The newly introduced Nissan Leaf is a blessing to the environmentally-conscious mind, but it is one of the more expensive hatchback vehicles to insure.
What insurance advantages does the Nissan Leaf offer over other vehicles?
Most importantly, the Nissan Leaf boasts a 5 Star Safety rating from the government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). This is the highest rating possible and means that it scored well in the frontal and side crash tests, as well as the rollover evaluation.
Regarding safety, this is important because the Leaf poses a low level of risk for an insurance company which will result in lower rates.
In addition to the NCAP rating, the Leaf is also billed as a top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Vehicles that achieve good scores in front, rear, and side impact testing, as well as roof strength, are given this esteemed rating.
Not only is the Nissan Leaf considered to be a safe car, but it also offers many other advantages regarding insurance rates. It is entirely electric and can go an average of 100 miles on a single charge.
You should be aware that this varies greatly depending on driving conditions, speed, and the use of cabin temperature controls, however.
This limited driving range actually works in the owner’s favor because it decreases the probability that the car will be involved in an accident.
Another significant benefit that Nissan offers is an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
This can be a huge benefit when insuring a vehicle because it decreases the repair costs the insurer may be required to cover. The manufacturer will take responsibility for a majority of these expenses.
Why are insurance rates high for new cars?
While the Nissan Leaf does offer some distinct advantages over other vehicles in its size class, the insurance rates remain significantly higher.
There is a very limited set of data from which the insurer can assess the risk of insuring new vehicle, and therefore, a lot of uncertainty.
Insurers are extremely risk averse and will quote insurance rates reflective of the amount of risk they believe they will be taking on by insuring a vehicle or driver, which points to two more reasons why new cars are generally more expensive to insure.
First, new cars are more expensive to repair in general. For the most part, new cars require new parts. There is very limited, if any at all, availability of parts from salvage yards or the aftermarket. If parts are more expensive to acquire, the vehicle will be more expensive to insure.
Parts for new cars may be more expensive for the Leaf, and labor charges can also be exorbitant.
Second, the technology of this vehicle is undoubtedly cutting edge, so it may be difficult to find a mechanic qualified to work on electric vehicles. Those that are qualified charge significantly higher hourly labor rates.
Where can I find more information about insurance rates?
The Nissan Leaf can be expensive to insure because of the issues discussed above, but it does offer quite a few amenities that insurance companies will view favorably.
This is why it is important to do your research to find the best coverage for the best price.
Furthermore, the vehicle is not the only factor the insurance company looks at when conducting a risk assessment. The driver is also a significant factor in the equation.
Many companies will offer discounts based on your driving record — if you have been accident-free for a specified period of time, for instance. Discounts are also offered for those younger drivers who are in school and successfully working hard to maintain good grades.
There are several factors that are taken into consideration when determining insurance rates. The Nissan Leaf offers many advantages but also a significant amount of disadvantages to an insurer.
Over time, this car, and electric vehicles as a whole should become more insurance friendly. If you are considering purchasing a Leaf, get multiple quotes and weigh the benefits and exclusions of each policy carefully.