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CAR Insurance
CAR INSURANCE INSIGHTS

SUVs are usually cheaper to insure than a Sedan, but it depends on the size of the SUV as well as the sedan you compare it to.

Yes, you heard us correct, in many cases insuring a SUV is cheaper than a sedan. We ran the numbers on SUV insurance rates and found that in many cases, a compact SUV cost less to insure than a comparable sedan. We found the average SUV premium to be $1,729 while the average premium for a sedan was $2,112 or $383 more than an SUV.

Keep reading to learn the least expensive SUV to insure, vehicle factors that impact SUV insurance as well as how to find a great SUV insurance policy at a price you can afford.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Car insurance for an SUV costs the same and offers same protection as car insurance for a sedan or any other car
  • SUVs are popular with drivers, but they also make them more attractive to car thieves, thus making it expensive to insure.
  • The average cost of insurance for a SUV is $1,729. It is less than the national average which was $1,839.

What is SUV insurance?

Car insurance for an SUV is the same as car insurance for a sedan or any other car. It offers the same coverages and protections.

A typical auto (or SUV) insurance policy offers the following standard coverages:

  • Liability: Bodily injury liability and property damage liability will pay for medical and legal bills if you injure another person or their property with your vehicle. Liability coverage is required to be legal out on the road in just about every state in the country.
  • Collision: This coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed after a collision with another vehicle. If you are not carrying collision and your car is damaged in an accident, the cost to repair or replace it will fall to you. This is not a required coverage but if your vehicle is financed or leased your finance company will require that you carry this coverage. Collision has a deductible that can range from $250 to $2,000 or more.
  • Comprehensive: This coverage will repair or replace your vehicle if the damage is caused by something other than a collision. It covers damage from weather, fire, flooding, vandalism, theft and even animal strikes. Comprehensive is not required to be legal out on the road and it comes with a deductible.
  • Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist: If your vehicle is hit by an uninsured motorist or underinsured driver, this coverage will pay to repair your car. This is not a legally required coverage.

Is car insurance cheaper for an SUV or sedan?

Perhaps surprisingly in many cases, an SUV is less expensive to insure than a sedan, but it often depends on what size SUV you are looking at as well as the sedan you compare it to. In some cases, the sedan will be cheaper to insure.

When we ran the numbers, we found that the average annual SUV premium came in at $1,729 while the average annual premium for a sedan was $ 2,112 or $383 more than an SUV.  In fact, compact SUVs made up much of our 10 cheapest cars to insure list with 9 out of the top 10 vehicles being SUVs.

The Honda CR-V LX was cheapest SUV to insure (a minivan grabbed the top spot) with an annual premium of $1,285 which is well below the national average for all vehicle types of $1,839. The cheapest sedan to insure was the Honda Fit which costs $1,355 to insure or $70 more expensive than the cheapest SUV.

However, it really depends on the size and luxury factor of the SUV. If you are looking at expensive SUVS, say a large, luxurious SUV, expect your insurance costs to skyrocket. As an example, the 2021 BMW X6 M Competition Xdrive runs over $3,400 a year to insure.

You don’t have to be driving a European SUV to see your premiums go up, insuring a Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia or Infiniti QX80 will almost always cost more than insuring a sedan.

Why SUV insurance can be costly?

SUV’s have a few characteristics that can push up the cost of insurance.

Here are a few reasons why some SUVs can be expensive to insure:

  • Rolling risk: SUVs are more likely to be involved in a rollover accident due to their height and width. Vehicles that have higher rates of accidents and claims will always cost a bit more to insure.
  • Theft rates: While pickup trucks always command the top of the list of most sold vehicles in the United States SUV’s have surpassed sedans as the top-selling vehicle in recent years. In 2019, SUVs dominated the top 10 most sold vehicles list with a sedan not showing up until the 8th place slot.
  • Because SUVs are popular with drivers, they are also popular with car thieves which makes them more expensive to insure.
  • Liability: Large SUVs can inflict a lot of damage when they are involved in an accident which can lead to more expensive claims for your insurance company. Insurers look at claim rates for vehicles and if your vehicle has a high claim rate, you will pay more for insurance, even if you have never made a claim.
  • Costly repairs: Luxury SUVs are often loaded with expensive finishes and technology which can quickly push up insurance costs as your insurer will have to cover the cost to repair your vehicle after a claim.

What are the cheapest SUVs to insure?

The cheapest SUVs to insure are often compact SUVs. These vehicles are loaded with safety features, typically driven by families, have smaller engines, and are pretty cheap to repair. Insure.com puts together a list of the cheapest and most expensive cars to insure each year and compact SUVs usually dominate the cheap to insure side of the list.

In 2021, small SUVs grabbed 9 out of the 10 spots when it comes to affordable car insurance premiums. While a minivan was the cheapest vehicle to insure, the balance of the top 10 was all compact SUVs. The following were the cheapest SUVs to insure, with their average annual premium:

SUVsAverage annual premium
Honda CR-V LX$1,285
Mazda CX-3 Sport$1,294
Fiat 500X Trekking$1,301 
Honda HR-V LX$1,322
Jeep Compass Sport$1,324
Mazda CX-5 Sport$1,328
Subaru Outback 2.5I$1,330
Subaru Forester 2.5I$1,333
Jeep Wrangler JL Sport$1,339

How much does it cost to insure an SUV?

According to our numbers, the average insurance cost for a SUV comes in at $1,729. This is slightly less than the national average for all vehicles which was $1,839.

The cost of auto insurance for an SUV will vary depending on what type of SUV you are purchasing. While an entry to mid-level compact SUV will typically be very reasonable to insure, once you move into a standard size SUV or luxury SUVs, insurance costs can go up quickly. As an example, while a Mazda CX-3 Sport (a compact SUV) costs $1,294 a year to insure, a Range Rover SV has a shocking average annual auto insurance premium of $3,255.

Of course the model car you drive is just one factor an insurance company considers when setting insurance rates. Your driving history, your ZIP code, the coverage limits and coverage options you choose, your credit score and your age are also taken into account when pricing what you pay for coverage per year. Still, the insurance rates below provide a fairly accurate estimate of what you'll pay for these model cars, unless you have several accidents or tickets on your record or poor credit.

If you're curious about other popular 2021 utility vehicles that are not expensive to insure, we have a list for you. The cost to insure each of these vehicles is under the national average for sports utility vehicles.

Here's more models, four-door and four-wheel-drive, unless noted, and their average car insurance premiums:

ModelsAverage car insurance premiums
Toyota Rav4 LE$1,451
Toyota Rav4 XLE$1,445
Toyota Rav4 XSE$1,515
Toyota Rav4 Limited$1567
Toyota Highlander L$1,525
Toyota Highlander Limited$1,588
Toyota Highlander XLE$1,479
Toyota Highlander XSE$1,552
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 2WD$1,486
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD$1,586
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 8 cylinder$1, 637
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk$1,615
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo$1,483
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland$1,611
Jeep Grand Cherokee Upland$1,538
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon$1,427
Jeep Wrangler Freedom$1,428
Jeep Wrangler JL Sport$1,339
Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited Sahara$1,566
Honda CR-V EX 4WD Turbo Hybrid$1, 404
Honda CR-V Touring$1,343
Ford Explorer$1,494
Ford Explorer Limited$1,578
Ford Explorer Platinum$1,651
Ford Explorer XLT$1,496
Ford Explorer Hybrid$1,586
Ford Escape S Turbo$1,368
Ford Escape SE Turbo$1,397
Ford Escape SEL Turbo$1,414
Ford Escape SL$1,472
Chevrolet Equinox L Turbo$1,615
Chevrolet Equinox LS Turbo$1,430
Chevrolet Equinox LT$1,437
Chevrolet Equinox Premier$1,478

SUV insurance rate comparison

For 2021 models, the average SUV premium came in at $1,729 while the average premium for a sedan was $ 2,112 or $383 more than an SUV. This has also historically been the case, as SUVs were among the cheapest cars to insure for the past 10 years. Basic model, compact SUVs, along with Jeeps and minivans, have dominated the top 10 list of cheapest vehicles to insure since 2005, based on an analysis of car insurance rates for dozens of models. So, it's safe to say whether you're looking for a new vehicle that's an SUV or a used one, the average cost for insurance will be lower than for a used or new car.

Car insurance price comparison: SUVs vs sedans

YearSUVSedans (4 door)$ difference% difference
2021$1,729$2,112$38322%
2020$1,793$2,130$33719%
2019$1,783$2,200$41723%
2018$1,746$2,119$37321%
2017$1,683$2,032$34921%
2016$1,647$1,968$32119%
2015$1,582$1,894$31220%

Best insurance companies for SUV drivers

Insurance premiums can be impacted by a wide variety of factors, both personal and those related to the vehicle, so it’s hard to determine what insurance company is best for your specific situation.

The best advice is to shop your coverage with a variety of insurers, always compare the same coverage levels and deductibles. It’s also a good idea to check the financial soundness of any insurance company that is not a well-known national brand. Below you'll see the cheapest car insurance companies for SUVs based on a rate analysis of average annual premiums:

List of best insurance companies for SUV drivers

Select make and model below to see the best insurance companies with average rates

Currently showing results for make 60 and model California
Company Name Avg. Premium
 

How to save on insurance cost for SUV?

While insurance can be cheaper for SUVs in some situations, paying less for car insurance is everyone’s goal. Here are a few tips on how to lower your premiums:

  • Shop your coverage: This is probably the best way to lower your insurance costs. Insurers rate risk differently which can result in dramatic differences in insurance quotes. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples regarding coverage levels and deductibles. Compare insurance quotes from at least three insurance companies.
  • Discounts: Insurers offer a wide range of discounts, make sure you are getting all the discounts that you are qualified to receive.
  • Choose a small SUV: If your goal is to keep your insurance affordable, consider a compact SUV if it works for your needs. These smaller SUVs tend to be cheaper to insure than a large SUV with a V-8 under the hood. A large luxurious SUV will push up your insurance costs.
  • Safety features: Insurers love safety features so search for an SUV that is loaded with advanced safety features to keep your premium affordable. 

Frequently asked questions about SUV car insurance

Is SUV insurance different from standard auto insurance?

No, SUV car insurance is the same as standard auto insurance. It offers all of the same coverages, and you can choose your coverage levels and deductibles. In general, standard size SUVs are more expensive to insure due to their size, increased risk of rolling and they tend to be more expensive to repair which will always push up insurance costs.

Does SUV size matter for insurance?

In most cases, a large SUV will be more expensive to insure than a compact SUV. This is due to the fact that it will have a bigger engine, presents a greater liability risk due to the damage it can do in an accident, and will cost more to repair or replace if it is damaged in an accident.

However, it is certainly possible that a high-end luxury compact SUV such as a BMW or Mercedes will cost more to insure than a large SUV such as a Ford Expedition. The luxury SUV would have a much higher price point and be more expensive to repair due to high end finishes and technology.

Do cheaper SUVs have lower auto insurance rates?

In general, a lower priced SUV will have cheaper auto insurance costs. Insurers consider a wide range of factors when setting an insurance premium and the cost to repair or replace your car is one of them. Lower priced vehicles that are cheap to repair almost always cost less to insure.

Here are a few very affordable SUVs that have a low sticker price and have an equally affordable annual car insurance premium. They all have a manufacturer suggested retail price, or sticker price, below $28,000, with two around $21,000. All of them have an insurance cost that's well below the national average, and are among the top 10 cheapest car insurance 2021 vehicles.

  • Honda CR-V LX; $28,025; annual insurance $1,285
  • Mazda CX-3 Sport; $20,790; annual insurance $1,294
  • Fiat 500X Trekking; $26,945; annual insurance $1,301
  • Honda HR-V LX; $21,220; annual insurance $1,322

Does my SUV need specialized insurance?

No, SUVs are covered by a standard auto policy.

Methodology: Average insurance premiums are based on the following coverage limits: full insurance coverage for a single 40-year-old male, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 bodily injury liability per person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.

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