A need-to-know guide to car insurance groups
The group your car falls into will play a big part in determining how much you pay for your cover. Do you know what insurance group your car is in?
When it comes to insuring or renewing your car insurance, the car insurance group your car falls in has a direct impact on how your premium is calculated. Essentially the lower the group, the cheaper your car insurance cover is likely to be.
So, if you’re looking to save some money on your car insurance, then changing your car to one that is in a lower car insurance group isn’t a bad idea at all.
How is the insurance group decided?
The group a car is categorised in, generally indicates how risky it is to insure and runs on a scale of 1-50.
High performance and super cars will generally be found in the higher categories due to the likely increased costs any insurance company would face should a you have to make a claim which requires a pay-out from the insurer.
When a new passenger car is built to UK specifications it is given a classification by the Group Rating Panel, which meets every month.
The panel is made up of members from the Associations of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association (LMA).
Approximately 70% of the data they receive is provided by a group called Thatcham, who undertake a great deal of research into the efficient, safe and cost-effective repairs to cars that have been in accidents.
The group your car falls into is however only a recommended grouping, and therefore, insurers are not bound by the groups. Insurance companies are free to set their own groupings should they wish to do so.
Often the variations of grouping between insurance company vary widely.
Historically, there were 20 groups. However, more recently, Thatcham introduced a new system of grouping which increased the number of groups to 50. This new grouping model was designed to allow each car to be banded more accurately with similar cars in its own group.
Allocation of insurance groups
In excess of 50% of the money paid out by a car insurance company goes towards the costs of repairing the vehicle, according to figures provided by the ABI. However, this isn’t the only factor that is considered when deciding on which group a car should be allocated to.
There are several factors considered which are as follows
Damage parts cost
This is a consideration of the extent of damage a particular car may incur, and the cost of the parts involved in its repair.
Essentially the cheaper it is to replace or repair the cars parts, the lower the group the car is likely to be allocated to.
Availability of body shell
The group a vehicle is allocated to can also be affected the availability of body shells in addition to parts, as they may well be required by the motor trade when repairing damage to a car.
Repair time estimates
This is basically the cost of the motor trade labour costs – the longer it is going to take a specialist trader to repair the vehicle, the more it will cost – which will usually mean the car being placed into a higher insurance group.
Such factors as ensuring the right paint finish on more modern cars will be of course taken into due consideration.
The cost to replace
The cost of new vehicles is generally seen as an indication of the cost replacing or repairing a car, and therefore this is also considered when deciding which insurance group, a car fits into.
High performance and super cars
If a car is deemed as high performance, they will usually bring more frequent insurance claims. So, if the car’s particularly quick when it comes to top speed or 0-60 times, it will often get a higher insurance group rating.
How secure is the vehicle?
The higher the manufactures standard security is on a car, the more likely it will achieve a lower grouping as it will be less likely to be stolen.
The features that are taken into consideration are alarms, immobilisers, security on door locks, how visible the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is and whether the wheels are fitted with locking wheel nuts to stop them from being stolen.
How can I find my car’s insurance group?
If you register on the Thatcham Website you will be able to find out what group your car falls into.
However, it is worth remembering that different insurers will group cars slightly differently but, it should still be a fairly accurate indication of how risky an insurance company sees your car to be to insure.