The Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid in automotive history, and it quickly became the go-to vehicle for the environmentally conscious. It hit the United States in 2000; by April 2016 it was the top-selling hybrid, with over 3.7 million units sold.
The Prius has proven to be a very reliable vehicle with outstanding fuel economy and lots of cargo space; it’s also loaded with safety features. It works well as a daily driver, regardless of whether you are commuting to work or hauling the kids to school.
The Prius is not only fun to drive and can go a month without a trip to the gas station, it is also very safe, garnering top rankings in government safety tests.
Despite all the pluses, the Prius is usually a bit more expensive to insure than its gas-powered counterparts.
While top marks for safety are always factored in when determining rates, so is the cost of repairing the vehicle, and the expensive battery packs and hybrid technology packed into the Prius can push up your insurance costs.
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Can Owning a Prius Help You Save on Car Insurance?
The answer to this question is mixed. Rates can vary dramatically between insurance companies, but in many cases, the answer is “No.” While many insurers offer a discount to hybrid owners, the high cost to repair these vehicles often pushes up the cost to insure them.
According to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, on average, the chances of being injured in a crash are 25% lower for drivers and passengers in hybrids when compared to non-hybrids. The main advantage of a hybrid is weight.
The battery pack that powers the vehicle is heavy, giving the hybrid an advantage in mass when an accident happens. Unfortunately, that heavy battery is also pricey, which makes hybrid cars more expensive to repair. This tends to drive up the cost of insurance coverage for a Prius.
Hybrids are often popular in heavily congested areas. The electric motor helps shave your gasoline bill while crawling along in a traffic jam, but dense areas usually have high accident rates, which definitely impacts your premium, in a bad way.
It is also important to remember that while the vehicle you drive affects your premium, a number of other factors that have nothing to do with your car also impact the cost of car insurance.
You can drive the safest car in the world, but if your driving record reflects a number of accidents or tickets, your premium is going to be sky-high.
The best way to find affordable insurance for your Prius is to shop your coverage on a regular basis. Insurers rate risk differently, which can result in large price differences.
Using a Trusted Choice® independent agent to shop your coverage on a yearly basis will ensure you have the coverage you need at a great price.
The Toyota Prius and Automobile Theft
The big battery that keeps you safe in an accident and possibly runs up the cost of your insurance may also be the reason your Prius (or at least its battery) gets stolen.
While the Honda Accord is still the car most often stolen in America, the Prius most likely tops the list when it comes to stolen batteries.
The car is often left behind while the thieves cart away the 200-volt battery pack that weighs roughly 150 pounds. San Francisco has seen a dramatic increase in stolen battery reports in recent years.
Despite the very real risk of electrocution if the battery is not disconnected properly, thieves seem eager to slash wires and pull out the battery pack, and they can take it out in about 20 minutes, according to law enforcement officials.
Unfortunately, replacing the battery may not be the only cost. Thieves often do thousands of dollars of damage to the vehicle while getting the battery out.
Insurers definitely factor in theft rates when determining premiums. While battery theft is probably not yet widespread enough to affect insurance costs, if these thefts continue, expect Prius insurance rates to go up for everyone.
How to Get the Right Prius Insurance
While a Prius is often slightly more expensive to insure than a gas-powered vehicle, the fuel savings usually cover the difference. The best way to find an affordable Prius insurance policy is to contact a Trusted Choice agent and let them do the legwork for you.
An independent agent can look for a variety of insurance quotes and then present the best options for you. This will ensure that you have the best coverage for your Prius at the very best price. Contact an independent agent now to find the right Prius insurance coverage.