Who drives a Buick Lucerne? People who like luxury cars but can’t afford a Cadillac, say the statistics. Introduced in 2005 as a replacement for the popular LeSabre and Park Avenue models, the Lucerne is a quiet, smooth and comfortable ride that sells much better in China than it does in the United States. It’s roomy, safe and reliable, say automobile reviewers. In 2010, 26,500 new Buick Lucerne’s were sold in the U.S.
Automobile insurance is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The amount of coverage you need will vary according to criteria that include the state you live in, your driving record and the make and model of your car. The first step in figuring out how much insurance you need is finding how much insurance the state you live in requires you to carry. Factoring in the other criteria, you can then make an informed decision about the additional coverage you should be carrying.
Factors that may influence the amount of insurance you will want to carry on your Buick Lucerne include:
• Safety features: The Lucerne is outfitted with a number of safety features including anti-lock brakes, traction control, brake assists, six airbags and an electronic stability control system. Nonetheless, the influential Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is not altogether satisfied with the Lucerne’s performance here, ranking it “good” in frontal-offset crash tests but only “marginal” in rear crash protections sets.
• There have been 11 Buick Lucerne recalls between 2006 and 2011. All of these except for the most recent affected either the car’s electrical system or its battery cables. The most recent Lucerne recall was issued because of possible power steering fluid leaks.
• Reliability: Buicks have one of the best warranties on the market. In essence, a warranty is a type of insurance coverage where the cost of the policy has been calculated as part of the upfront cost of the car. Auto manufacturers do not offer warranties on automobiles they consider mechanically unreliable.
• Theft: While the Buick brand comprises five percent of the one hundred cars most commonly stolen in the U.S the Lucerne is not among the models commonly stolen.
• Insurance Losses: Insurance companies are not taking on a lot of risk when they insure Buick Lucernes. Insurance losses in the categories of property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, medical injury and bodily injury are substantially better than average according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, overall 27 percent better than average.
• Competition For Your Business: In 1939, the General Motors Corporation, which manufactures the Buick Lucerne, founded the GMAC Insurance Group. Although the GMAC Insurance Group is now a subsidiary of Ally Financial, it still maintains a close association with its original parent. When insurance companies compete for prospective policyholders’ business, the price of policies is driven down: There are bargains to be had when you’re buying automobile insurance for a car manufactured by General Motors.
Property damage liability: Property damage liability insurance, often called simply liability insurance, provides reimbursement for injuries and property damage that occur when you are the driver at fault in an accident. The Buick Lucerne is a very safe car from a mechanical point of view; owning one should not increase your risk of becoming the responsible party to an accident. However, your own assets are always at risk if you don’t carry enough liability insurance, and if you drive a Buick, you’re signaling the other driver that your pockets are deep. Our advice is to carry enough property damage liability insurance to protect yourself against potential litigation.
Collision insurance: Collision insurance pays for repairs to your vehicle and property in accidents when you are the driver at fault. As noted, the Buick Lucerne is an extremely reliable car from a mechanical point of view. Driving one should not increase your risk of becoming involved in an accident. You don’t need to carry large amounts of collision insurance when you own a Lucerne.
Comprehensive Insurance: Comprehensive insurance provides reimbursement in the event that your car is vandalized or stolen, or damaged in a flood, fire or through some other means unrelated to driving. The Buick Lucerne is a luxury automobile; if you routinely park it on the streets in neighborhoods, you may want to protect yourself here.
Personal injury protection and bodily injury: In states with no-fault insurance systems, personal injury protection covers injuries to yourself and other occupants of your car while bodily injury covers injuries to third party drivers. The IIHS rated the Buick Lucerne “marginal” at withstanding rear collisions, meaning in the event of this type of accident passengers are at risk for whiplash. It’s a good idea to protect yourself with personal injury protection insurance. On the other hand, nothing in the Lucerne’s profile indicates that driving one poses exceptional risk to third party drivers, so bodily injury insurance is not as important.
Medical injury insurance: In states with traditional tort insurance systems, medical injury insurance covers injuries to insured drivers and the occupants of their cars. Again, because of the increased risk of whiplash type injuries, we recommend protecting yourself here.