The link between car safety ratings and your insurance

car key over a safety assessment to represent car safety ratings

Car insurance premiums are calculated using a variety of variables including, but not limited to: your age, your driving record, your car's engine size, the value of your car, and even where you park it. When it comes to car insurance in Hong Kong, do you know if your vehicle's safety rating will have an impact on how much you pay? Here, Kwiksure takes a look at car safety ratings and the impact they could have on your insurance.

What are car safety ratings and where do they come from?

Automobile safety ratings aim to provide vehicle buyers and drivers with information about the design features, construction, and robustness of a car in the event of an accident. Organizations around the world perform a range of crash tests to evaluate how a vehicle will perform in certain situations, and how well its safety features and design keep its occupants safe. The most common tests used include rollover and collision tests, as well as avoidance and mitigation system tests.

Generally speaking, these evaluations are represented as a 5-star safety rating. That said, different organizations will have their own methods of assessing car safety ratings and evaluating vehicles with some following government regulations and others taking into account extra factors.

The major safety rating organizations around the world are:

  • ANCAP: Australiasian New Car Assessment Program
  • Euro NCAP: European New Car Assessment Program
  • LATIN NCAP: Latin American New Car Assessment Program
  • NHTSA: United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In Asia, there is the ASEAN NCAP that is a fledgling rating program jointly established by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) and Global NCAP in 2011, as well as China’s own C-NCAP, both modeled after the Euro NCAP organization. There is also an independent ratings agency, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which tests and provides vehicle safety ratings for consumers, as well as providing data on road user behaviour, vehicle design, and performance.

When purchasing a vehicle in Hong Kong, the lack of an established local ratings system means that overseas car safety ratings are likely to be helpful in choosing a vehicle that will protect you best. If you want to know about a safety rating and how it is assessed, visit any of the above organization’s websites for more information.

Does a car safety rating affect my insurance premiums in Hong Kong?

While insurance companies in other countries will take into account the safety rating of your vehicle, unfortunately the lack of a localized ratings organization means there isn’t too much consideration given to safety ratings in the Hong Kong car insurance market.

In other words, owning a car with a 5-star safety rating is unlikely to directly affect what you pay for car insurance. This doesn’t mean that a car with a high safety rating is pointless in Hong Kong as many insurers do offer a No Claims Discount to drivers who drive without a claim for more than a year. Safer vehicles will generally result in fewer accidents which in turn means fewer claims and a better discount on you car insurance premium.

It is also important to consider the indirect benefits that having a safer car can bring, most importantly the benefit of being better protected in the event that a crash occurs. The peace of mind that your car is designed to save your life in an accident is often beyond the value of saving on your insurance.

Getting the best deal on third-party and comprehensive car insurance in Hong Kong

The good news is that you can still save on your insurance. Getting a better deal on car insurance is easy when you use an experienced broker like Kwiksure. Our expert consultants have been delivering great value vehicle insurance policies to Hong Kong drivers for almost 20 years. While a high car safety ratings might not make your premium easier on your wallet, our team can negotiate and tailor a car insurance solution that best meets your needs while meeting your budget.

For a free quote or some advice on vehicle insurance, contact the team at Kwiksure today!