Many car owners pay little attention to the relationship between car insurance and the colour of the car they wish to purchase. Should they pay more attention and does the colour reduce or increase the car insurance premium?
It is rather interesting to note that car insurers in South Africa and the US differ in the importance they place on the colour of the vehicles insured…
Car Colour and Car Insurance in the US
I have searched the internet to find some clarification from car insurers and have found that this question has been included as one of the topics under the “Myths of car insurance”.
A US survey has revealed that many vehicle owners believe that colour might be a factor in determining car insurance rates – and that a red car would cost more to insure. Insurance companies have however denied this – and I would like to quote the response from one insurer:
“The idea that the colour of a car enters into what you’re going to pay for insurance is a myth that’s been around for a long time,” says Jeff McCollum, a spokesman for State Farm Insurance. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from the fact that people with red sports cars have the image of being wild and reckless, but it certainly isn’t based on any type of reality.”
What are the most important characteristics of your car to be considered?
The car insurance companies will pay attention to:
- The year and age of your car
- The make of car
- The model of your car
- The body type and accessories
- The engine size of your car
There are also other much more important vehicle features to consider such as safety features, air bags etc…
We can however not merely dismiss the importance of the colour of a car as a “myth”. There are indeed interesting relationships between the colour of vehicles and the owners of those vehicles. The Canadian Automobile Association looked at the psychology behind the process of choosing the colour of a car and, according to their analysis, the red colour supposedly signifies you have an enormous “need for speed”.
Many psychological experts say that the colour red reflects people who are reckless in nature. Red also represents fearless, highly active people who love taking risks. The car insurance truth is that it makes no difference in your insurance coverage whether or not your car is red or any other colour. If your red car happens to be a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or any other high-speed car that is expensive, your higher premium will be based on the other characteristics of the car rather than the colour!
Importance of Colour in South Africa
South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow nation – not for the colour of the cars available – but rather for the rich diversity in culture, language and even nature!
It appears that Car insurers in South Africa regard the colour of the insured vehicle as more important than the insurers in the US. There is a definite higher car insurance premium payable in South Africa for cars with a darker colour and cars with metallic paint.
Practical considerations considered include the following:
- Which colour of car is involved in accidents the most and provides the most accident claims?
- Which colour is the most expensive in the repair process?
Actuaries from car insurers in South Africa believe that the colour of your vehicle does have an effect on your car insurance premium. Statistics show that a darker colour car is more likely to be in an accident due to the fact that it is harder to see. A white or silver car is more visible.
Another factor of how the colour of your car can affect the premium is the cost of repairing the vehicle. Flat non metallic colours are easier to match, with white regarded as the easiest. Metallic colours are sometimes difficult to acquire and difficult to match. One of the more expensive Mercedes-Benz models on the market has the paint described as “designo magno platinum” and has “a highly scratch and dirt-resistant matt finish”. This is available in metallic black, silver, grey and red – and will be more expensive to repair that your ordinary vehicle colours.
Next time a shining and flashy car is passing you – know that the owner is paying a bit more to have that beautiful paint on the car kept on the road!