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Insure.com releases top ten least expensive, top ten most expensive cars & trucks to insure

Quotesmith.com, Inc. (ticker: QUOT, exchange: NASDAQ) News Release - 3/23/2006


Insure.com Reveals Top Ten Least Expensive, Top Ten Most Expensive Cars & Trucks to Insure

How to select a new car wisely and "drive" down your insurance costs      at the same time

DARIEN, IL (March 23, 2006) -- Quotesmith.com, Inc., (Nasdaq SmallCap: QUOT; www.insure.com), the only place on earth where you can get instant life, auto, health and home insurance quotes from over 200 companies and have the freedom to buy from the company of your choice, has today released its second annual report revealing the Top 10 Least Expensive Autos to Insure for 2006, along with its companion report--The Top 10 Most Expensive Autos To Insure.

Following is a specific breakout of the top 20 Most/Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure for 2006:


   Top 10 Least Expensive Vehicles To Insure

Top 10 Most Expensive Vehicles To Insure
 
 1.  Chrysler Town & Country              1.  Ford F-Series Pickup
 2.  Chevrolet Cobalt              2.  Dodge Ram Pickup
 3.  Dodge Caravan              3.  Ford Explorer
 4.  Chevrolet Impala              4.  Honda Civic
 5.  Ford Taurus              5.  Chevrolet Silverado-C/K Pickup
 6.  Ford Econoline              6.  Toyota Camry
 7.  Jeep Grand Cherokee              7.  Honda Accord
 8.  Chevrolet Malibu              8.  Chevrolet Trailblazer
 9.  GMC Sierra Pickup              9.  Nissan Altima
 10. Toyota Corolla

            10. Ford Focus

Culled from a list of the 20 best-selling cars and small trucks in the U.S., Insure.com determined that the three least expensive autos to insure -- encompassing both 2005 and 2006 model years -- consisted of the Chrysler Town & Country Mini-Van, Chevrolet Cobalt and Dodge Caravan.

At the other end of the spectrum, the three most expensive autos to insure are the Ford F-Series Pickup, Dodge Ram Pickup and Ford Explorer sports utility vehicle (SUV). Individuals can view the complete articles online at www.insure.com.

Steve Dwyer, editor of Insure.com, remarked, "To avoid nasty surprises and a hard hit to one's pocketbook, we advise new car buyers to take the time to find out the insurance cost of a new car before you buy. Car insurance premiums have risen more than 27 percent since 2000 to almost $900 per car per year. On top of that, car insurance premiums can and do vary wildly depending upon such factors as the car's sticker price, the cost to repair it and its overall safety record. The #1 cost of owning a new car is depreciation, the #2 cost is fuel and the #3 cost is insurance."

The Insure.com report is geared to help facilitate the car-buying experience for individuals who are in the market for a new or pre-driven automobile. The Most Expensive/Least Expensive Autos to Insure series strives to steer people in the right direction for smart car buying, enlightening them to an oft-overlooked aspect of the process. That is, the average individual fails to consider the insurance cost implications when they plunk down cash for a new car-a surprising fact considering that insurance premiums can vary significantly depending on the vehicle selected.

Let's say that an individual has their eye on an SUV, and the 2006 Ford Explorer ranks high on their wish list. They appreciate most everything about the Explorer--from its style to its handling. However, unbeknownst to them is the fact that Explorer is one of the most expensive vehicles to insure among the top 20 best sellers. Taking this fact into consideration, open-minded car buyers might be inclined to take a harder look at alternate SUVs-the Jeep Grand Cherokee, for example. That's because the Grand Cherokee happens to be one of the least expensive vehicles to insure on Insure.com's list of 20 top-selling vehicles.

Auto premiums stabilize

The good news for folks who shop for a top-selling vehicle that's positioned on the Most Expensive to Insure list is that auto insurance rates stabilized in 2005, thanks to insurers' ability to reduce loss costs and implement a favorable claims management position. Within this operating climate, many insurers saw fit to pass reduced premiums along to their customers. This had the potential to offset any premium increase that individuals incurred due to an auto they acquired.

David Biewer, vice president of actuarial, for San Francisco-based Esurance, an online direct-to-consumer provider of personal auto insurance, says his company was able to reduce auto insurance rates an average of 2% to 3% in 2005 thanks in large part to Esurance's ability to reduce '05 loss costs about 1%. For auto insurers, loss costs make up a huge proportion of the insurance premium dollar, often topping 80 cents payout per dollar of premium received.

Biewer declares that a significant drop in accident frequency per policyholder was instrumental in enabling Esurance to contain claims costs. A reduction in accident frequency, Biewer theorized, more than likely resulted from a higher percentage of the U.S. workforce that opted to car pool or take public transportation to work-all in an effort to circumvent high fuel costs. With fewer vehicles on the road, accident frequency was summarily reduced.

Insure.com's Most Expensive/Least Expensive Autos to Insure report was formulated through combined research from several third-party affiliates in both the insurance and automotive industries. Insure.com compared insurance rates based on a 45 year-old single male with no driving violations or convictions, who drives to work less than 3 miles one way. Insure.com used liability limits of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage. Comprehensive and collision premiums were determined using a $250 deductible.

The selection of vehicles was supported by information provided by the automotive industry as reported by Reuters News Service. Using insurance rates provided by Esurance.com, premiums were determined for the 2006 model year of each vehicle in three separate cities: one on the East Coast, one in the Midwest, and one on the West Coast. The premiums from all three geographic locations were then averaged and the vehicles ranked from least to most expensive.

Overall, the Insure.com report appears to be on its way to serving as a wakeup call for consumers to demonstrate a higher level of vigilance in the new-car buying process. But there's still a way to go. Dave Roush, CEO for Solon, Ohio-based Insurance.com, an independent online insurance agency, states that his company has performed extensive study pertaining to the awareness-or lack thereof-that individuals have for auto insurance premiums in connection with the vehicles they own or wish to buy.

"We have found that most consumers are not at all cognizant about how much auto insurance premiums differ from one vehicle to another vehicle," explains Roush.

Greg Lindenberg, of Wilmette, Ill. is certainly one of these people. But Lindenberg got lucky. That's because he bought a vehicle on the Least Expensive to Insure list-without knowing it. "We bought a Dodge Caravan, and did so mainly because our family needed a larger vehicle to accommodate our camping gear. It turned out to be very serendipitous, because as we looked at our mini-van buying options, we were never aware that the Caravan had such a reasonable insurance rate. Obviously, we're very pleased anytime we can save money on our auto premiums!"

About Insure.com

Founded in 1984, Quotesmith.com owns and operates a comprehensive consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. Visitors to the Company's flagship Web site, www.insure.com, are able to obtain instant life, auto, health and home insurance quotes from more than 200 leading insurers and have the freedom to buy from any company shown. Insure.com also plays home to over 3,000 originally authored articles on numerous insurance topics and also provides free insurance decision-making tools that are not available from any other single source. Quotesmith.com generates revenues from receipt of commissions paid by participating insurance companies, including industry-standard, back-end bonus commissions and volume-based contingent bonus commissions. Shares of Quotesmith.com trade on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market under the symbol "QUOT."

SOURCE:  Quotesmith.com, Inc.

 

CONTACT: Insure.com
                 Steve Dwyer, Editor
                 (630)515-0170, ext. 327, sdwyer@insure.com

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