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Discussion Starter #1
If the Elise is being imported without bumpers and the body is made of fiberglass the car makes 190 hp and weighs less than 2,000 lbs, well, I just wonder how expenisive it will be to insure.

I know it is a group 17-19 in the UK and I believe this is a pretty expensive rating.
 

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I'm crossing my fingers and hoping the insurance folks will just look at the engine choice: "Hmm... 4 cylinders? Must be economical. Lump it with the Miata." Nice dream, huh?

Cade
 

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The other thing is, even if there very slight damage to the chassis, repair means getting a new one and having the car rebuilt ($$$). It'll be interesting to see a few years down the line being a high performance mid-engine affordable car (that not many have experience with) how many wrecks there are. It's the amount of accidents along with the high repair cost they would drive up the cost.
 

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MotorCade said:
I'm crossing my fingers and hoping the insurance folks will just look at the engine choice: "Hmm... 4 cylinders? Must be economical. Lump it with the Miata." Nice dream, huh?

Cade
Is the Miata fairly cheap to insure? I really don't see why the Elise should be far off a Miata in classification for insurance purposes. Considering there will be few cars on the road which will be less odds of people writing them off and there won't be a considerable number of claims for them to take notice. Hopefully we will get some good premiums.
 

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The miata is pretty cheap to insure. I'm sure there's cheaper out there, but it's not bad at all.

I think the Elise will be more expensive for the reasons given above... mainly that it will be costly to repair.

Cade
 

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A big factor in setting the initial rate is the value of the car. With a Elise costing a good 50% more then a Miata, it will most likely cost a fair amount more to insure. Hope for the best but be prepared to be surprised.
 

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Knew 4x4 off road vehicles cost quite a bit more, wouldn't think it would have been that much more then a more expensive sport car. Now if you're saying it's a 4x2... then I'd give up trying to figure out insurance companies.
 

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LarryB said:
A big factor in setting the initial rate is the value of the car. With a Elise costing a good 50% more then a Miata, it will most likely cost a fair amount more to insure. Hope for the best but be prepared to be surprised.
and the price of replacement parts. If you do any sort of damage to the elise, you're going to be replacing a very expensive shell - insurance companies will not like that.

That said, a large number of us will have the Elise as a second car (pleasure vehicle) - that classification should help out quite a bit with the ins. price.
 

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Does average age play a role as well? My C32 AMG is marginally more expensive to insure than a C320, yet it has 150hp more. While not a dynamic sports car, the average owner seems to be more sedated than the average M3 owner as well. An E55 isn't that much more costly than an E500, even though it has nearly 500hp.

The Elise is not a cheap car, but a relative bargain in terms of performance. I hope we do not see a lot of irresponsible drivers buying the car and reciprocating a bad image...
 

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There are a ton of factors in setting the insurance rate, zip code, profile of the of driver/car, the amount and type of claims, repair cost, price of the car. Early on guessing, they'll set the rate based on the price of the car, the profile of Lotus owner, type of car... repair cost and claim rate can drive it up quickly. The Elise will be on a multi-car, low mileage, good driving record, non-commute... so hoping for one of the better rates. Now if your in your 20's have a few tickets, accidents, only car it's going to cost alot more.

If you damage the chassis, it can't be repair. You'll need a new one. The entire car will have to be re-assembled onto it. That will cost a hell
of alot. As the "value" of the car goes down the insurance companies will total the car. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Auto insurance rates are determined according to the potential loss associated with each vehicle and really has little to do with the MSRP or current value of the car.

I replaced a 7-year old Acura with a 2003 Lexus LS430 the spring and my insurance rates went up by $53 every six months.

The issue is how often is the model in question involved in an accident, how expensive is it to repair, and just who is driving the car.

Insurance companies use proxies to estimate the relative risk associated with each driver (in the aggregate). Proxies commonly used are your zip code and your credit rating (although this last one is illegal in some states it is still commonly used). Of course your actual driving record plays a major part in how much you pay for insurance.

As for the model of the car, as I mentoned the issue is the frequency and size of claims and this includes consideration for how often the car is stolen.

My fear is that since the Elise doesn't have any bumpers, and the body is fiberglass or some other breakable material, a minor bump could cost thousands. I had the bumper on my Lexus repainted after someone bumped it in a parking lot, it did not need any body work at all and this cost $650.

Imagine if the same accident broke body pannels that needed to be flown in from England.

There is also the issue of the frame that would need to be replaced in a major collision. I suspect that under this scenario the car would be a total write-off.

The Elise will most likely cost much more to insure than a Miata. It is a more espensive car so one would expect parts to be more expensive, it has a much greater power-to-weight ratio, it has a plastic body vs. the metal one on the Mazda, and then there are the missing bumpers.

Since the Elise will be new in the US next year, the insurance industry will look to other countries where this car is currently sold for experience data and will then set the rates conservatively, meaning expensive for you, most likely profitable for them. For sure the insurance industry will not just see this as another 4-cylinder car.
 

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Depends on your deductible also. If you have $500 or $1000, then the insurance company doesn't worry about paying for those "minor" incidents.
 

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Yeah, guess the main point with the Elise is, it's a very fragile car. Any damage, even very minor to the chassis, means a new one- & having the car taken apart and put back together. That along with very large plastic panels and no bumpers, will make for very high repair cost… not something the insurance companies wouldn’t take notice of. On the parts would think in very short order most would be stock in the States.
 

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Insurence in NJ is not cheap. Insurence companies here are smart and hire other companies to get detailed reports about cars. I'm sure the lotus will be placed in the highest group they can push it into. Unless your a female of 28 and up, your insurence is going out of control in NJ.
 

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Your basic liability insurance should be cheap, as the car is one of the least able to inflict damage on other peoples' cars & property.

Comprehensive insurance will probably be comparable to other cars, given what that usually covers.

It's the Collision coverage that could really hurt. As others have mentioned, though, the amount of your deductible plays a huge part here and could help soften the blow.

Doesn't the frame have separable front and rear subframes that can be replaced independantly of the main tub?
 

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eliseNW said:
and will then set the rates conservatively, meaning expensive for you, most likely profitable for them.
That wasn't my experience with my current car. Insurance started out fairly cheap, and then the premiums were raised repeatedly, while my record stayed clean. It looked like they didn't realize what kind of car it was, or underestimated how much people would crash it.

In the case of the Elise, it might very well be different. It's a completely new car, while mine was just a new trim line of an existing model.
 

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I happened to talk with my agent today. They quoted me about $600 for six months, based purely on an asking price of $40k. I pressed a little more, saying it was a sports car, etc. When I compared it to a Boxster, her reply was "oh no problem - you can stay in the preferred rates bracket." I then explained it was made of aluminum, brought up repair costs, etc. but that didn't seem to register. So I compared to an NSX and then she said "That's considered a performance car. If the Elise is classified as such, the rates will be higher."

So, I don't think she understood the issue of repair costs - as others have stated, we just have to cross our fingers and wait. But let's hope they consider it a sports car, as opposed to a performance car. Based on the power and top speed, I'm guessing they will consider it a sports car.

This was Farmers BTW, in OR. They also quoted me $550 for an RX-8, $450 for a newer Miata, and I pay $350 for my '94 Miata. I'm 38 with a few tickets in my driving record.

George
 

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>>Depends on your deductible also. If you have $500 or $1000, then the insurance company doesn't worry about paying for those "minor" incidents.

Oh if only you could have "minor" incidents in an elise.

FWIW I nudged the back of another elise at a junction in 2002, doing about 5mph. My front clam and his rear clam had small cracks in them, barely noticeable to be honest on both cars.

Total insurance cost was UK£3,000+

A new clamshell over here costs about UK£1000 unpainted.
 

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GeorgeH said:
I happened to talk with my agent today. They quoted me about $600 for six months, based purely on an asking price of $40k. I pressed a little more, saying it was a sports car, etc. When I compared it to a Boxster, her reply was "oh no problem - you can stay in the preferred rates bracket." I then explained it was made of aluminum, brought up repair costs, etc. but that didn't seem to register. So I compared to an NSX and then she said "That's considered a performance car. If the Elise is classified as such, the rates will be higher."

So, I don't think she understood the issue of repair costs - as others have stated, we just have to cross our fingers and wait. But let's hope they consider it a sports car, as opposed to a performance car. Based on the power and top speed, I'm guessing they will consider it a sports car.

This was Farmers BTW, in OR. They also quoted me $550 for an RX-8, $450 for a newer Miata, and I pay $350 for my '94 Miata. I'm 38 with a few tickets in my driving record.

George
I could be mistaken, but it sound like you were trying to get the most costly quote possible... $600 for six months doesn't sound too bad...

Your comment to your insurance agent sound like you wanna pay more,“Hey, but this is a really fast car... plus it's made of tin foil, oh and it's glues together and falls apart if it gets wet... and my license plate reads "Steal Me". The alarm system on all Lotus cars blows the car to pieces, like in that James Bond movie. Crying out loud lady, IT'S AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN!!!”
:confused:
 
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