Car News:  Oversteer

No, Sports Cars Don't Have Back Seats to Fool the Insurance Company

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Used 2017 Porsche 911
$104,955
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe
Certified 2017 Porsche 911
$112,985
RELATED READING
See all Porsche 911 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2017

As in every industry, there are a few myths you're constantly hearing about cars. There is, for example, the mid-engine Corvette. It's a myth. It ain't happenin'. BMW drivers are awful. No, they aren't. All drivers are awful. You notice the BMWs because of confirmation bias. Red cars get more tickets. No, they don't, as studies have shown.

But the biggest myth I always hear -- the one that annoys me most -- is the idea that sports cars have back seats to fool the insurance companies.

I've heard this myth for years now, and I'm going to use this space to provide my own personal take. I'm doing this here because I've never provide my own personal take when I hear people actually repeating the myth in public, like at cars and coffee. I just smile and move on, hoping I will never again interact with the myth perpetuator.

So, with that out of the way, here's the long version of the myth: A lot of automakers produce sports cars, as you well know. Some automakers produce sports cars with back seats. According to the myth perpetuators, the reason for this is that the moment a car has back seats, the insurance companies are fooled into believing it is some sort of practical family vehicle, and your insurance rates drop sharply.

If you've ever dealt with any insurance company in even the smallest, least-insurance-y form -- if you've ever sat next to an insurance agent at a baseball game -- you could clearly see this myth is not true. In fact, it's preposterous.

Allow me to explain how insurance works. An insurance company, which is a massive organization with 40 million employees, likely based in Hartford, Connecticut and possibly run by Richard Gilmore, employs maybe a grand total of seven zillion actuaries. These actuaries determine insurance rates. I knew a kid in college who became an actuary. He was obsessed with math. It's all he did. Math. He got a degree in math. Who even knew that was a degree? Then he got a graduate degree in math. Then he did more math after college, and he landed a job as an actuary, where he could do math forever, except first he had to pass about 47 actuarial exams, all of which require math. I mean, the kid was brilliant with math. And now he sits at a desk in Connecticut, doing math, determining insurance rates.

And you think someone like this is fooled into believing a Porsche 911 Turbo S is a family car because it has back seats?

Think about what you're saying: Oh, this car costs $200,000 (which is probably a greater determinant of insurance rates than anything else), and oh, this car has 600 horsepower, and it does 0-to-60 in 2.5 seconds, or whatever, and it's purchased by people who love to show off and get in accidents, and the loss rate is 50 percent, or whatever, and parts are tremendously expensive, so all the math says this car should cost $5,000 a year to insure, but WAIT!! IT HAS BACK SEATS!!!! OK, cut that rate in half, this is a family car.

It sounds so stupid, and ridiculous, and absurd when I say it this way that I can't believe people are still out there, passing on this myth, and yet they are. I hear it constantly. I heard it just a few weeks ago. And I really wanted to stop the whole conversation and just go on a tirade, right then and there, but I can't do that anymore, or else people will pull out their cell phone cameras and everyone will know about how "Internet Person Doug DeMuro yelled at some poor guy at cars and coffee." So I've gone on a tirade here instead.

Ahh ... I feel better now.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
The 7 Very Pink Cars Listed for Sale on Autotrader
Autotrader Find: 2001 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible Conversion
Can These Old Luxury Performance SUVs Climb a Ski Mountain?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Used 2017 Porsche 911
$104,955
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe
Certified 2017 Porsche 911
$112,985
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
No, Sports Cars Don't Have Back Seats to Fool the Insurance Company - Autotrader