid frame to handle anything you can throw at it, the Volvo 850 is not the prettiest to look at, but it provides space and comfort for a ride everyone enjoys.

This car is definitely a reliable family car. Plan on adding drivers to your family policy because this car will last through the generations!

Volvo 850 Awards:

  • Lowest Emissions For Emissions Inspections, Swedish Vehicle Inspection (1999)
  • Used Car of the Year, Car Sensor (1997-1998)
  • Best Overall Value, Intellichoice (1996)
  • Safest Midsize Wagon, Highway Loss Data Institute (1996)
  • Best Buy, Consumer’s Digest (1994)
  • Best New Car, Kiplinger (1993)

Retail Price: $25,810 -$28,010
Insurance Average: $1,168/ annually

34. Vauxhall Corsa

Also known as the Opel Corsa, this German supermini has never been sold in the United States or Canada.

The diesel engine fully complies with Euro 5 standard but does not compromise the excitement of the drive. Start/stop mechanisms were recently added to the 2011 models and are an added bonus for insurance purposes.

The Corsa supermini was a magnificent selling success in Britain for many years. Hybrid models come with such standard equipment, as a belt-driven starter and lithium-ion battery.

Corsa Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Wheels (2001)
  • #1, Most Popular Supermini, Britain (2002-2004)
  • #2, Most Popular Car, Britain (2002-2004)
  • Best Selling Supermini, Britain (2005)
  • #4, Most Popular Car, Britain (2006)
  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (2001)

Retail Price: $14,145.70- $18,950.10
Insurance Average: $1,360/ annually

35. SEAT Toledo

SEAT works as a Spanish extension of the Volkswagen group and sold predominantly in the United Kingdom.

The design for this family sized sedan was initially anticipated for its compact shape and fuel economy and earned a reputation as one of the most reliably respected vehicles in Europe.

Though it was strikingly different to look at with a well-designed model style, the line was discontinued in 2009.

Toledo Awards:

  • Die Besten Autos, Auto-motor-und-sport (1999)
  • Carro do Ano Award, Portugal (2000)

Retail Price: $23,581.50
Insurance Average: $1,500/ annually

36. Volkswagen Golf

Talk about going old-school, the Volkswagen Golf was the original hatchback. Also called the Volkswagen Rabbit, its powerful five-cylinder engine provided extended gas mileage and surprisingly roomy interiors for passengers and cargo.

You know the Golf has to be reliable if it is one of the Most Popular Cars for drivers.

Golf Awards:

  • Best Family Car, Top Gear (1998)
  • Best Small Family Car, Used Car Buyer (1999)
  • Car of the Year , What Car? (2004)
  • Best Hot Hatch, Auto Express (2005)
  • World Car of the Year (2009)
  • Best Small Car, Drive (2010)
  • Listed, Top 10 Green Cars, Kelley Blue Book (2010)

Retail Price: $17,620 – $23,860
Insurance Average: $150-$200/ month

37. Daewoo Lanos

These models are no longer available for sale in the U.S. after 2002, which is a real shame. This subcompact vehicle earned top AAA ratings for its overall value and was equipped with an impressive fuel economy.

Certainly, it’s not the most refined contestant, but it earned high praise from Consumer Guide for its intelligent fuel system and deservedly so.

Lanos Awards:

  • Best Deal of the Month Award, IntelliChoice’s (2002)

Retail Price: $10,099
Insurance Average: $1,300/ annually

38. Fiat Brava

This class of small family car is rated by customer reviews from standard to high. Manufactured in Italy, the United States applies the Brava name to Fiat 313’s.

Similar models have been featured performing in World Rally Tournament races. No matter the type of driving, this car is still one of the most reliable cars in the world!

Brava Awards:

  • European Car of the Year (1995)
  • 5 Star EuroNCAP Rating
  • Most Beautiful Small/Medium Sedan in the World (2007)

Retail Price: $17,291 – $21,694
Insurance Average: $1,310/ annually

39. Hyundai Coupe

A compact coupe model this is also called Hyundai Tiburon overseas. It has the best combination of a sports car maneuverability and the comfort of luxury.

Anti-lock brakes and front and side airbags offer optimum safety for all inside the car. Affordable prices across the board and reliable maintenance of the vehicle make this car a very reliable pick. Customer satisfaction regularly reported.

Coupe Awards:

  • Car of the Year (2009)
  • Top Recommended Buys, Nadaguides (2011)

Retail Price: $21,808 – $31,240
Insurance Average: $1,470/ annually

40. Mitsubishi Shogun

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Keep your jokes of small Japanese vehicles to yourself. The Shogun is a pretty, trusted, multi-purpose vehicle, and the personal choice of Ministry Defense officers.

You may pay a lot, but you are rewarded with a lot in return: a rugged off-road capability, lush interior, and direct fuel injection technology that delivers better than its on-the-market predecessors.

Shogun Awards:

  • Utility Vehicle of the Year, Commercial Vehicle Show (2007)
  • Best 4×4, Car Buyer Magazine (2005)

Retail Price: $39,903.80 -$54,372
Insurance Average: $2,384.10/ annually

41. Rover 25

A celebrated European supermini, this model has awards and statistics to flash like a bright badge of honor.

Rover 25 Awards:

  • Car of the Year, What Car? (1999)
  • Executive Class (2000)
  • Middle East Wheels & Gears (1999/2000)
  • New Zealand’s National Business Review (2000)
  • Australian Institute of Transport Management (2002)
  • Business Car of the Year, The Journal / AA (1999)
  • Golden Steering Wheel Award (1999)
  • Compact Executive Car of the Year, What Car? (2000)
  • Diesel Car Magazine (2001)
  • Best Ride Quality, Auto Express Driver Power (2006)

Retail Price: $12,486 – $26,640
Insurance Average: $1,600/ annually

42. Mercedes CLK

This medium-sized luxury sedan is available in coupe and convertible models. The V8 engine sported by this class act is ranked as the most powerful in the family.

Mercedes claims that the rigid roof of the car can protect passengers from the risk of lightening strikes. If lightning strike protection doesn’t make a car reliable, then what will?

Go for a first generation model: they were the least expensive of the bunch. If you are looking for speed, pick some of the higher CLK models and compete with the fastest cars!

CLK Awards:

  • Australia’s Best Sports Car Over $57,000 (2006)
  • Most Wanted Honorable Mention Sport Coupe, Edmunds.com (2006)

Retail Price: $48,100 – $64,800
Insurance Average: $2,384.10/ annually

43. Fiat Marea

This little foreign model stands out as one of the only available vehicles to have the capability to run on compressed natural gas. Models shipped out to Brazil run on petrol, not diesel.

Choose from a small family or medium-sized sedan, but be surprised by the wagon-like space. All Fiat models are produced by the main manufacturer in Italy.

Marea Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Yugoslavia (2000)

Retail Price: $26,561
Insurance Average: $1,500/ annually

44. Ford Focus

The Focus was the top sedan choice for close to ten years running. Ford wanted a “world car” that would be their automotive ambassador, and who could blame them?

Fantastic steering control and handling, a solid body frame, and for a much lower purchasing price than most.

Focus Awards:

  • Most Significant Vehicle, Detroit Auto Show (2012)
  • Best Family Car Ever, Autocar UK (2003)
  • 19th, Favourite 100 Cars of All Time, UK (2005)
  • New Car of the Year, Auto Express (2005)
  • #3, Affordable Small Cars, U.S. News (2012)

Retail Price: $16,290 – $18,780
Insurance Average: $1,300/ annually

45. Peugeot 106

Another supermini is this French model. Is it any wonder we see nothing but superminis in foreign footage? But they wouldn’t keep making them is people weren’t buying them.

As a replacement for the 205, the design was drawn out to be heavier and safer than the original with a cleaner running petrol-based fuel injector than an electric powered model.

The diesel engine of this French supermini was dropped in 1994 and replaced with a more refined and economical 1.5 litre unit engine. The heavier frame made a safer and more reliable drive overall.

The 106 was the longest running models available in Europe and still proves a popular used buy to this day. An electric powered version was offered in 1995. If you find yourself with a reliable electric car, check out electric car insurance!

Peugeot 106 Awards: N/A

Retail Price: $9,657 – $20,310
Insurance Average: $1,200/ annually

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46. MG MG TF

The first all-new car to bear the MG marque since 1985, the TF is blessed with good styling, good brand, and a good name heritage.

This perfect city model’s new air induction system provides the vehicle more power than ever on any length of road you desire.

MG MG TF Awards:

  • Top Geneva Award (2002)

Retail Price: $23,273- $25,789
Insurance Average: $1,300/ annually

47. BMW Z3

Recognizable as James Bond’s car of choice in “Goldeneye,” this model was quite the attractive eye-catcher, sleek and stylish as its own driver.

This incredibly well-powered version is great on the streets and hills, fun to drive and still affordable to the average consumer, even if your last name isn’t Bond. Although this car is very reliable, you still should get BMW car insurance!

BMW Z3 Awards:

  • Super Reggie Award (1995)
  • Editor’s Most Wanted Vehicle, Edmunds.com (1999)
  • Driver’s Car of the Year, Top Gear (2000, 2002)

Retail Price: $10,875 – $37,700
Insurance Average: $1,700 / annually

48. Hyundai Accent

Solidly built, great style, and quite glamorous to look at, this is one of the better economy cars to roll off the assembly line.

Year after year it proves itself in reviews and shows, as a favorite for a lot of people. Especially nice since it is covered under the very generous Hyundai Assurance warranty.

Accent Awards:

  • Australia’s Best Small Car (2000, 2001)
  • Canadian EnerRate Award (2006)

Retail Price: $13,082 – $17,409
Insurance Average: $1,298/ annually

49. Volkswagen Polo

A supermini with a great trim and sleek design for optimum maneuverability, the Polo is exceptional at navigating the tight streets of Europe. A great overall deal on style and power, and sure to save you quite a penny with affordable car insurance.

Polo Awards:

  • World Car of the Year, New York International Auto Show (2010)
  • Best Economy Car, Used Car Buyer (1999)
  • Which? Magazine (1997)
  • Auto Express New Car Honours (1997)
  • Complete Car of the Year Awards (1997)
  • Top Gear Magazine (1998)

Retail Price: $14,001 -$28,178
Insurance Average: $1,370 / annually

50. Fiat Punto

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Unlike many superminis on this list, the Punto is often featured on the motorsport runways of rally racing events, which should speak to just how sharp a ride this little model is.

At a competitive price, this sporty little size will surprise the average driver behind the wheel. The Punto’s reliability will also allow for competitive quotes!

Punto Awards:

  • Italian Rally Championship (2003, 2006)
  • European Rally Championship (2006)
  • International Rally Challenge (2006)
  • Targa Tasmania, Showroom Class- First Competing Diesel Car (2007)
  • European Car of the Year (1995)
  • Car of the Year, Brazil (2008)

Retail Price: $16,355- $17,771
Insurance Average: $1,298 / annually

51. Vauxhall Zafira

A compact body MPV with functional seating for seven, who knew a van could be such a delight.

Definitely one of the more stylish vans, the Zafira is widely appreciated for its handicapped accessibility options and friendliness, while never compromising on its overall ability to maintain and drive like a sedan.

Absolutely ideal for a family that travels a lot together.

Zafira Awards:

  • Best Buy, Prima Baby (2011)
  • Motor Manufacturer Award, Motability (2011)
  • Compact MPV Award, Auto Express New Car Honours (1999, 2001)

Retail Price: $20,400 – $34,236
Insurance Average: $1,800 / annually

52. Mercedes C-Class

This was the most affordable luxury sedan of the Mercedez-Benz family until 1998. It received fairly average reliability ratings from Consumer Reports overall.

Standard safety features included the latest (for the time) safety lock system and front-impact and side-door airbags. Cue the sound of insurance money falling back into your pocket.

C-Class Awards:

  • Wheels Car of the Year, Australia (2007)
  • Most Beautiful Medium Sedan in the World (2007)
  • Car Of The Year, CarsGUIDE (2007)

Retail Price: $32,769 – $38,401
Insurance Average: $1,764 / annually

53. Volvo S60

An entry-level luxury sedan, with a unique, recognizable, one of a kind style. Better than average repair and maintenance costs.

Volvo S60 Awards:

  • Vincentric’s Best Value in America Award (2011)
  • Car of the Year, Ukraine (2011), Russia (2011), Norway (2011)
  • International Sedan of the Year (2011)
  • Most Expected Car of the Year, China (2010)
  • Car of the Year, European Car Magazine (2003)
  • Best Lease Car of the Year, ING Car Lease (2001)

Retail Price: $35,471 – $35,471
Insurance Average: $1,710 / annually

54. Toyota MR2

Ideal for the perpetual bachelor or single lady, this little model was great on gas. An average price tag got you seating room for two, rear-wheel drive, and a fairly stylish ride.

The line discontinued in 2005 and was renamed to the MR2 Spyder due to translation issues overseas.

MR2 Awards:

  • Car of the Year (1985)
  • Top Ten Lowest Fuel Cost In Class List, IntelliChoice (2005)
  • Best in Class, IntelliChoice (2005)

Retail Price: $23,786 – $37,475
Insurance Average: $150/ a month

55. Mazda Xedos 6

Manufactured from 1993 to 1999, this European-

based luxury sedan had a great low retail price and was an exceptionally reliable model despite Mazda’s reputation at the time. A front wheel drive, manual six-speed transmission meant you saved a good deal on gas.

Sadly, the Xedos 6 is another model that slipped under the radar as a great family deal.

Xedos 6 Awards:

  • 4 ½ Stars out of 5, Towing Capacity, What Tow Car? (2004)

Retail Price: $18,871- $34,597
Insurance Average: $1,203/ annually

56. Ford Puma

Acclaimed for its cat-like structure and alloy wheels, this small sports coupe was a featured racing car at the Geneva Motorshow of 1999. It was equipped with front wheel drive and tight steering controls, hailed as a fun little ride.

Puma Awards:

  • Car of the Year, Top Gear (1997)
  • Design Council Millennium Products Award (1999)
  • Used Sports Car Of The Year, What Cars (2001)
  • Best Used Sporting Car of the Year Under £10,000, What Cars (2004)
  • Best Gem for Under £1000, What Cars (2011)

Retail Price: $19,311 – $36,083
Insurance Average: $1,122 / annually

57. Vauxhall Astra

An especially strong build quality and a good sized cabin made this one of the strongest selling family sedans in Britain.

The latest Astra models have all of the design features of a saloon car but in a more compact frame. Many British police patrol in the Astra. If police drive this car, then it has to be the pretty reliable car…right?

Astra Awards:

  • #2, Best Selling New Car, Britain (2010)
  • Car of The Year, CarsGUIDE (1998)
  • RACV Australia’s Best Mid-Size Car Under $25,000 (2000, 2001, 2002)

Retail Price: $22,174 – $37,483
Insurance Average: $1,750/ annually

58. Vauxhall Omega

An affordable alternative to older BMW 5-series and Rover 800 models, the Vauxhall Omega was built by GM and sold under the Chevrolet, Holden, and Opel marques.

With good solid power units, efficient Ecotec engine units, and comfortable interiors with a standard driving record, the Omega was highly successful in the United Kingdom upon its release.

Omega Awards:

  • European Car of the Year (1987)
  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (1995)

Omega Price: $27,733 – $49,962
Insurance Average: $1,850/ annually

59. Chrysler Neon

Choose between an automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The Neon compact has also been sold as a Plymouth/Dodge Neon. Later facelifts gave the compact a roomier interior and upgraded safety options.

To save on car insurance, choose a manual.

Neon Awards:

  • Budget Buy, Consumer Guide (1999, 2000)
  • Big Performance Bargain, AutoWeek (1999)
  • Recommended Buy, Consumer Guide (2000, 2001)
  • Nominated, Car of the Year, Motor Trend (2000)
  • Nominated, Ten Best List, Car And Driver (2000)

Retail Price: $18,505 – $23,970
Insurance Average: $1,750/ annually

60. Audi A2

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Perhaps most noted for the light weight of its advanced quality aluminum frame the A2 had the upper hand when it came to mileage and speed.

The first five-door vehicle to sell on European soil, the A2 has been awarded for its exceptionally low emissions grade and fuel economy. Sadly, it was never made for sale in the United States.

Audi A2 Awards:

  • Norway’s Most Economical Car
  • European Aluminium Award (2000)
  • Autocar Environmental Award (2001)

Retail Price: $19,995 – $25,995
Insurance Average: $1,600/ annually

61. Ford Fiesta

This is the one to make buyers reconsider the idea of a subcompact vehicle. The Fiesta is a great, well-rounded model with great driving potential and neat little gizmos to intrigue the driver.

The system boasts a keyless ignition and offers a better than average riding experience.

Fiesta Awards:

  • #1 out of 34 Affordable Small Cars
  • RACV Australia’s Best Small Car (2004)
  • RACV Best Small Car Under $20,000 (2009)
  • Contender, Drive Best City Car (2010)

Retail Price: $13,419 – $17,559
Insurance Average: $1,122/ annually

62. Ford Mondeo

Another “world model” produced with the intention of international distribution. This large family sedan earned “significantly better than average” ratings when tested for Used Car Safety in 2006.

Mondeo Awards:

  • Car of The Year, What Car? (1993, 2001)
  • Auto Express (2007)
  • Top Gear (2007)
  • Autocar New Zealand and National Business Review (2001)
  • RACV Australia’s Best Mid-size Car Over $28,000 (2007)
  • Drive Best Medium Cars (2010)
  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (1994, 2008)
  • Best Family Car, What Car? (2008, 2009, 2011)
  • Best Estate Car, What Car? (2008, 2009, 2011)

Retail Price: $29,872- $34,747
Insurance Average: $1,460/ annually

63. Citroen Saxo

Another French model distributed until 2003, this was a practical supermini of unremarkable qualities, but reliable and cheap none-the-less.

Despite the frame size, it had a spacious interior with light control systems and direct steering. In Japan, it was sold as the Citroën Chanson. In 2000, the model underwent a major renovation and came out more reliable and safer than its original counterpart.

For the simple consumer looking for a functional vehicle to save them top dollars, it looks like the French got it right. Wonder if this car will apply for the cheapest car insurance in France?

Saxo Awards: N/A

Saxo Price: $9,365 – $19,099
Insurance Average: $94/ annually

64. BMW 3 Series

This entry-level sedan may not be the prettiest to drive, but those looking for performance rather than style may be tempted here. This is the top U.S. seller and remains a middle-class favorite.

It provides a solid build, running power under the hood, and offroad handling that few other models can match.

BMW 3 Series Awards:

  • Ranked, Ten Best List, Car & Driver Magazine (1992-2007)
  • World Car of the Year, New York Auto Show (2006)
  • Ugliest Car of the Year, Top Gear (2005)

Retail Price: $33,619 – $57,626
Insurance Average: $1,700 / annually

65. Vauxhall Vectra

The Untied Kingdom offers this particular large family sedan as the replacement model for the Vauxhall Cavalier.

From 2000 to 2003, the Vectra featured as a silhouette racing car in the Stock Car Brasil and touring car racing series. Later generations were fitted with more advanced equipment, improved handling functions, and large power brakes.

Vectra Awards:

  • Estate Car of the Year, What Car? (2007)

Retail Price: $23,267- $38,364
Insurance Average: $1,760 / annually

66. Isuzu Trooper

Again, not for someone who prizes style above performance.

The Trooper’s large, chunky style sets it apart from the Range Rover and Cherokee, but it makes up for this in unprecedented durability, sustainable reliability, and powerful diesel engine and towing power.

Trooper Awards:

  • Class Victory, Australian Safari (1992)
  • #1 and #2, Class of ’93, Australian Safari (1993)
  • #1, Marathon Class, Paris-Dakar Rally (1994)
  • First in Class, Pharaoh’s Rally (1994)

Retail Price: $28,228 – $49,863
Insurance Average: $1,880/ annually

67. Mercedes M-Class

These M-Class sedans brought Mercedes-Benz back on top.

On top of earning excellent crash test safety scores, the M-Class was uncompromising in style and performance, with an understated elegance to the frame and interior matched with a potent diesel V6 engine that purrs like a kitten but pulls like a cheetah.

Recent renovations tweaked the diesel models to perform better economically.

M-Class Awards:

  • Safest Car, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2007)

Retail Price: $45,024 – $89,118
Insurance Average: $1,983 / annually

68. Subaru Legacy

A competitor to other executive model cars as the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series, the Legacy was Subaru’s flagship vehicle, one of the first to offer all-wheel-drive as a standard feature option.

In Australia, it goes by the name of the Liberty. Don’t travel Australia without the reliability of this Subaru. Due to its reliability, Subaru Legacy car insurance rates are comparable to other companies.

Legacy Awards:

  • RACV Australia’s Best Mid-size Car Over $28,000 (2004)
  • RACV Australia’s Best Luxury Car Under $57,000 (2005)
  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council Secure By Design Award (2007)
  • Car of the Year Philippines Car of The Year & Mid-Sized Car of the Year (2009)

Retail Price: $19,989 – $30,979
Insurance Average: $1,136/ annually

69. Rover 400

A mutual development with Honda manufacturers, the Rover 400 (later the Rover 45) was sold in Britain from 1990 to 2005, marketed as a small family vehicle comparable in size to the Fors Escort and Vauxhall Astra.

The Rover gets high anti-theft ratings and provides a smooth overall ride with revised suspension settings.

Rover 400 Awards:

  • Best Selling New Car for the Month of April, Britain (2000)

Retail Price: $17,204 – $29,486
Insurance Average: $1,600/ annually

70. Fiat Ulysse

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Named after the hero of Homer’s The Odyssey, the Ulysse “Eurovan” is part of a generation of large European MPV’s, some easily seating eight.

It was sold only in Europe so as not to be confused with Honda’s Odyssey model, with a fairly low sticker price. Run by a rich diesel engine, the Ulysse provided a refined ride for all inside with maximum safety features.

Ulysse Awards:

  • 5 Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating (2003)
  • Best MPV Award, Fleet World’s (2003)

Retail Price: $27,670 – $39,237
Insurance Average: $1,980/ annually

71. Mercedes E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class size and durability mid-size sedans make them the optimum choice of European taxi cab drivers.

The E-Class family fits firmly into the latter end of luxury driving capabilities while still maintaining a rough street strength to last.

E-Class Awards:

  • Import Car of the Year, Motor Trend (1996)
  • RACV Best Luxury Car Over $57,000 (2002)
  • Beautiful Prestige Sedan in the World (2003)

Retail Price: $47,340 – $57,129
Insurance Average: $1,783/ annually

72. Renault Clio

The Clio is a fun-to-drive supermini with great diesel engine power and a good value, even as a used car deal.

The later Clios were equipped with better quality controls and materials, even the trademark “Renault Card” keyless immobilizer for anti-theft control assurance.

Clio Awards:

  • 5 Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating (2006)
  • European Car of the Year (1991, 2006)
  • RACV Best Small Car (2002)
  • Supermini of the Year, What Car? (2006)
  • El Mejor Automóvil Subcompacto (Best supermini)
  • Automóvil Panamericano (2002-2004)

Retail Price: $30,902
Insurance Average: $1,793 / annually

73. Toyota Celica

Something of note: owning a Toyota is always good for your insurance premiums.

Raced privately in stock car racing, the futuristic style of the Toyota Celica belies the reasonable running costs of owning this vehicle and the standardized airbag installation for maximum safety precautions.

Celica Awards:

  • Most Wanted Best Sport Coupe, Edmunds.com (2002)
  • Recommended Buy, Consumer Guide (2001, 2002)
  • Ranks in Top Five for Initial Quality, J.D. Power & Associates Auto
  • Ranks in Top Ten in Vehicle Dependability, J.D. Power & Associates

Retail Price: $26,215 – $36,964
Insurance Average: $1,150/ annually

74. Peugeot 306

A small, family car that embodies the Peugeot reputation of high quality turbocharged diesel engines, the 306 enjoyed high sales in Europe, especially France, and rated “significantly better than average” in Australian Used Car Safety Ratings.

It was originally designed to replace the 309 models, with a sturdier frame build and a more likable style class. We think that this keeps this car in the “best reliable car” race.

Peugeot 306 Awards:

  • Rated, Top 10 Best Selling Cars in Britain (1994-1998)

Retail Price: $25,940 – $34,755
Insurance Average: $1,356/annually

75. Peugeot 406

A larger family-make vehicle, in 2002, the 406 set the world record for Longer Distance Driven on a Single Tank: Melbourne to Rockhampton, a total distance of 2,348 km (1458.979 mi).

Like most Peugeot’s, the 406 had notable success in the UK. A high number of models sold converted into company cars and taxi mediums.

Peugeot 406 Awards:

  • Car of the Year, What Car? (1996)
  • Semperit Irish Car of the Year (1997)

Retail Price: $22,795 – $38,340
Insurance Average: $1,375/ annually

76. Volvo S70

A leader in luxury design, the sleek, dynamic frame build of the S70 was met with equal superiority in motorized technology: side airbags, all-wheel drive, revised suspension rigs and tight, accurate steering handling and control.

Volvo S70 Awards:

  • Top Safety Pick, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2011, 2012)
  • Runner-up, Import Car of the Year, Motor Trend (1998)
  • Car of the Year, Russia (2011)
  • European Car Magzine (2003)
  • International Sedan of the Year, USA (2011)
  • #1, 10 Best Interiors Award, Ward’s (2011)

Retail Price: $33,550 – $38,000
Insurance Average: $1,710/ annually

77. Rover 75

Built by the Rover Group in Cowley, Oxfordshire, the Rover 75 earned high praise as a good, used reliable car buy. Its V8 engine met with rear-wheel-drive suspension and a long-wheelbase form for added precision on the road.

Rover 75 Awards:

  • Car of the Year, What Car? (1999)
  • Business Car of the Year, The Journal, AA (1999)
  • World’s Most Beautiful High Class Saloon, Italian (1999)
  • Golden Steering Wheel Award, Bild am Sonntag (1999)
  • Used Car of the Year, Used Car Buyer (2000, 2001, 2004)

Retail Price: $50,324- $52,525
Insurance Average: $2,400/ annually

78. Daewoo Matiz

A reliable city car, the South Korean Daewoo has S-Tec engines that were updated to dramatically lower the overall drag coefficient and increase the fuel economy of the engine. I

t was distributed in Europe as the Chevrolet Matiz and Spark. The Matiz went on to a total of twelve awards, nine international, the most won by a single vehicle,

Matiz Awards:

  • Energy Grand Prix Award, Consumers Korea (2007)

Retail Price: $8,956- $12,573
Insurance Average: $80/ per month

79. Peugeot 206

We keep getting all of these Peugeots on the list and none of them are for sale easily in the U.S. A supermini, subcompact rally vehicle, the 206 finished production in 2010.

In EuroNCAP tests, it earned high marks for its frontal crash tests. The 206 diesel engine precision and alloy wheels made it a fierce competitor on the road.

Peugeot 206 Awards:

  • Best-Selling Car in Europe (2001-2003)
  • Rally Car of the Year, Autosport (2002)
  • Best Convertible, What Car? (2001)

Retail Price: $11,944 – $24,635
Insurance Average: $87/ per month

80. Mazda MX-3

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The first year the MX-3 came on the market, it was available almost everywhere. This model was noted for one of the lowest displacement V6 engines of any vehicle, meaning it had a lower center of gravity and held tighter to the road.

Combined with anti-lock braking systems and volatile steering control, the MX-3 proved one of the best sports cars on the market with lower-than-average maintenance costs and comparable reliability.

MX-3 Awards:

  • Best New Sports Car, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (1991)

Retail Price: $11,875
Insurance Average: $94/ per month

81. Vauxhall Tigra

First produced in Spain, the Tigra was a small coupe sold across Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Argentina, sometimes as the Chevrolet or Holden Tigra.

The latest in the Tigra model lines is a body frame that proves its stable capability for occupants and drivers with exceptional safety ratings in frontal collision testing, which is a great insurance value in the long haul.

Tigra Awards: N/A

Retail Price: $22,088 – $27,859
Insurance Average: $1,136/ annually

82. Seat Ibiza

Perhaps the most popular reliable car in Spain, and the best-selling model, the Ibiza supermini took the European market by storm with its fantastic fuel economy and environmentally friendly engine capacities.

It was fun to drive on the road with some of the highest in interior utility ratings and vehicular technology; a package to make helping the environment fun.

Ibiza Awards:

  • Golden Steering Wheel (2009)
  • Most Wanted Vehicle, Auto Magazine (2009)
  • Car of the Year, Car and Driver (2009)
  • ECOBEST Award (2008)
  • Young Car Award, Car and Driver (2009)

Retail Price: $18,297 – $23,495
Insurance Average: $1,036/ annually

83. Renault Megane

A French family vehicle, the Megane is offered in three- and five-door hatchback models since 1995. It has achieved the best-in-class four-star crash test rating from the EuroNCAP. Electric versions of the Megane come equipped with a lifetime warranty.

Megane Awards:

  • Best Sports and Convertible, What Car? (2011)
  • Judges Choice Award, What Car? (2011)
  • Best Hot Hatch, What Car? (2010, 2011)

Retail Price: $30,133 – $37,805
Insurance Average: $1,368/ annually

84. Saab 9-3

The 9-3 served as the Saab entry-level compact executive vehicle. Recent models show an improved ride and steering wheel handling capacity and improved crash-test scores with the introduction of side-impact airbags with added head protection.

Saab 9-3 Awards:

  • Best Pick in Side-Impact Crash Tests, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2004)
  • Compact Executive Car of the Year, Auto Trader, Great Britain (2004)
  • Top Small Executive Car, Top Gear (2004)
  • Best Family Sedan, MotorWeek (2002)
  • Prestige Car of the Year, Australia (2002)

Saab 9-3 Price: $28,900 – $45,080
Insurance Average: $1,382/ annually

85. Audi A3

The Audi A3 is a small family car, introduced in the European market in 1996.

Audi’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), traction control and brake force distribution computer became standard equipment, and will also help you save money on your car insurance. The Audi A3 is one of the safest cars in America!

Audi A3 Awards:

  • Green Car of the Year, Green Car Journal’s (2009)
  • Top Safety Pick in Midsized Cars, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2008, 2009)
  • Car of the Year , South African (2006) Brazilian (2000)

Retail Price: $27,458 – $31,032
Insurance Average: $1,145/ annually

86. BMW X5

A sport activity vehicle (SAV), equipped with standard all-wheel drive and a fuel-efficient diesel engine, a variant model was made available in Canada and the U.S. in 2009.

It was a contemporary crossover, a lighter truck base model on an SUV frame, so it was as roomy as a truck with the tighter control of a compact model. You know a car is good when it is one the celebrity cars list!

BMW X5 Awards:

  • Best Luxury Four Wheel Drive, Australia (2001, 2002, 2007)
  • Best SUV Over $40K, Drive (2010)
  • Best Resale Value Award, Kelley Blue Book (2011)

Retail Price: $46,357 – $62,261
Insurance Average: $1,750/ annually

87. Mercedes S-Class

Ranked as the world’s best luxury sedan, the S-Class series were the first to incorporate standard airbags in Europe. The United Kingdom Department of Transport still ranks the S-Class as one of the safest reliable cars on the UK roads.

S-Class Awards:

  • Safest Passenger Car of the Year, U.S. Highway Loss Data Institute (1988, 989)
  • European Car of the Year (1974)
  • Best of What’s New – Grand Award, Popular Science (2005)
  • Limousine of the Year, Top Gear (2006)
  • Car of the Year, Wheels Magazine (1981 and 1999)

Retail Price: $90,238 – $152,783
Insurance Average: $4,000/ annually

88. Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is the single, best-selling model in the world since 2009.

Not only known for its reliability and decent motor handling, recent Corolla crash tests rate the subcompact sedan at a “Good,” the highest grade the test can award, for both frontal and side impact crashes.

Luckily for you, Toyota Corolla rates are not the highest in the insurance world!

Corolla Awards:

  • Best Compact Car in North America, J.D. Power and Associates (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)
  • Automotive Market Environmental Superiority (AMES) Award (2003)
  • #2, J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (2003)
  • Quality Award, Australia (1991)

Retail Price: $16,221 – $18,868
Insurance Average: $1,500/ annually

89. Seat Alhambra

A large, seven-seater MVP co-built by Volkswagen manufactures, this Spanish-bred van is outfitted with economical diesel engines, a solid frame and interior, for an agreeable price.

If none of that convinces you, recent EuroNCAP assessments rated the Alhambra at a five-star overall crash test rating.

Alhambra Awards:

  • Best MPV on the Market, What Car? (2011)
  • Best MPV, UK Fleet World Honours (2011)
  • Diesel Car (2011)
  • Ecomotor Awards (2011)
  • MPV of the Year, Car of the Year – Crystal Steering Wheel Trophy (2011)

Retail Price: $25,500 – $37,279
Insurance Average: $1,890/ annually

90. BMW 5-Series

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Awarded four and a half stars, this is the second best selling BMW series. It is a mid-sized executive car, one of the oldest selling models (since 1972), trusted for its solid body and easy running engine.

BMW 5-Series Awards:

  • Listed, Ten Best List, Car and Driver (1997-2002)
  • Import Car of the Year, Motor Trend (1997)
  • Executive Car of the Year, What Car? (1997-2002)

Retail Price: $43,461 – $65,319
Insurance Average: $1,760/ annually

91. Daewoo Nubira

A compact car that had over ninety different renovations, the Nubira was sold in North America from 1999 to 2002.

2001 Consumer Guide praised Daewoo for a model with fantastic fuel economy and AutoWeek magazine reported positively on the overall purchasing price and reliability.

Nubira Awards:

  • Family Car of the Year, Ouders van Nu (1998)
  • Car of the Year, Kinderen (1998)

Retail Price: $16,512 – $20,467
Insurance Average: $1,400/ annually

92. Alfa Romeo 145

The Romeo 145 is a small, Italian family vehicle, marketed to compete against the comparative hatchback class. It was surprisingly spacious with a quality interior and efficient fuel economy.

Upon its release in 1994, its odd shape attracted enormous amounts of attention and press, but Alfa pointed out it was designed for performance rather than looks. By all accounts, it was positively welcomed and reviews were congratulatory.

Romeo 145 Awards: N/A

Retail Price: $ 25,400
Insurance Average: $150/ per month

93. Saab 900

A cheaper roadster, the front-wheel drive and wishbone shaped suspension proved remarkable features for the 900.

The elegant curve of the front windshield and slick shape of the frame called attention to Saab’s aircraft legacy and proved efficient for cutting on the roads and reaching optimum speeds.

Saab 900 Awards:

  • Best in Class, cars $25,000-$35,000, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (1998)
  • Best Buy, Consumers’ Digest (1993, 1995, 1996)
  • IBCAM British Steel Auto Design Award, The Institute of British Carriage and Automobile Manufacturers (1996)

Retail Price: $8,198-$13,695
Insurance Average: $1,100/ annually

94. Mazda MX-6

Marketed as the Mazda Capella in Japan before renamed Atenza/Mazda6, the MX-6 was available in the United States until 1992.

While small and sporty in design, the MX-6 is recognized these days for its exceptional cornering abilities and improved steering.

MX-6 Awards: N/A

Retail Price: $16,475 – $18,895
Insurance Average: $1,180/ annually

95. Jaguar S-Type

Debuted at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1998, the five-speed manual mid-sized luxury sedan was discontinued in 2008. It was an impressive, stylish ride, pricey, but handled well and maximized fuel economy.

S-Type Awards:

  • Car of The Year Award, People’s Choice (2000)
  • Recommended Buy, Consumer Guide (2000-2003)
  • #1 Brand for Sales Satisfaction, J.D. Power & Associates (2000, 2001)
  • Car of the Year, Motor Trend (2002)
  • Award for Car $40,000-$50,000, AAA Auto Guide (2003)
  • Best in its Class Award, AAA Auto Guide (2004)

Retail Price: $48,335 – $64,335
Insurance Average: $2365/ annually

96. Daewoo Leganza

A mid-sized sedan that provides a quiet ride, with front-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel, combined with alternative Daewoo style, the Leganza hit amid controversy because of its unusual contemporary design.

Consumer Guide praised the overall ride of the 2001 Leganza and Car & Driver magazine noted the competent powertrain and competitive price made it a better than average buy.

Leganza Awards:

  • Nominated, Ten Best List, Car And Driver (1999-2002)

Retail Price: $14,599 – $18,599
Insurance Average: $1,203/ annually

97. Porsche Boxster

A mid-engined roadster, the Boxster was the first road vehicle marketed by Porsche since the 550 Spyder. The year 2009 saw the Boxster line undergoing a major facelift, with new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades.

The increased engine output made the Boxster a fan favorite for race tracks, and three models are run in the Continental Challenge Street Tuner class.

Boxster Awards:

  • Drivers Choice for Best Sports Car, Motorweek (1997)
  • Best New Product, American Marketing Association (1997)
  • Car of the Year, Automobile Journalists of Canada (1997)

Retail Price: $48,100 – $61,800
Insurance Average: $1,819/ annually

How to Find the Best Car Insurance

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In the long run, your insurance rating is not only based upon the reliability of the car but also:

  • your current driving record
  • the state you live in
  • your sex
  • the amount of coverage you desire for your vehicle

The better your overall driving record, the more you are likely to save no matter what insurance company you go through to cover your current vehicle.

On the other hand, if you have a less-than-admirable driving record, you might have to face the music and consider a different model of vehicle. You cannot change any blemishes on your record, but you can change the car.

Maybe you need to trade in to save a little extra money for other expenses, or maybe you’re going through a divorce and no longer need the extra passenger seating and monthly payments.

Whatever your overall reason for looking into downgrading, our list shows that you don’t always have to negate power and style for a great automobile for your money.

Consider all automotive insurance options and make sure to compare each car insurance rate offered in your area before making a decision.

Whether comparing your top three competitors, shopping online, or taking fifteen minutes on the phone, see to it that you get at least a handful of alternative car insurance quotes for your intended policy.

Also, make sure your agent takes into account the high-quality safety features of your car. Remember, the cleaner and safer your car is, the more you will end up saving.

Whether your car is on this list or the most reliable car ever, everyone should enter their ZIP code into our FREE search! We will compare the top auto insurance companies and find affordable car insurance for you!

  1. https://www.warrantydirect.co.uk/reliability-index.html
  2. http://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/buying-a-car-what-factors-affect-your-car-insurance-rate-2…
  3. http://www.consumersearch.com/
  4. http://www.motortrend.com/intellichoice/
  5. http://www.drive.com.au/
  6. http://www.wheelsmag.com.au/
  7. http://www.sagmj.org.za/
  8. http://www.usnews.com/
  9. http://www.subaru.com/vehicles/forester/index.html
  10. http://www.iihs.org
  11. http://www.caranddriver.com/
  12. http://www.motortrend.com/
  13. https://www.cars.com/
  14. http://aceee.org/
  15. http://revistaautoesporte.globo.com/
  16. http://naias.com/
  17. http://www.topgear.com/
  18. http://www.jdpower.com/
  19. http://kbb.com
  20. http://autoweek.com/
  21. http://www.autopacific.com/
  22. http://www.4wdaction.com.au/
  23. http://www.australiamagazine.co.uk/
  24. http://www.autocar.co.uk/
  25. http://www.theoverlander.org/
  26. http://www.ajac.ca/web/
  27. http://www.nhtsa.gov/
  28. http://www.whatcar.com/
  29. http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/
  30. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  31. http://vehiclevoice.com/
  32. http://www.autosport.com/
  33. http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/
  34. http://www.theeuropean-magazine.com/
  35. http://www.btcc.net/
  36. http://www.consumersdigest.com/
  37. http://www.kiplinger.com/
  38. http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/
  39. http://www.euroncap.com/en
  40. http://www.nadaguides.com/
  41. https://cvshow.com/
  42. http://www.nbr.co.nz/
  43. https://thejournal.com/Home.aspx
  44. http://www.dieselcar.com/
  45. http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/driver-power
  46. http://www.edmunds.com/
  47. https://www.reggieawards.org/a
  48. http://www.autoshowny.com/
  49. http://www.which.co.uk/
  50. http://www.motability.co.uk/
  51. http://www.carsguide.com.au/
  52. http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/
  53. http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/racv/Internet/Primary/home
  54. http://www.australasiansafari.com.au/
  55. http://www.dakar.com/index_DAKus.html
  56. https://carsafe.com.au/
  57. http://www.jdpower.com/autos/
  58. http://wardsauto.com/
  59. http://www.consumersinternational.org/our-members/member-directory/Consumers%20Korea%20(formerly%…
  60. http://www.popsci.com/
  61. http://www.fleetworldmedia.co.uk/events/fleet-world-honours/
  62. http://www.ecomotors.com/technology/engine-design
  63. https://www.ama.org/Pages/default.aspx


The mistake most drivers make is failing to shop around for the best premium and simply accepting an insurer's renewal quote, which is likely to be much higher.

Thanks to recent reforms to compensation payouts, motorists face a 10 per cent - around £50 - hike in their car insurance premiums.

Piling on more pain, from June, bill payers will also see an extra £10 added to bills thanks to a rise in insurance premium tax to 12 per cent.   

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Motoring costs: Use our ten-step plan to lower your car insurance costs

Therefore, it is now more important than ever to make sure you are not overpaying for your car insurance.

There are a handful of ways to help reduce your car insurance costs? Whether you are male or female, old or young, follow our ten steps to lower premiums. 


  • Compare policies from more than 130 insurers with This is Money's car insurance finder powered by MoneySupermarket 

1. Shop around for the best deals

Savings of hundreds of pounds can be found if you shop around when you renew your cover.

Be careful though. When shopping around for car insurance, it's important to make sure that you are comparing like-for-like cover. Some policies may seem cheaper, but you may find you don't have the same level of cover when you have to make a claim. 

Use an online comparison service to do the hard work for you. Put in your details and check the prices that come up. You can alter the excess that you are willing to pay and the mileage you will drive and get new quotes.

Also check the insurers that don't feature in comparison sites, the big two are Direct Line and Aviva. This is Money's car insurance search is powered by MoneySupermarket and will search more than 130 insurers for you. Try it out here. 

Also check the insurers that don't feature in comparison sites, the big two are Direct Line and Aviva. It is also worth checking Admiral separately for its Multicar offers if you are looking to insure more than one vehicle. 

If you've been happy with the cover your existing provider has given until now but are unhappy with their renewal quote, let them know the best offer you have received from a rival insurer and ask them to at least match it.


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Boxing clever: Laura Keely's premium has been slashed

All drivers, especially the youngest, can also grab themselves potentially much cheaper car insurance by opting for a blackbox policy (also know as telematics policy) - these monitor your driving and reward those who are careful and don't get behind the wheel at dangerous times.

Laura Keely, right, opted to have a black box installed in the dashboard of her Vauxhall Corsa provided by Insurethebox. 

Previously, she paid £1,800 for a comprehensive policy. Twelve months on, her premiums dropped to just £1,000 — a 44 per cent fall.

2. Don't put everyone on your policy

Ensure that only regular drivers are named on the policy. You can always add someone for a few days when they really need to drive the car. 

Is there a time limit to file a car insurance claim

3. Protect that no-claims bonus

A long no-claims bonus is the single best way of cutting car insurance costs, so protect it. 

This may increase the premium by a few pounds, but this fades into insignificance against the potential loss of a 90 per cent discount on a premium of several hundred pounds. 

But the definition of a protected no-claims bonus can vary widely between insurers. 

Though accidents caused by another driver will normally have no impact on such a bonus, those caused by the insured could. The key is to always check the policy carefully. 

4. Increase your voluntary excess

Agreeing to pay more towards the cost of any accident repairs will bring down premiums. If you are not at fault in an accident, the excess can be recovered. Beware being tempted to allow it to rise too high, however, especially if you have a lower value car.

5. Secure your car

Fitting an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device can attract a discount of around 5 per cent. Many newer cars will come with these as standard, so make sure you check if you have them and then declare them.


Don't forget to haggle! The car insurance market is notoriously competitive. Once you've been on This Is Money's comparison and found your cheapest price (below), get on the phone and start bargaining!

Avoid paying monthly charges: Direct debit installments generally come hand-in-hand with high interest rates. 

An alternative is to borrow the money on a 0 per cent purchase credit card and then clear it within a year. [Check the best 0% purchase credit cards here]

Think outside the box: An accelerated no-claims bonus, such as the Bonus Accelerator from Admiral, could give you a year's no claims bonus after just 10 months.

Named drivers and friends and family: If you have previously been insured as an additional driver on another policy, see if you can transfer a no claims bonus to your own insurance coverage. 

Some insurers do this, including The AA and Direct Line  . Try for a discount by insuring two or more vehicles between friends or family members with the same firm.

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No claims discount: It could be worth paying extra to protect yours 

6. Do fewer miles

Reduced mileage equates to a greater saving.

For example, a reduction in annual mileage of 5,000 miles could save a typical 35-year-old driver about £50 a year in premiums. 

A cut of 10,000 miles a year could save more than £100.

But you must be honest about your annual mileage, as inaccuracy will jeopardise any claim.

Check your use cover - if you don't use your car to drive to work or for business - both things that increase your premium - you may be able to get a cheaper rate. 

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7. Think carefully about adding young drivers

Adding a young, inexperienced driver to your policy can be a false economy, especially if you have a large or higher powered vehicle. 

The premium will still be affected by the youngest driver and he or she may not have a no-claims bonus. Insurers have also been cracking down on fronting, where parents insure cars in their name for children to cut costs, so make sure if you are the policyholder on a car driven by your children that you are actually its main driver, or that you declare otherwise. 

  • Looking for an insurance policy for your teenager? Check out our guide to insuring a young driver

8. Watch out for insurance trap cars

If you decide to change your car, check with your insurer if the model will have a significant effect on the premium. 

Sporty cars can attract a high premium and often a slightly different model or smaller engine can make a big difference in your favour. It will also probably save you on petrol too! 

Be aware that Insurers will try to include administration fees for changes to a policy mid-term. This fee, usually between £25 and £50, will be added if you change a vehicle or your home address. 

However, you can ask for the fee to be waived if it is a minor adaptation, such as changing to a personalised registration number.

9. Remember what the garage is for

If your garage is full of junk, clear it out and use it for your car. 

Insurers like cars kept in garages overnight and this can dramatically cut your premium. 

Aside from the benefit of not having to scrape the ice off in winter, there is a higher risk of theft by keeping the car on the road, so keeping it in the garage will be reflected in your premium. 

10. Be a better driver and sign up to a blackbox

Blackbox policies, where the insurer installs a system in your car to monitor your driving, reward those who drive carefully. 

Officially called telematics, these check your speed, how aggressive you accelerate and brake and how cautiously you drive, and also whether you are on the road at perceived dangerous times - i.e. the early hours of the morning.

They can cut premiums substantially once you start proving you are a good driver. The biggest win is for those whose premiums are high, especially young drivers.

Some insurers even offer an up front discount if you take out a telematics policy.  

  • Read more on blackbox insurance and how it works


The EU has ruled that finance companies can no longer consider your gender when deciding what to charge you.

This was triggered by a European Court of Justice ruling on a challenge by a Belgian consumer group. Its case was that the exemption for insurers contradicted the principle of gender equality.

The ban came into force on 21 December 2012, after fierce campaign for UK firms which argued that they were not discriminating between the sexes — but instead were basing their prices on statistics.

Their argument was that as women live longer they pay less for life insurance, and get cheaper car cover because they have fewer accidents. The move to so-called gender-neutral pricing will affect premiums for all types of insurance — including car, life, private medical and income cover.

Despite this, there is still a significant difference between the prices paid by by male and female drivers on average, which is currently almost £100. 

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