The folks over at Insure.com must have had a busy first month of the year: The web’s “#1 Source for Insurance” recently released results from two important industry studies designed to help shoppers find the vehicles that best meet their needs. First, for those drivers who put a priority on passenger safety, the site evaluated insurance rates for occupant coverage for injuries suffered in a vehicle crash. And it turns out that a little Professional Grade engineering goes a long way in terms of which vehicles best protect their occupants in case of an incident, since the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 led the way, with the 2013 GMC Yukon, 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD, and 2013 GMC Terrain also finishing in the top five. It was only the second-place 2013 Porsche Cayenne that prevented a GMC clean sweep.

Of course, while the hard work of GMC engineers provided the winning edge in the Insure.com evaluations, it was no surprise to find big trucks atop the rankings. As explained by Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS): “If safety is a priority, you should avoid the smallest cars.

“The laws of physics are always in play in crashes. Weight counts. Smaller, lighter cars are safer than they used to be, but all things being equal, people riding in bigger, heavier vehicles get more protection in crashes.”

As you’ll see on the next page, the same factors also impact overall insurance rates, too.

2013 Insure.com: Least Expensive to Insure

Just because a vehicle provides superior occupant protection doesn’t necessarily mean paying for insurance comes cheap. In fact, none of the five most protective vehicles found their way onto Insure.com’s list of the least expensive to insure. On the other hand, the top 20 least-expensive roster does share a similar tilt toward bigger vehicles, with 18 crossovers and one minivan—and just one car—earning recognition.

The leaders and their average annual insurance premiums:

2013 Ford Edge (SE)—$1,128
2013Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo—$1,148
2013Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium—$1,150
2013Kia Sportage—$1,157
2013Jeep Patriot Sport—$1,160
2013Chevrolet Express 1500—$1,171
2013Subaru Outback 3.6R—$1,180
2013Hyundai Tucson GLS—$1,189
2013Ford Explorer—$1,197
2013Hyundai Tucson GL—$1,204
2013Dodge Grand Caravan SXT—$1,206
2013Ford Transit Connect XLT Premium—$1,210
2013Chevrolet Equinox 1LT—$1,210
2013Honda Odyssey EX-L—$1,217
2013Jeep Compass Sport—$1,217
2013Kia Sorento LX (2WD)—$1,222
2013Nissan Pathfinder S—$1,224
2013Chevrolet Equinox 2LT—$1,235
2013Honda Fit—$1,235
2013Kia Sorento LX (4WD)—$1,237

(Note: Premiums are averages based on data from six large insurance carriers for coverage for a single, 40-year-old male, with a 12-mile daily commute, a clean record and good credit who selects policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries, and $50,000 for property damage, with a $500 deductible for collision/comprehensive coverage.)

By Charles Krome

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