Allstate Insurance Co. has singled out 51 car models as "special values" based on a review of accident-damage repair costs and the theft and break-in risks for 1990 models.
The company's annual make-and-model ratings provide consumers with information about which cars are the most expensive to insure - and which are least expensive.General Motors led all automakers, placing 19 models on the "special value" list of 51 rated exceptional insurance values because their insurance premiums are much lower than average for cars with similar price tags. Ford placed 13 cars on the list and Chrysler 11.
More than 200 cars were rated in this year's list - based on a compliation of the company's loss data for 1990 models insured, and results of crash tests that determine what kind of damage cars sustain and how expensive it is to repair.
"The rating information is extremaly valuable to consumers who plan to buy a car in the next several months," said Mike LaMonica, Allstate assistant vice president for auto insurance pricing.
"By knowing how cars are rated, consumers are able to factor in the cost of insurance as part of a car's total operating costs," he said.
GM cars on the "special value" list included the Cadillac Fleetwood, the Buick Century, Electra, Estate Wagon, LeSabre, Reatta and Riviera, the Chevrolet Astra van, Caprice, Celebrity and Suburban, the GMC Safari van, the Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser, Olds 88, Olds 98, Silhouette, Toronado and Touring Sedan and the Pontiac Grand Prix.
Ford models making the list were the Aerostar van, the Bronco, the Bronco II, Crown Victoria, LTD Wagon, standard van, Taurus and Thunderbird EX Super Coupe, the Lincoln Continental and Town Car, and the Mercury Cougar LS, Grand Marquis and Sable.
Chrysler made the list with the Chrysler Fifth Avenue and New Yorker, Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan, Dynasty, Spirit, and standard van, the Jeep Wagoneer, and the Plymouth Voyager NT, Grand Voyager NT and Voyager Turbo.
Also on the "special value" list were the Acura Legend, Jaguar XJ-6 and XJ-S, Mercedes 420, Toyota Camry and Cressida, Volkswagen Camper and Volvo 240 and 760.
Others rated as having much lower than average insurance costs - but not making the special value list - were: The Subaru Justy, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Tercel, all in the $10,000 and under class.
Twenty-two vehicles were rated as having much higher than average insurance costs.
The cars in the $10,000 and lower price class with the highest insurance costs were the Ford Escort GT, Ford Mustang EX convertible, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan 2WD pickup, Volkswagen GTI, Volkswagen Jetta and Yugo Cabrio.
Highest insurance costs for cars in the $10,000 to $15,000 class were for the Dodge Shelby Daytona, GEO Tracker, Mitsubishi wagon, Nissan 240SX, Pontiac Firebird and Toyota Corolla GTS Coupe.
In the $15,001 to $20,000 class, the most costly to insure were the Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, the Nissan Pathfinder, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and the Voklswagen Cabriolet.
Among the most expensive cars, the BMW 750 Series, Cadillac Allante, Mercedes 500 and 560 series, and Porsche 911 and 944 were rated most expensive to insure.
In addition to the "Make & Model" insurance discounts, LaMonica said consumers in most states can also save on their auto insurance premiums when they buy cars with safety features.