Car Insurance Groups

There are a total of 50 car insurance groups in the United Kingdom. Each car that is sold in the UK market is classified into one of these groups, based on its value when brand new, performance and cost of repair. The groups are set by the Group Rating Panel, comprised of members of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds Market Association. This panel continually observes changes in the car industry, assessing how they affect the current car insurance groups; and making changes where need be. Cars can of course be insured monthly using short term car insurance sites such as monthbymonthcarinsurance.co.uk.

They hold monthly meetings, time during which all new cars are assessed and given ratings. 70% of the technical information used by the Group Rating Panel in its assessment and judgment is from Thatcham, the top motor insurance repair research centre in the country. Previously, cars were ranked between 1 and 20 but this was changed to 1 Ė 50 in 2010 to reflect changes in car manufacture and determine cost of insurance more accurately. Under the new groups, some cars have automatically changed position. Some have moved higher in the scale while others have been given a lower ranking.

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A ranking of 1 indicates the highest level of safety and 50 the lowest safety level. Cars in the lower level rankings are often cheaper to maintain and repair following an accident. Their overall value is also low. The opposite is true of cars in the higher rankings. A ranking of 50 is often given to the most expensive car models, which also have an extremely high market value. These cars are also highly susceptible to vandalism and theft. Their spare parts and service/repair labor cost a fortune too. As an example, most custom-made vehicles have a high group ranking. SUVs and other luxury cars also fall in the higher levels of ranking.

The Group Rating Panel considers a number of factors when allocating a car to an insurance group. They include:

Value of the car
The value of the car when new is a pointer to how much it would cost to repair or replace the car in the future. The amount reflects the cost of claims the insurer would have to settle.

Extreme extent of damage and Cost of repair
An assessment of how much damage the car can suffer in a worst-accident scenario is done. This shows the likely extent of damage to the car and how much it would cost to repair it. This calculation includes the cost of spare parts. The less a car costs to repair, the lower its group ranking will be.

Cost of spare parts
The panel compares the cost of 23 common spares across all car models. The higher the cost of these parts is, the higher the ranking the car is given.

Security of the car
The carís security levels as fitted by the manufacturer are considered. High security features often lower the cost of insurance claims.

Car performance
A carís top speed and 0-60m.p.h acceleration rate play a role in the severity of an accident. From past statistics, it is clear that high performance cars record the highest number of accidents and subsequent claims.

If you are buying a car that was previously ranked under group 13, it could very well be in group 26 under the new ranking but your insurance premiums may not be affected. However, if your car has moved to a ranking that is more than double its previous ranking, your premiums will increase. Inversely, if it has dropped to less than double its previous rank, your premiums are likely to be lower. It is advisable to check a carís insurance group rating before buying it. This will help you get an estimate of how cheap or expensive it will be to insure the car.

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