HLDI is a nonprofit research organization that publishes insurance loss statistics on most car, SUV, pickup truck and motorcycle models on U.S. roads. Founded in 1972, HLDI regularly analyzes losses under six insurance coverages — collision, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, bodily injury liability and comprehensive (including theft). HLDI collects data from companies representing about 80 percent of the market for private passenger vehicle insurance. Its database is the largest repository of such information in the world.

Information from HLDI helps car buyers make informed choices. Insurance losses vary widely among vehicles — even among those that are similar in size and type. Some competing models may have much lower occupant injury experience than others and may be less expensive to insure. HLDI publishes loss results by model in what is known as the HLDI composite. Through its ability to analyze and make such information useful, HLDI has become the nation's principal source of public information about insurance losses for automobiles and other passenger vehicles.

HLDI also analyzes the effects of various safety and crash avoidance features, such as electronic stability control (ESC), forward collision warning and adaptive headlights.

HLDI information continues to be useful to anyone who drives, rides in or purchases a motor vehicle. For example, one of HLDI's first-ever findings was that collision coverage losses weren't higher for larger car models, although most people had presumed they were. It found that smaller cars had higher collision coverage losses, despite a widespread belief that small cars offered greater maneuverability to avoid crashes.

HLDI research revealed that vehicles equipped with ESC clearly show lower overall collision losses, with reductions ranging from 15 to 17 percent. With this knowledge, along with data from IIHS research on ESC, more and more manufacturers began including the feature on their vehicles. The federal government now requires the technology on all new passenger vehicles.

As manufacturers introduce new crash avoidance features, HLDI is examining their real-world effectiveness. Analysis indicates that two of these technologies, forward collision avoidance and adaptive headlights, are reducing insurance claims.

HLDI's work has been modeled around the world. Countries such as Canada, Australia and South Korea have formed associations that compile and publish similar information.