As our mothers always told us, never judge a book by its cover. It might seem like a sporty, brightly-colored coupe would cost more to insure than a family-oriented sedan. But the fact is, your insurance company considers a lot more than aesthetics when it comes to calculating your car insurance premium.
what’s the difference between a coupe and sedan?
The difference between a coupe and sedan is actually pretty simple: a sedan typically refers to a vehicle with 4 doors, while a coupe usually implies a vehicle with 2 doors.
The word "coupe" comes from the French word for "cut," referring to the fact that earlier coupes traditionally "cut out" the rear seating component entirely. This was typically done to create a roomier front seating area; think more sports car than family car.
But many recent coupe models incorporate 2 rows of seating while also maintaining the 2-door, sporty appearance consumers have come to appreciate. And in 2006, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 4-door coupe — the CLS — which the automaker says provides the convenience of a sedan while upholding the aesthetic appeal of a coupe. Other automakers have since followed suit.
It seems that the coupe is evolving in order to appeal to a bigger marketplace, but coupes are often still preferred by individuals who won't need to use the back seat frequently — as leg space is usually pretty limited. A sedan almost always offers a roomier backseat than its coupe counterpart.
myth: sedans are always cheaper to insure vs. a coupe
As simple as we aim to make it, car insurance isn't always cut and dry. Just like the long-held myth that red cars cost more to insure, it's also a popular myth that there'll always be a difference between coupe and sedan insurance.
When it comes down to it, the way coupes and sedans are rated varies widely from company to company. But for the most part, aesthetics don't matter nearly as much as safety features and performance. Here are a few risk factors that an insurance company typically considers when determining how much you'll pay for coverage.
How well does your car protect its riders?
A vehicle's safety features — such as stability control, antilock brakes, and front, side, and rear airbags — can help safeguard passengers and keep car insurance costs down. It could also help you score discounts on your premium. Plus, you're less likely to be injured in a crash — a big deal to both you and your insurance company.
Medical claims are generally pricey payouts for insurers, so a vehicle with safety features that help prevent injury is usually going to cost you less to insure (especially since crashes with uninsured drivers occur more frequently than you might think). So if your coupe tends to protect its passengers better than your friend's sedan, you could pay less for coverage.
How likely is your car to inflict serious damage to other vehicles?
If your ride's inclined to destroy anything and everything that gets in its way, there's a good chance you'll pay more for coverage. Property damage claims — like medical claims — can be expensive and time-consuming for insurance companies to settle. The less likely your vehicle is to cause major damage to other cars on the road, the less financial liability your insurer faces (meaning the less you may have to pay for car insurance).
How expensive is it to repair or replace your vehicle?
Accidents happen, and when they do, it's your car insurance company's job to help make things right again. That said, your insurer is also going to consider how pricey your ride's repair and replacement costs tend to be after major incidents. And it's unlikely to matter much whether your car's a coupe or a sedan, in all honesty.
Many new car models — both coupes and sedans alike — have expensive equipment in not-so-well-hidden places (like right behind front and rear bumpers, for example). The average cost of repairing and replacing this costly equipment will generally affect the amount you pay for coverage.
coupe vs. sedan insurance: see for yourself
Since even more factors help decide how your car insurance rate is determined, it's a good idea to get a quick, personalized quote from Esurance to give you the clearest idea of what you'll pay for a policy for your car.
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