UPDATED: Mar 12, 2020
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When you purchase a vehicle, a lot of factors come into play. You need to find a make you can trust, a model you can enjoy, and an insurance rate you can afford. Most Americans are ready to do some test driving when it comes to sorting out those first two factors. However, many of them don’t realize they can test drive vehicle insurance costs, too.
On our site, drivers can research costs of insurance and the reason behind those costs. Remember, the purchase of insurance must be done within four days of the purchase of your car for many companies. If not, not only do you run the risk of getting into an accident and not having the accident expenses covered, you can also get slapped with a fine.
Here’s some background about an American classic vehicle, the Jeep. Its vehicles and their company history are truly unique and uniquely American. We’ve looked into the safety ratings and insurance costs for some of the most popular Jeep models. Let’s get started.
From nickname to an icon
The term “jeep” was the slang word Army folks would use for new soldiers and new military vehicles. But during World War II, one new model became the go-to, 4×4, utility vehicle for crossing rough terrain and carrying large loads of equipment and personnel. Within a short time, the term “jeep” referred only to the mass-produced, massively popular vehicle that was used by the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies.
Jeep’s line of vehicles consists solely of sport utility vehicles and off-road vehicles, but once included pickup trucks, too.
Other fun facts:
- Jeep’s Grand Cherokee is a semi-luxury SUV.
- Jeep was Fiat-Chrysler’s best selling brand in the U.S. during the first half of 2017
- If it were its own company, Jeep would value as high as $33.5 billion.
Rating the Jeep insurance rates
The insurance rates in the state of Oregon represent the national average for insurance rates. So, to calculate each model’s cost to be insured, we used a Portland, Oregon, ZIP code and the following information:
- Most recent model
- 10,001–15,000 miles driven yearly
- Basic coverage
- No accidents in the past 5 years
- Good credit
Here is how it breaks down, by model:
The average insurance cost for a Wrangler is $81 a month — or $981 a year.
The average insurance cost for a Compass is $82 a month — or $983 a year.
The average insurance cost for a Patriot is $81 a month — or $975 a year.
The average insurance cost for a Renegade is $78 a month — or $940 a year.
The average insurance cost for a Grand Cherokee is $84 a month — or $1003 a year.
Compared to many other makes and models, Jeep insurance rates are incredibly affordable.
How to save on vehicle insurance
The savings can be big if you know how insurance rates are set and you’re willing and able to do something about it. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your insurance bills:
Control when possible
Your age and your sex will impact your insurance rates. You can’t control those, but here are some things you can control:
- Location, location location—A basic commute in the suburbs versus a longer rush-hour commute through a high-traffic urban area are tallied up very differently by your insurance provider. You may not be able to relocate just to reduce your insurance rates a bit, but you can think about how and where you drive. Shorter and safer means cheaper insurance rates.
- Driving history story—Speeding tickets—even the ones you didn’t deserve—will increase your insurance rates. Make sure you take advantage of traffic schools because attending one can wipe tickets off your record. Otherwise, they won’t clear off your record for at least two and as many as five years.
- Credit score—Your credit score is used in part to determine accident risk, as unfair to many as that may be. But studies show a correlation between people with poor credit and bad driving records. Keep those Visa and Mastercard and American Express balances low, or pay off your credit cards entirely each month.
- Vehicle make and model—The value of your car will impact your insurance rates, and that’s a good thing since replacing a brand new Beemer is more expensive than replacing a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Insurance is a business, after all.
We’ve used two online sources to give you an understanding of the Jeep’s safety record:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—The NHTSA seeks to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses from vehicle crashes through government-enforced vehicle performance standards. The NHTSA provides a “Ratings” tool online, as well as a “Vehicle Comparison” tool to help make your choice between two or three makes and models a little more convenient and informed.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety—Founded in 1959 by insurance company interests, the institute has evolved into an independent, nonprofit with the mission of using factual, scientific research and safety education to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage due to motor vehicle accidents. They have a user-friendly “Ratings” tool online that rates vehicles for so-called crashworthiness—how well driver and passengers are protected in a crash. They also analyze the crash avoidance and mitigation systems in vehicles. This refers to how well the vehicle can prevent an accident or lessen the severity of an accident should one happen. The four ratings are: Poor, Marginal, Acceptable or Good for each safety category. To qualify as a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn good to superior ratings across a variety of evaluation categories:
- Overlap tests
- Roof strength
- Head restraint tests
- Front crash prevention
- Headlight ratings
A smaller SUV with, often, a soft top and a high-profile … what could go wrong? A lot, and that’s why the classic-looking vehicle gets mediocre scores at best. Passenger side impact is the most striking issue, as it gets rated “Poor”—the lowest possible safety rating. Driver side impact does not fare much better, coming in with a rating of “Marginal.” Making matters more disconcerting is the issues with headlight visibility and the “Poor” ranking the Wrangler system garnered. If safety is important in your vehicle purchase, you’re barking up the wrong Jeep.
Still, the Wrangler is iconic, and many Americans are drawn the the aesthetics of this vehicle.
On the opposite side of the safety spectrum is one of Jeep’s newer models of vehicle, the Compass. This small SUV came onto the market roughly 10 years ago as the brand’s entry vehicle. It became instantly popular and in 2017 ranked as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It just missed out on similar accolades for 2018, but still fared very well. Every crashworthiness factor received the highest safety rating possible, and its front crash prevention system tallied six out of six safety factors.
Splitting the difference between the relatively poor safety performance of the Wrangler and the commanding safety ranking of the Compass is the Patriot. Although the Patriot has impact issues for both the driver and passenger sides (it received the lowest rating), it gets the industry’s highest marks for all other crashworthiness ratings. It, too, has headlight accident-mitigation challenges, which is due in large part to the system’s inability to account for visibility when going around curves.
Another one of Jeep’s small SUVs is the Renegade and it too is headlight-safety challenged. But overall, it is otherwise one of Jeep’s safer models. It has an advanced crash avoidance and mitigation system. And three out of four crashworthiness ratings are all the highest ratings it could receive.
Jeep’s midsize SUV is the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Both rank similarly on safety ratings, and those ratings are top-notch, especially when it comes to crash avoidance and mitigation. The Grand Cherokee received a “Superior” ranking, a perfect six out of six score. Meanwhile, its crashworthiness garnered four out of six possible top ratings. The Grand Cherokee’s headlight system rates better than other Jeep models, but it still falls short of the highest safety rating by one.
Make sure to compare price estimates from a variety of insurance companies because not all carriers offer the same discounts. Some carriers, for example, are able to bundle your vehicle insurance with other forms of insurance, such as life, renters or homeowners insurance. Search for an insurer that offers more than one kind of insurance, the payoff could be significant.
Programs that enable a driver to have a device installed on a vehicle to capture driving habit information can also save you money. The data, such as vehicle speed and location, is used to assess a driver’s riskiness. If the system sees your habits as safe and not risky, the system could keep your insurance rates low.
Consider purchasing your insurance from us. We are a third-party which means we provide coverage from a variety of carriers. Instead of trying to sell you on one company’s insurance plan, we want to find you the provider’s plan that works best for you. We get paid no matter what plan you choose, which means the plan you choose is the one that’s best for you.
Please check out the rest of our site to see if you have questions about your insurance situation. We have feature articles about traffic and vehicle safety, too.