2008 Insurance Guide
auto
10 most and least expensive cars to insure

One example is a convertible. That ragtop could cost you more than the hardtop version of the same car, says Worters. A convertible is "easier to get into, so it might be more costly," she says.

Another tip off to high-priced premiums: higher-priced cars.

"The more expensive the car is, all things being equal, the more it's going to cost to insure," says Dick Luedke, spokesman for the State Farm Insurance Cos.

And each car has more than one score to consider. The same car that shows lower-than-average losses in terms of inflicting damage might be worse in terms of theft. But insurance companies, and the premiums, take the whole package into account.

So what categories make the most difference, when it comes to your premium?

"The biggest portion of auto insurance is for liability," says Luedke. Next is collision and comprehensive, fairly equally. And after that comes medical payments, he says.

Smart money: Look at your car's scores in all categories, but in the end, shop safety. Pick up great safety information, like crash tests results, rollover ratings, recalls, service bulletins and consumer complaints with the following sites.

And the car is only part of the equation. You, your lifestyle and your driving record will also have a sizable impact on the premium. To calculate your premium, insurance companies analyze everything from your age, residence, and driving patterns to your prior driving record and credit history.

When it comes to the premium, says Hazelbaker, "the person in the vehicle makes the most difference."

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