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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2017
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If you have a need for speed, a turbo-charged engine is probably on your must-have list as you shop for a new car.
While several other features and amenities might matter to you, the single most important factor that will be considered by an insurance company when determining your premiums is the fact that the car has the ability to go from 0 to 60 in just seconds.
This fact alone is enough to raise risk and ultimately raise premiums for vehicle owners who have a passion for turbo cars.
Why Vehicle Type Matters
While there is a long list of turbo-charged cars that are classified as private passenger cars, they can still be considered a specialty risk to many of the leading insurers selling products in the personal insurance marketplace.
Since not all carriers are willing to take on high-risk applicants, finding a company that is willing to cover your turbo car might be a bit more challenging than you might expect.
To fully understand why your insurance is going to be more costly when you buy a car with a stock turbo engine or a turbo modification you will need to learn what factors will affect your own unique premiums.
Demographic factors are considered, like your age and gender, as well as your driving habits and record.
In addition to considering those habits and the demographics that can make you more of a risk, is the type of vehicle that you drive.
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Which vehicle details affect your premiums?
Some consumers assume that the primary factor that an insurer will consider when they are trying to assign a premium to a specific car is value.
While a car’s worth might be considered for a specialty stated value plan, the MSRP of the vehicle is not what insurers base premiums off of. Instead of considering value, the carrier will consider safety ratings, accident statistics, and average repair costs.
If a car has a high risk of death or serious injury when there is a major collision, the rates for that car will be higher than the average car.
One of the first factors that will be considered is crash-worthiness. In line with this factor is vehicle structural design, which is based on the car’s ability to absorb the force from a crash to protect vehicle occupants.
If there are larger crush zones, rates for personal injury protection and medical payments will be higher.
Crash test ratings and structural design are not the only details that are going to really raise your premiums.
Here are some other safety features and other vehicle features that will affect rates:
- Vehicle size
- Vehicle weight
- Restraint systems
- Anti-lock brakes
- Daytime running lights
- Claims statistics
- On the road experience
- Primary demographic that drives the vehicle
- Modifications or high-performance features that make the vehicle dangerous
Why does a Turbo Engine Make a Vehicle Riskier?
A turbo engine is a supercharged engine that produces more power and gives the driver the ability to go faster in a shorter amount of time.
To produce more power, the turbo driven engine is spinning between 100,000 and 200,000 rpm.
Compared to the normal non-torque and non-turbo engine that spins at 2500 rpm, this can be a lot for drivers who are inexperienced to handle.
Insurance companies are not concerned about the fact that a turbocharged engine is much more likely to breakdown. This is because wear and tear and breakdowns are not covered by an auto insurance policy.
What the carrier is concerned about is that a car that is able to travel at high speeds and speed increases the likelihood of a crash.
Since it is more likely that someone behind the wheel of a supercharged vehicle will suffer a crash, rates are higher.
This might not mean that you will be guilty of speeding because your car is capable of it, but the statistics show that many drivers do.
Since carriers can only trust the statistics, carriers will either decline a car with a turbo engine or charge exorbitant rates.
Tips on Finding Coverage for Your Turbo Car
Now that you know what makes insuring a car with a turbo-charged engine challenging, it is time to learn what steps you need to take to find insurance.
Finding coverage for a car with a turbo modification might be difficult because of the exclusions that are written into standard policies.
Some may accept a turbo engine, and others may want to assess the horsepower and its power before even considering the modification.
Review Underwriting Guidelines
Many companies will decline sports cars with an engine that spins at 500 horsepower or more.
This is why you need to review the underwriting guidelines of the biggest companies before getting quotes.
You can find these guidelines online or by contacting companies directly.
You may also want to check the forums for vehicle owners of high-performance cars to be directed to companies that they have found will insurer their risky cars.
Compare the Car Rates Before you Make a Modification
If you already own a car and you are thinking about having an aftermarket turbo kit installed, you should start to compare rates before you take the plunge.
Driving a powerful engine that growls might be what makes your day, but paying your insurance bill could really take away from that happiness.
If you do not do a rate comparison before you buy a turbo car or before you get the kit installed, you could own a car that you just cannot afford to continuously insure.
The best way to compare car insurance rates for specialty cars and even for standard cars is to use a rate comparison tool.
By using this web-based type of tool that connects you to premiums through several different carriers, you can determine if you are willing to pay a turbo-charged premium for your turbo-charged vehicle.
Web comparison tools will show you instant and personalized quotes to some of the leading companies that serve your zip code.