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Hybrids save on gas but are expensive to insure

Posted by Cheryl Costa  October 24, 2008 10:30 AM

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Many people buy hybrid cars hoping to save money in the long run by spending less on gas. But did you know that hybrids can be very expensive to insure?

According to Insure.com, a 2009 Camry hybrid would cost an average 40-year-old driver $1,957 to insure while a similar conventional 2009 Camry would cost just $1,302 per year. That's an extra cost of more than $600 per year.

Why the extra cost? A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that repair costs were higher for 11 out of 12 hybrid cars and SUVs than for their gas-only counterparts. The study further points out that hybrid cars can't usually use after market parts, the labor charges per hour are higher and they take longer to repair.

And owners of some of the newest "microcars" have reported difficulty getting any kind of insurance. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal detailed how some owners of the new Smart Cars had to buy commercial insurance policies because traditional carriers didn't offer policies for those types of cars. The article stated that small cars often cost more to insure than larger ones because they are involved in more accidents and incur bigger claims -- especially for injuries. Small cars are also reported to have higher theft rates and be used more often in street racing.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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D. Abraham Ringer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and a Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Boston. He is registered in MA, NH, NY and several other states to which his articles are directed. For more information please visit www.morganstanleyfa.com/ringer
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