CLEAR is the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating. This is a method for classifying different models of cars for insurance purposes by using historical claims data, including Collision, Comprehensive, Direct Compensation – Property Damage, and Accident Benefits coverages. CLEAR is used by many insurance companies across the country.

Each vehicle is grouped according to an expected claims frequency and the cost of such a claim, if the vehicle is stolen. A number is set and the higher the CLEAR number, then the higher the risk. Rates are based on these numbers, so a higher number will develop a higher premium.

In the past, the insurers used only the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), and some information about the impact of collision and cost of repairs. This did not work out as well, because it did not consider costs to repair vehicles, extras that could be built-in to vehicles, such as air bags and anti-lock brakes to help reduce claims, and the overall performance of certain vehicles for claims. Certain vehicles do not depreciate as quickly as others, and certain vehicles are not as attractive to thieves.

Armed with this knowledge you can ask your agent or broker about the costs for certain vehicles. This information may help you in making a decision between one vehicle and another. Turners Tips recommends you take control of your insurance whether it is your auto, auto fleet, home or business.