Two of the most important factors that go into determining the underwriting risk on motorized vehicles are: performance capability and retail cost. The most commonly available providers of auto insurance have underwriting restrictions against vehicles that are either designed to be capable of higher speeds and performance levels, or vehicles that retail above a certain dollar amount. Vehicles that are commonly considered luxury automobiles usually carry more expensive physical damage premiums because they are more expensive to replace. Vehicles that can be classified as high performance autos will carry higher premiums generally because there is greater opportunity for risky driving behavior. Motorcycle insurance may carry lower property-damage premiums because the risk of damage to other vehicles is minimal, yet have higher liability or personal-injury premiums, because motorcycle riders face different physical risks while on the road. Risk classification on automobiles also takes into account the statistical analysis of reported theft, accidents, and mechanical malfunction on every given year, make, and model of auto.

Those not exempted from obtaining insurance must obtain a certificate of insurance from their insurance provider, and display a portion of this (an insurance disc) on their vehicles' windscreen (if fitted).[23] The certificate in full must be presented to a police station within ten days if requested by an officer. Proof of having insurance or an exemption must also be provided to pay for the motor tax.[24]


When the premium is not mandated by the government, it is usually derived from the calculations of an actuary, based on statistical data. The premium can vary depending on many factors that are believed to affect the expected cost of future claims.[38] Those factors can include the car characteristics, the coverage selected (deductible, limit, covered perils), the profile of the driver (age, gender, driving history) and the usage of the car (commute to work or not, predicted annual distance driven).[39]
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