Home » News
Status Report, Vol. 47, No. 7 | September 20, 2012 Subscribe

HLDI data online and at the dealer

Each year for the past two decades, collision loss data compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has landed on the doorstep of every auto dealer in the country. The booklet, titled "Relative collision insurance cost information," is distributed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has a complicated history.

In 1972, the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring insurance cost information to be provided to prospective vehicle buyers. The provision was never carried out, so Consumers Union sued NHTSA. In a 1991 settlement, the agency agreed to fulfill the requirement by distributing HLDI's collision loss data to auto dealers (see "NHTSA: Dealers should provide car buyers with HLDI brochure," Nov. 30, 1991). This was considered a practical solution because HLDI was already compiling this information and was more than willing to provide it to the government.

Following the settlement, NHTSA issued a rule in 1993. It spelled out that dealers are responsible for copying the booklets and having them available on request.

The idea behind the booklets is to allow shoppers to compare models on the basis of their susceptibility to damage and to show how the choice of a vehicle can affect insurance premiums. But few consumers are aware that they can request the publication, and dealers have come to view the requirement as an unnecessary hassle.

This summer the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the requirement. It is now pending in the Senate.

"While the information in these booklets is important for consumers, there are easier ways to get it in the Internet age," says HLDI Senior Vice President Kim Hazelbaker. "Anybody can go to our website to find collision loss information, along with data on other types of insurance claims."

HLDI publishes loss results by model under collision, property damage liability, comprehensive, personal injury protection, medical payment and bodily injury coverages in what is known as the HLDI composite.

Results are based on the loss experience of the past three model years. This year's composite includes losses for 2009-11 models from their first sales through May 2012. Results are stated in relative terms, with 100 representing the average for all vehicles under a given coverage type. For example, a result of 122 is 22 percent worse than average, and 96 is 4 percent better than average.

Results for collision, property damage liability and comprehensive represent overall losses, which reflect both the frequency of claims and the average loss payment per claim. Results for injury coverages represent claim frequency only. HLDI controls for factors such as driver age and gender, deductible, and the number of registered vehicles per square mile at the garaging location.

Results are grouped according to vehicle class and size to provide the most useful comparison. If a vehicle's results differ greatly from others in the same category, that suggests there is something about the vehicle other than its size and usage pattern that produces either higher or lower insurance losses.

The composite also shows broad trends among vehicle types. For example, the vehicle types with higher than average collision losses include small and midsize two-door cars; small, midsize and large sports cars; all luxury cars; and large luxury SUVs. Comprehensive losses, usually for theft, are highest for all luxury cars, large two-door cars, large and very large luxury SUVs and very large pickups. Injury losses, as measured by PIP, are highest for mini, small and midsize four-door cars, and small and midsize two-door cars.

Insurance losses by vehicle size and body style, 2009-11 models

  Collision Property
damage
liability
Comprehensive Personal
injury
protection
Medical
payment
Bodily
injury
liability
CARS 110 96 102 114 117 106
4-door models            
mini 114 112 89 173 188 145
small 114 105 95 135 137 120
midsize 101 95 97 121 122 106
large 95 92 104 107 110 106
very large 78 87 68 85 110 104
2-door models            
micro 56 57 67 78 82 61
mini 93 86 94 98 109 94
small 137 117 98 136 154 136
midsize 124 107 109 124 122 117
large 117 96 155 80 78 94
Sports            
mini 79 49 76 57
small 122 66 108 59 54 67
midsize 149 87 124 76 83 93
large 127 84 127 78 85 92
Luxury            
midsize 139 88 134 90 91 86
large 143 84 141 75 81 82
very large 177 91 221 75 83 102
STATION WAGONS
AND MINIVANS
89 91 91 95 98 93
mini 94 81 92 106 110 96
small 95 95 95 112 119 106
midsize 82 81 101 71 72 69
very large 81 94 83 84 84 88
SUVs 79 102 89 86 82 91
small 80 99 84 93 91 91
midsize 79 102 91 85 82 92
large 74 109 96 68 66 88
very large 82 133 108 61 56 95
LUXURY SUVs 116 107 127 70 69 89
midsize 112 103 116 73 71 86
large 134 122 170 57 61 99
very large 109 130 170 60 56 92
PICKUP TRUCKS 85 114 100 62 62 89
small 78 104 80 70 72 91
large 84 115 101 61 61 89
very large 102 126 131 49 46 85
MAIN STORY
Claims information helps consumers choose safer vehicles

The latest HLDI information shows which vehicles have the most frequent claims for injuries and which end up with higher damage costs.

©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org