If you’re in the market for an SUV, you should know how much it costs to insure a sport utility vehicle and where to find the cheapest insurance. This information will allow you to budget the price of insurance into your total cost of ownership and ensure you don’t pay more for insurance than you should.
This guide lists the least-expensive SUVs to insure, the insurance companies offering the cheapest policies and suggestions on how to save on your premiums.
- Which SUVs are the cheapest to insure?
- Which companies offer the cheapest car insurance for SUVs?
- How has the cost of insurance for an SUV changed over time?
- Are smaller SUVs cheaper to insure?
- Why are large SUVs costlier to insure than other vehicles?
- What are the car insurance requirements for SUVs?
- How can you save money on SUV car insurance?
Which SUVs are the cheapest to insure?
Sub-compact SUVs have smaller engines and a whole suite of safety features. Insurance companies often charge lower rates for compact SUVs than regular SUVs because they are less likely to cause damage.
“Compact SUVs tend to be smaller, lighter and have less horsepower than their full-size counterparts,” says Joyce Ann Guiterrez, an automotive expert with 4WheelOnline.com, an aftermarket truck parts retailer. “This means they’re less likely to cause damage in an accident and are easier to control.”
Geico and State Farm provide the cheapest car insurance for SUVs, according to 2022 data. The Subaru Forester 2.5l Wilderness had the cheapest average annual premium for insurance from Geico at $897. Geico had the second-lowest rate, followed by State Farm.
No. 1: Subaru Forester 2.5I Wilderness
- Insurance company: Geico
- Cost: $897 per year; $74.75 per month
No. 2: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
- Insurance company: Geico
- Cost: $902 per year; $75.17 per month
No. 3: Hyundai Kona SE
- Insurance company: State Farm
- Cost: $964 per year; $80.33 per month
Which companies offer the cheapest car insurance for SUVs?
Geico and State Farm offer the cheapest car insurance rates for small SUVs.
See the table below for the average annual premiums for SUVs from top insurance companies.
How has the cost of insurance for an SUV changed over time?
While the cost of car insurance is on the rise overall, for SUVs, there was a decrease in cost between 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic and less driving overall.
However, the cost of car insurance is up in 2022 and likely will continue to rise, which can be chalked up to inflation, changes in driving behaviors, and supply chain disruptions, to name a few.
“This may change in the future due to increased costs for repair and replacement due to backlog from COVID-19 and inflationary trends downstream at manufacturer level,” says Ian Clearly, head of auto and personal property insurance at AIG.
Are smaller SUVs cheaper to insure?
Small SUVs are cheaper to insure because they are smaller and easier to drive in traffic.
“If you go with a midsize SUV, such as a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V, your rates will be lower,” Guiterrez says. “However, if you choose an extended automobile like the Ford Excursion, you can anticipate spending more on insurance. These automobiles are harder to handle in traffic, and are more prone to accident involvement.”
The length and size of an SUV can also play a role in insurance costs.
“Shorter SUVs are easier to maneuver and less likely to roll over, so they typically have lower insurance rates than longer SUVs,” Guiterrez says.
Why are large SUVs costlier to insure than other vehicles?
Large SUVs are typically more expensive to insure than smaller vehicles because they’re more likely to get in an accident, and they’re more difficult to control on the road, Guiterrez says.
“Larger SUVs are more expensive to insure because they are more likely to cause damage in the event of a collision,” says Guiterrez. “SUV drivers also usually have less driving experience than smaller car drivers, leading to more accidents.”
But small, subcompact SUVs are actually less expensive to insure than sedans. (Yes, you heard that correctly.) According to 2022 data, the average annual SUV premium was $1,729. The average annual premium for a sedan? You’re looking at $2,112 – 22% more per year than a small SUV.
The make, model and size of your SUV also impact the price tag of insurance as smaller SUVs with small engines and a lot of safety features mean you’ll pay low insurance rates. And if you’re driving a large, luxury mode, expect your car insurance costs to climb.
Let’s take a look at why large SUVs can be pricey to insure:
- Rolling risk: SUVs have a higher likelihood of being involved in a rollover accident. That’s due to — you guessed it — their larger size.
- Claim rate: Large SUVs can cause a lot of damage when involved in a collision. That means more expensive claims for your insurance company. Because insurers look at claim rates, the higher the claim rate of a vehicle, the more you’ll be paying for insurance. That’s even if you’ve never made a claim.
- Costly repairs: Those expensive finishes and high-tech on newer, luxury SUVs can cost a pretty penny to repair or replace. In turn, it can quickly drive up insurance costs.
As mentioned before, compact cars are less expensive to insure than SUVs because they are cheaper to repair, they tend to do less damage in a collision, and they are easier to navigate.
What are the car insurance requirements for SUVs?
The insurance requirements for SUVs are the same as for other types of vehicles:
- Liability: If you injure another person or damage their property with your SUV, bodily injury liability and property damage liability cover damages up to your policy’s limits. Liability coverage is required in most U.S. states.
- Collision: Should your SUV get damaged or destroyed after a collision with another car, collision coverage will cover damage to your vehicle.
- Comprehensive: Let’s say your car is damaged or destroyed by something other than a collision, such as damage from weather events, fire, flooding, vandalism, theft or an animal strike – comprehensive coverage comes into play.
- Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist: If your car is hit by a driver who’s uninsured or underinsured, UIM coverage will help cover the cost of car repairs.
Premiums for your SUV vary for a handful of reasons, such as:
- Insurance company
- Address where the vehicle is parked
- Coverage amounts
- Driving history
- State of residency
The size and weight of an SUV also impact SUV car insurance rates:
- Engine: As you might expect, SUVs equipped with powerful engines can be costly to insure, Guiterrez says.
- Safety features: SUVs with features like airbags and antilock brakes tend to be less expensive to insure, as they offer additional protection in the event of a collision, Guiterrez says.
- Risky activities: Vehicles that have a higher frequency of participating in off-road activities are deemed riskier and therefore have higher insurance rates, Guiterrez says.
How can you save money on SUV car insurance?
There are a handful of ways you can trim some dollars off your car insurance premiums. For instance, you can look for discounts by bundling your auto insurance with say, homeowners insurance through the same company, or sign up for autopay or paperless statements.
Other ways you can save on car insurance for an SUV include, staying accident-free for a period of time and remaining a loyal customer with the same insurer.
Before you buy insurance for an SUV, check these items off your list:
Shop around: The beauty of car insurance shopping is that you can hop on another policy with another insurance company at any time. Get at least three quotes from three different companies with the same coverage and amounts and ask about discounts.
Do your research: You’ll want to see exactly what kinds of coverage you need. Look at your state’s minimum insurance requirements. And if you took out an auto loan or are leasing your car, you’ll be required to carry full coverage insurance.
Consider your lifestyle and budget: If you put a lot of miles on your car, then a mileage-based policy won’t be for you. Do you intend to use your SUV as a commuter? Will you be taking it off-roading on weekend adventures?
Final thoughts on cheap insurance for SUVs
When shopping for insurance for your SUV, consider what you use your car for and how often you drive, as well as your personal budget. If you want cheaper car insurance rates, opt for a subcompact SUV with a smaller engine and the latest safety features.
If you need more space and want a smooth ride, a larger, luxury SUV could be your best bet – just remember, you’ll pay more to insure these SUVs.
Resources & Methodology
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to pull rates for a 40-year-old male driver with a 12-mile commute to work and full coverage insurance. The rates were compiled using more than 2,500 vehicle models looking at rates from insurers Allstate, AmTrust, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm.