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Rating system determines insurance costs for your car

How does your car rate?

By Gillian Birch

Your neighbour drives a 2003 Cadillac Deville, you drive a 2000 Honda Civic, you both have clean driving records and travel the same distance to work. The Deville is worth more than the Civic, and then the shock comes - you're paying more for auto insurance. Consumers are left asking why. Well, the answer is CLEAR. Every vehicle make, model and year available in Canada is rated according to the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system.

This rating system assesses each type of vehicle based on frequency of theft, collision and other claims, and assists in calculating insurance rates. The lower the claims risk, the lower the rates. The higher the claims risk, the higher the rates.

According vehicle data for model years between 1995 and 2007 provided by the Insurance Board of Canada, the top three best and worst rated vehicles based on theft frequency claims are:

Top 3 Best (least stolen)

1. 2003 Cadillac Deville, 4 door

2. 2002 Lincoln Continental, 4 door

3. 2001 Lincoln Continental, 4 door

Top 3 Worst (most stolen)

1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR, 2 door

2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR, 2 door

3. 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi, 4-door, all wheel drive

“Vehicles designed with more safety features and that experience fewer thefts are more likely to have lower insurance rates,” explains Mauro Convertini, insurance and claims expert for Aviva Canada. “The answer is simple, the Civic SiR is stolen more often than the Cadillac Deville, and therefore more expensive to insure,” says Convertini.

So before you decide on your next vehicle purchase, be sure to check how the make and model of your new car will affect your auto insurance rates. To see how your car rates, visit

News Canada story posted Aug. 5, 2009.

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