The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported this week that, after a crash test, it cost 26 percent more to repair the new aluminum Ford F-150 pickup than it did the truck's steel-bodied predecessor.
But that doesn't necessarily mean insurance premiums for the aluminum truck will rise above those for the outgoing steel model. Insurers say they need more time to study costs before deciding whether to change premiums. They add that factors other than repair costs influence rates. The aluminum-bodied F-150 went on sale in the fourth quarter last year.
"Rates for the aluminum version of the new F-150 won't change unless enough actual claims data indicates a need for an adjustment," a State Farm Insurance spokeswoman said.
In its response to IIHS' report, Ford pointed to stable insurance premiums as a sign that insurers agree with Ford's assertion that repair costs won't increase.
But insurers were noncommittal on the possibility of future rate increases.
The State Farm spokeswoman said the company will determine whether F-150 premiums will change after it has collected "a sufficient amount of claims data" for the 2015 model.
An Allstate Insurance Co. spokesman said its premiums for the 2015 F-150 are still in line with those for the year-earlier model as the company awaits more data.
"We're currently looking at early loss results to see how the performance is relative to earlier model years at a similar point in time," he said. "Admittedly, the data will be a little thin given the fact that the vehicle count and accident volume is just beginning to mature."
IIHS also said that, in addition to the repairs on the 2015 F-150 costing 26 percent more than those on the 2014 model, the aluminum-bodied F-150's repairs also took longer than the steel model's.