Many consider Friday the 13th to be a very unlucky day of the year, but for some cars, there is plenty of bad luck year round.
In October, the Highway Loss Data Institute released a list of the best and worst cars and trucks for insurance losses.
HLDI looked at model years 2012-2014, according to the number of times personal injury insurance claims were brought. These claims insure against any expenses for any types of injuries in wrecks with insured drivers and passengers, no matter who is to blame for the accident.
These results are reliable indicators for updated versions of the identical vehicles, according to HLDI, unless the vehicle went through a major redesign.
Cars that have higher personal injury protection claims often have lower amounts of horsepower and are much smaller cars, generally speaking. This generally indicates that when cars get into accidents, they tend to hit other vehicles. When the vehicle is smaller than average, laws of physics tell us that the vehicle that is going to get more damage is going to have occupants that have higher risks of injury.
Cars and trucks that score well in personal injury protection losses, often are higher performance vehicles that are not used every day. For example, the Porsche 911 Carrera, had a very low claim rate for personal injury protection. In fact, it was 75% less than average. Claim rates are related to the number of insured cars, SUVs and trucks of that particular model; this avoids weighting claims that are based upon the popularity of that vehicle.
It should be noted that many of the cars on this list are driven a lot by commuters, and are not necessarily bad vehicles. They also are much smaller cars generally speaking. It also should be remembered that the drivers are not necessarily bad either, but these cars that tend to be in more accidents, such as in rush hour traffic.
The cars with the highest personal injury claims in the survey were:
This is a micro four door sedan with a 113% higher than average claim rating. It was brought to the US market in the 2014 model year at a very low price of less than $13,000 but it has only 75 horsepower. It did score well for most crash tests, but it did score ‘poor’ for the small overlap front test.
This is a midsize, four door sedan with a claim rate that is 85% higher than average. It was produced from 2008-14 and it peaked at 97,000 vehicles sold in 2012. Even though it was a top safety pick in 2012 and 2014, this Dodge still had quite a few crashes that led to higher than normal personal injury claims.
This is a small, four door car that is the lowest priced car on the US market at only $12,000, but it has a claim rate of 78% higher than average. The Nissan Versa is a very popular seller in the US market, and has a four cylinder motor that makes 109 HP and it gets an excellent 40 MPG highway. It is indeed more likely to get into crashes, but the good news is that it scores well in IIHS crash tests.
This is another small, four door car that has a 76% higher than average claim rate. This is Kia’s best selling vehicle, and it offers a lot of performance for only $16,000. It was redone for the 2013 model year and it even has a rearview camera as standard equipment. It was also a top safety pick for 2012 and 2013, but it did get a poor rating in the overlap frontal test two years ago.
This four door small car had a claim rate of 76% higher than average. It has a 149 horsepower four cylinder motor that features an innovative CVT transmission. This small vehicle is indeed more likely to get into accidents, but it scores very well in crash tests from the IIHS.
This small SUV has a claim rate that is 70% higher than average. It is bigger than most of the cars and SUVs that are on this list for higher personal injury protection claims. The IIHS did give it a good rating for front crash tests.
This is a midsize sedan that has a 69% higher than average claim rate. This was a redesigned Chrysler Sebring that was itself a rebadged Dodge Avenger.
Cars with the lowest claim frequency, according to Consumer Reports, were the Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Silverado, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Lexus LX 570 4WD, Land Rover Range Rover 4WD, and Porsche 911
If you would like more information about insurance claims losses on vehicles, a good source is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.