Auto insurance giants Allstate and Progressive will raise liability premiums for sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and big vans because of evidence they cause more damage in accidents. Until now, drivers with similar records often have paid similar premiums for liability and personal injury coverage, whether they own a small car or SUV, according to the New York Times, which reported the story Saturday. Accident data are persuading the industry to make changes that better assign costs according to the safety record of a particular model.
The companies maintain that bigger vehicles cause more damage to other cars, but they aren’t necessarily safer for the people riding in them. Premiums are likely to rise or fall by $150 or less a year under the new plans, insurance executives said. Allstate and Progressive’s announcement falls on the heels of a decision by State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, to reduce the cost of personal injury coverage for drivers of the “safer” vehicles, including some large luxury cars, vans and SUVs.