Convertibles and Car Insurance

Convertibles and Car InsuranceIt's an image many of us fantasize about: driving down the open highway along the ocean, or in the mountains (because fantasies never put you on the cross-town expressway, right?), with the sun shining, the top down, and our hair (or our partner's hair) blowing in the breeze. There's nothing like the pure joy of driving a convertible.

There's also nothing like the jump in insurance costs that come with a new convertible when you give in to your desires and make the fantasy come true.

Why, though, do convertibles cost more to insure?
Many people think the auto insurance coverage for convertibles is more costly because of safety issues, but the reality is that modern technology has made convertibles nearly as safe as any other car. While it's true that their frames are less rigid than a hardtop vehicle, they're also built with reinforcements like roll bars that help protect the driver and passengers if there's an accident. Airbags, interlock brakes, and even pop-up pillars all help boost the safety ratings as well, and even the guys from NPR's popular "Car Talk," will (grudgingly) admit that modern rag-tops are "pretty darn safe."

If safety isn't an issue, then, why do convertibles cost more to insure? There are two main factors: cost and hardware. As a rule, convertibles cost more than their coupe and sedan sisters and brothers, and it's no secret that the higher the price tag on a car, the higher the insurance premium will be. In addition, convertibles come with a higher risk of theft, which also nudges that insurance cost up.

Then there's the hardware. Generally speaking, convertibles don't come attached to sensible economy cars or other budget-friendly autos. Instead, ragtops tend to be alternate version of sports cars and performance cars, which means that roofless wonder is powered by a large engine with a high top speed. Engine size is a major factor in insurance prices, so it makes sense that convertible sports cars would have more expensive coverage.

We're not saying you shouldn't buy a convertible just because the insurance will cost more. After all, if you can afford the car in the first place a couple hundred dollars a year probably won't kill your bottom line. We do, however, believe that you should be aware that buying that ragtop you've dreamed about since before you got your driver's license comes with at least one additional cost.

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