Thousands of drivers could see their car insurance rocket if new uncapped data is used by insurers.
Since 2009, Thatcham’s Group Insurance Rating has placed vehicles into a 1-50 system by using a capped algorithm to help insurers determine the cost of cover. While there are no plans to replace the current process, raw data shared as a result of taking the cap off has seen around 500 cars surge into a 50-plus category.
This has left owners of some high-powered and expensive vehicles, including electric models, for brands such as BMW, Mercedes and Tesla at risk of being hit with even higher premiums.
“We already know that many BMW, Mercedes and Tesla vehicles are among the most expensive to insure,” said a spokesperson for Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers.
“They’re new, high-powered and high-value vehicles that are costly to repair which puts them in a higher risk category. Drivers are aware of that but what they won’t be aware of is that their insurance is likely to have gone up overnight now the cap has been taken off.
“Some vehicles have had a 40% increase in car group and while Thatcham say it’s for internal use only, lots of insurers will build this into their rates for cars in group 50 which will ultimately hit some drivers in the pockets.”
Tesla Model-X, Mercedes S-Class and BMW i8 are just three of the models that may be affected. The new information provided lifted a Model-X PD 100 to an uncapped group 58E, S-Class 4 Series AMG S65L to 60E and a 2019 i8 to 66E. However, the trio will officially remain categorised as group 50 vehicles.
Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan and Porsche are among the other brands listed on the document – which places Audi’s R8 Series 2 V10 Performance Decennium as the highest in a possible 77E category – that has been shared with several insurers.
Over half of all money paid out in motor insurance claims goes on repairing cars. The cost of spare parts and the time taken by repairers are major factors in pricing motor insurance. Several other factors including the car price, performance, security and braking performance are taken into account for the system which, until 2009, used to work on a 1-20 category basis.