McLaren P1 LM
McLaren P1 LM by junaidrao (CC BY)

19 Cars Your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You To Buy

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McLaren P1 LM
McLaren P1 LM by junaidrao (CC BY)

ROAD RISKS?

It’s common knowledge that you’ll pay dearly to insure many luxury vehicles— especially the ones that cost six figures and go very, very fast. But what about the cars you can actually afford? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tracked insurance claims in several categories and across vehicle types for the 2015-17 model years, allowing for a deeper dive into which cars are most likely to rack up costly claims— and maybe stick you with a larger insurance bill in return. Do you have one in your garage? Keep reading to find out.

Mitsubishi Lancer
contrastaddict/istockphoto

MITSUBISHI LANCER

Starting price: N/A
Why: Substantially worse-than-average property damage liability claims (top 10); personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims (top 10); bodily injury liability claims (top 10); collision claims
The Mitsubishi Lancer is no longer in production, most likely to the relief of your insurer. Don’t seek it out used, because this small four-door landed in the top 10 for a whopping four claims categories. They include property damage liability, which is coverage that pays for damage you cause to others’ vehicles or property, and personal injury protection, which covers injuries for you and your passengers regardless of fault.

Kia Rio
Courtesy of kia.com

KIA RIO

Starting price:$15,300
Why: Substantially worse-than-average bodily injury liability claims (top 10), personal injury protection claims (top 10), medical payment claims (top 10), property damage liability claims

This popular subcompact sedan isn’t so popular with insurance companies. It’s at the top of the heap for claims frequency in the bodily injury liability category (that’s the coverage that kicks in when you injure people in another car) and it’s among the top 10 for personal injury protection and medical payment claims (the latter covers injuries for you and your passengers if you are at fault). The Rio hatchback isn’t so hot either, landing in the top 10 for medical payment claims.

Kia Forte
Courtesy of kia.com

KIA FORTE

Starting price: $17,690
Why: Substantially worse-than-average personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims (top 10); bodily injury liability claims (top 10)

The Kia Rio’s slightly bigger sibling, the Forte, isn’t much better when it comes to insurance claims. This compact lands in the top 10 for claim frequency in three categories. Though it gets solid expert reviews, from an insurer’s point of view, you can do much better in the compact-car segment.

Chevrolet Sonic Sedan
benedek/istockphoto

CHEVROLET SONIC SEDAN

Starting price: $15,420
Why: Substantially worse-than-average medical payment claims (top 10); personal injury protection claims (top 10); bodily injury claims (top 10); property damage claims

This affordable little Chevy sedan replaced the much-maligned Aveo and has received generally solid reviews from the automotive press. Unfortunately, it also seems to be a magnet for insurance claims, landing in the top 10 across vehicle types for three categories: medical payment, personal injury protection, and bodily injury liability. The Sonic also comes as a hatchback, but that model fares only marginally better.

Chrysler 200
Courtesy of carmax.com

CHRYSLER 200

Starting price: N/A
Why: Substantially worse-than-average personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims (top 10); bodily injury claims (top 10)

Chrysler has stopped making the 200, but it’s worth noting that this was the only midsize car to crack the top 10 for personal injury protection claims, and one of just two in the top 10 for bodily injury liability and medical payment claims. Worth noting: The still-in-production Chrysler 300 is also a poor performer, with much-worse-than-average claims in three categories.

Hyundai Accent
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

HYUNDAI ACCENT

Starting price: $14,995
Why: Substantially worse-than-average bodily injury liability claims (top 10); personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims, property damage liability claims

Hyundai’s most budget-friendly model may earn plaudits for its “maturity” in a sometimes gimmicky subcompact segment, but it doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to insurance. It lands in the top 10 cars for bodily injury and personal injury protection claims, and fares much worse than average for medical payment and property damage liability claims.

Nissan Versa
Courtesy of nissanusa.com

NISSAN VERSA

Starting price: $12,360
Why
: Substantially worse than-average personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims (top 10); bodily injury liability claims

This ubiquitous sedan is one of Nissan’s best-selling vehicles, but it’s second only to the Mitsubishi Lancer in personal injury claims among small four-door vehicles; it also posts a high rate for medical payment and bodily injury liability claims. The low price is certainly alluring, but consider the tepid reviews and possible bump in your insurance bill. The Nissan Versa Note, a hatchback, also posts poor numbers in a few categories.

Jeep Patriot 4-door
Courtesy of edmunds.com

JEEP PATRIOT 4-DOOR

Starting price: N/A
Why: Substantially worse-than-average property damage liability claims (top 10); bodily injury liability claims (top 10); personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims

Jeep pulled the plug on this small under-$20,000 SUV after the 2017 model year. It was the only SUV to land in the top 10 for bodily injury liability claims, and one of just two in the top 10 for property damage liability. Though the Patriot was a reliable seller for Jeep, it wasnot all that impressive to the automotive press, so consider leaving it on the used-car lot.

Dodge Charger
klausbalzano/istockphoto

DODGE CHARGER

Starting price: $28,995
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average bodily injury liability claims (top 10); comprehensive claims; collision claims, personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims

This fast, flashy muscle car is the only large four-door model in the top 10 for bodily injury claims. It also notches dubious claims rates for most other categories. So while it might be “as American as jazz,” leave this one on the lot if you’re afraid of seeing your insurance bill spike.

Mitsubishi Mirage
Courtesy of mitsubishicars.com

MITSUBISHI MIRAGE

Starting price: $13,795
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims (top 10); bodily injury liability claims

Though it has a temptingly low price tag and awesome fuel economy for a non-hybrid — up to 43 mpg — this unassuming little hatchback notches the second-worst personal injury protection claims rate of any vehicle. Another poor pick: The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan, which edges out its sibling for the top slot in personal injury protection claims.

Kia Optima Hybrid
Courtesy of caranddriver.com

KIA OPTIMA HYBRID

Starting price: $27,985
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average medical payment claims (top 10); collision claims; property damage claims; personal injury protection claims; bodily injury liability claims

The “smooth and unobtrusive” Kia Optima Hybrid fares surprisingly poorly in several claims categories and lands in second place overall for medical payment claims. Though the current model gets up to 45 mpg without sacrificing interior space, your savings at the pump might be offset by a higher insurance bill.

Ford Focus
Courtesy of ford.com

FORD FOCUS SEDAN

Starting price: $17,950
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average bodily injury liability claims (top 10); property damage liability claims; personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims

Though you can still find the Focus on Ford lots, it’s set to disappear soon as the companyphases out sedans. It lands in the top 10 for frequent bodily injury liability claims and also does poorly in several other categories. The Focus hatchback, spared Ford’s chopping block, performs better than its sibling, notching average marks in most claims categories.

Nissan Sentra
Courtesy of nissanusa.com

NISSAN SENTRA

Starting price: $17,790
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average medical payment claims (top 10); personal injury protection claims; bodily injury liability claims

The Nissan Sentra offers more room and features than the Versa, and it performs better than its sibling when it comes to insurance claims. That’s still nothing to write home about, though, considering the Sentra is in the top 10 for medical payment claim frequency and not far behind in a couple of other categories.

Toyota Yaris
Courtesy of toyota.com

TOYOTA YARIS IA

Starting price: $15,950
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average personal injury protection claims (top 10); medical payment claims; bodily injury liability claims

Once a Scion, the iA was rebranded a Toyota Yaris when Toyota shut down its Scion division. Adding to the confusion: It’s actually a sedan version of the Mazda 2, and a well-reviewed one at that. Whatever brand you associate with this car, it isn’t such a hot buy when it comes to insurance, posting personal injury protection claims numbers that put it in the top 10, and worse-than-average marks in two other categories.

Ram 3500 4wd
Courtesy of caranddriver.com

RAM 3500 4WD

Starting price: $34,445
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average property damage liability claims (top 10)

You may need that rough, tough pickup truck to get things done, but don’t be surprised if your insurer isn’t as enthused with your “huge, intimidating, and immensely powerful” buy. The four-wheel-drive, long-wheel-base RAM 3500 tops the list of vehicles in any category for property damage liability claims. Also in the top 10: three models of the RAM 2500, and the RAM 1500 extended cab.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

HYUNDAI SONATA HYBRID

Starting price: $25,500
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average collision claims; property damage claims; personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims; bodily injury liability claims

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is another car that certainly seems like a sensible buy, with its nicely roomy interior and eye-popping fuel efficiency (up to 46 mpg sounds pretty good to us). But don’t be surprised if your insurer doesn’t see it that way, because the car is among the worst in its class when it comes to insurance claims in five categories.

Nissan Maxima
Courtesy of caranddriver.com

NISSAN MAXIMA

Starting price: $33,420
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average collision claims; comprehensive claims; personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims

A mainstay of Nissan’s lineup, the Maxima fares well with the automotive press, with Car and Driver praising it as an affordably luxe pick that should please drivers who don’t need the prestige of a luxury name. But it doesn’t fare as well when it comes to insurance claims. Like the Sonata hybrid, it’s not in the top 10 for any claim in particular, but this beefy sedan doesn’t fare well in four categories when judged against similar cars.

Jeep Compass
Courtesy of jeep.com

JEEP COMPASS 4-DOOR

Starting price: $21,095
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average property damage liability claims; bodily injury liability claims; personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims

There’s a lot of competition among compact SUVs, and the Jeep Compass doesn’t have enough power or cargo space to be among the best in its class, experts say. Adding to the list of black marks against it: High property damage liability losses as well as high claims frequencies in several other categories.

Hyundai Elantra
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

HYUNDAI ELANTRA

Starting price: $15,600
Why
: Substantially worse-than-average collision claims; personal injury protection claims; medical payment claims; bodily injury liability claims

The Sonata’s smaller sibling has been an undisputed success for Hyundai, earning solid reviews and selling close to or more than 200,000 units since 2012. But it’s also been a magnet for car insurance claims, notching a subpar performance in four categories, medical payment and personal injury liability.