Special to Kanetix
Your car is getting older - not better. But, hey, at least your insurance premiums should go down as your vehicle ages. After all, it isn't worth as much now, so it shouldn't cost as much to insure - right?
Wrong! That's not how car insurance rates are calculated - at least not anymore. It used to be that insurers relied primarily on the Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Price to rate cars' potential for claims - the newer and more expensive the car, the more it would cost to insure it. Now, however, almost all insurance companies use the "CLEAR" - Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating - system, which groups cars based on their claims experience, such as cost of repairs, frequency and severity of injury claims, and frequency of theft.
Safer is cheaper
That means that newer cars offering safety features, like airbags and antilock brakes, as well as anti-theft devices, may well cost less to insure than older cars that may be more prone to accidents or more expensive to repair. Your rusty old sedan, for example, may not be on car thieves' most-wanted list, but its lack of safety features that are common in newer models will probably drive up your premiums.