The Group Rating System
Insurance companies put car models into twenty groups. This means that each model of car can be accurately banded with cars of similar characteristics. There can be a significant spread of groups within a particular model range.
How the System Works
Nearly three quarters of all money paid out in motor insurance claims goes on repairing cars. The cost of spare parts and the times taken by repairers are therefore major factors in pricing motor insurance. The factors used to calculate group ratings are:
Damage and Parts Costs
The likely extent of damage to each car model and the cost of the parts involved in its repair. The lower these costs, the more likelihood there is of a lower group rating.
Longer repair times mean higher costs and the greater likelihood of a higher group rating. Different paint finishes on modern cars are an important factor. These, too, are taken into account. br>
New Car Values
The prices of new cars identify the higher specification models within a model range.
The availability of body shells (the basic frame of the car) is taken into account in group ratings because they are essential for certain accidental damage repairs.
Acceleration and top speed are important factors. Insurance companies know very well, from their claims statistics, that high performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims.
Security features fitted as standard equipment by motor manufacturers can help to reduce insurance claims costs. Such features include high security door locks, alarm/immobilisation systems, glass etching, coded audio equipment, locking devices for alloy wheels and visible VIN numbers.
Recommended Group Ratings
The group ratings determined by the Association of British Insurers are recommendations only. Individual insurance companies, depending on their own experience, may vary from these recommendations.
Buying a Car
Motorists planning to buy a new car should check, in motoring magazines, the insurance group rating of the exact model they have in mind. The higher the group number the more will be the premium. Source: Association of British Insurers