Conning Research: Car Owners Subsidizing Premiums For Light Truck and SUV Owners

Most Insurers Don’t Differentiate between Light Trucks/SUVs and Cars

(New York, NY) September 15, 2003-SUVs and light trucks, auto makers’ highest profit generators, are fast becoming one of auto insurers’ biggest risks, according to a study by Conning Research and Consulting, Inc.

“For years, car owners have been subsidizing the light truck owners’ premiums, and the personal automobile insurance industry has been slow to respond,” said Michael Weinstein, Director of Research at Conning. “Given the highly competitive nature of the personal lines insurance industry and the challenge of producing profits, one has to ask – why have most underwriters not yet differentiated broadly between light trucks/SUVs and passenger cars?”

The Conning Research study, “Light Truck/SUV Underwriting: The Differences Matter” explains the many physical differences that cause trucks to inflict more severe injuries and greater damage than cars. In addition, the study delves into federal injury and property damage data to present the significant differences in liability exposure between the vehicle types, and it explores differential underwriting and the process needed to prepare and implement new pricing.

“A few of the larger insurers have recognized that the problem exists and are beginning to respond,” said Weinstein. “However, as the light truck category continues to expand, it is clear that the success of every personal auto company is contingent on differential pricing. Those that delay face adverse selection.”

“Light Truck/SUV Underwriting: The Differences Matter” is available for sale from Conning Research & Consulting, Inc., by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s Web site at

About Conning Research & Consulting, Inc.

The Conning name has represented excellence in independent insurance industry research for more than 90 years. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and can provide in-depth insights and analyses. Conning provides both public and proprietary research as well as consulting services to the financial services industry. Conning has offices in New York and Hartford.