Progressive Research Finds Higher Horsepower Cars Involved In Fewer Accidents

Study of More Than 12 Million Private Passenger Cars Shows Higher Horsepower Cars Involved in Fewer, But More Costly, Auto Insurance Claims

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio – April 11, 2005 – Think faster cars are involved in more crashes? You�re not alone. According to a recent phone survey of 1,000 people, one-third say that those who drive higher horsepower vehicles are involved in more frequent crashes.

Well, it�s just not true according to the country�s third largest auto insurer, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

After studying more than 12 million private passenger cars it insured over the past three years, Progressive finds that cars with more than 200 horsepower are actually involved in an average of 17 percent fewer auto insurance claims than are those with less than 200 horsepower.

But, when a higher horsepower car is involved in a crash, they cause more damage to others. The resulting auto insurance claim payment made to other parties for property and injury claims is an average of 22 percent more costly ($5,673 versus $4,663).

Horsepower Relative Frequency
of Crashes
Average Severity of Bodily Injury/Property Damage Claims
Less than 200 1.00 $4,663
More than 200 .83 $5,673

The findings also hold true in sub-groups of the study vehicles. That is, the higher the horsepower, the less frequent the accident. And, the higher the horsepower, the more damage caused to others involved in the crash.

Horsepower Relative Frequency

of Crashes

Average Severity of Bodily Injury/Property Damage Claims
Less than 200 1.00 $4,663
200-250 .87 $5,414
250-300 .78 $6,308
More than 300 .67 $7,837

While the reduced frequency of claims works to keep the cost of auto insurance down, the high severity, or the amount paid on the claims, pushes costs up.

The horsepower race continues to heat up: Passenger cars with more than 200 horsepower represented only nine percent of all available makes and models in 1990; today, they represent 54 percent.

So what does all this mean for consumers?

If you choose a vehicle with increased horsepower, you will most likely pay more for auto insurance.

�Insurance rates are based on a lot of information including your vehicle’s make and model and information about you and your driving record,� said Rick Crawley, product development general manager, Progressive. �So, information about what you drive, as well as who you are, is important to your rate.�

Crawley said: �Another reality is that each insurance company has a different claims experience, which leads to a wide range of rates available from company to company.�

The bottom line? If you’re considering a higher horsepower car � and remember, there are a lot of cars now available with higher horsepower options � check the rate with your current insurance company, then shop around to compare other companies’ rates. You may find that you can save money by switching companies.

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance based on premiums written and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7, in-person and online service. The products and services of the Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies are marketed directly to consumers by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE and online at through the Progressive DirectSM brand. The Drive Group of Progressive Insurance Companies offers insurance through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies that market their products and services through the Drive Insurance from ProgressiveSM brand. For more information, go to The Common Shares of the Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, are publicly traded at NYSE:PGR. More information can be found at