Larger, heavier vehicles could pay more for insurance

| February 22, 2007 | 0 Comments

Larger, heavier vehicles could pay more for insurance

In a review of its rating system for automobiles, the Association of British Insurers said Thursday that it will put more emphasis on the weight of vehicles for purposes of assigning insurance premiums. The ABI said that the new ratings will reflect new technologies and the wider range of vehicles being manufactured today. The number of vehicle groups will be increased from 20 to 50.

In making the weight of vehicles more of a factor in determining insurance premiums, the new ratings will take into consideration that the heavier a vehicle is, the more property damage and the greater injury to people in accidents. Under the new system, large 4X4s, called “Chelsea tractors” by some, will be placed in the category of heavier vehicles and could cost their owners more to insure.

The new ratings come in the wake of plans to make drivers of off-road vehicles such as 4X4s pay a higher London congestion charge and to charge them more for annual parking permits. An ABI spokesman said that drivers of the larger vehicles were not being singled out for higher insurance premiums, however. He noted that the group in which vehicles are placed in the ratings system is just one factor in determining the price of insurance premiums.

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