Prius High Cost of Insurance (in USA)

Why is the Toyota Prius expensive to insure? While contemplating a new car purchase this fact has come to my attention (this is in the USA, I think
I've heard other places the Prius is cheap to insure).
Below you can see the Prius is near the very top of all cars in the general class of smaller 4-door sedans.
Edmunds.com total cost of ownership, first year of insurance:
$1522 08 kia rio (!) $1497 08 Prius $1393 08 VW Jetta $1384 08 Toyota Corolla $1332 08 Mercury Milan $1323 08 Honda Fit $1179 08 Chrysler Town and Country $1168 08 Chrysler PT Cruiser
I did not rely on these figures alone but have been checking my prospective cars out with various insurance companies, including Geico, my current company (not Geico) and a couple others.
While all these companies had some different ideas about cars in the middle of the list, with significant variations, **they all agree** that the Prius belonged near the very top for most expensive cars to insure (btw, the kia as well seemed to consistently do extremely poorly in this comparison). And the difference was *significant*, similar to the above edmunds listing.
I would have though the Prius would be relatively cheap to insure, so this seems quite irritating. It has anti-theft technology built-in, it is a "family car" largely, it is relatively slow and hence noone is going to buy it to drive it fast at all, etc etc.
Of course the high insurance detracts from the long-term money saving appeal of the car.
Anyone know why it's so expensive? The only valid reason I can think of might be high resale value, leading to high replacement cost value, but frankly I don't really believe that because other cars that go for more, like that Town and Country up there, are very cheap to insure. Of course I've also learned that minivans are about the cheapest vehicles on earth to insure...
Anyone know more about this phenomenon? Are people out here generally aware of this? Anyone think of any aspects of the car that would lead it to have much higher rates?
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My current policy's premiums are $285.88 for six months. I have 100/300/50 liability (same coverage on uninsured and underinsured motorists), with 100/250 deductible on comprehensive/collision.
This is for a 2004 Prius with the most expensive option package available.
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Thanks for the info, but it's actually off topic since I'm talking about "comparative" rates, though I would like to know your secret for being in such an amazingly cheap bracket (if there is a secret that would be usable by others, e.g. that wouldn't require moving to a farm or something :). I can tell you I'm a middle-aged male in a large Midwestern city with perfect record over say last 10 years and I'm seeing rates nowhere near what you are claiming here, closer to double and I have never even looked into $100 deductible.
But my topic is more like what you *would be* paying with say a PT Cruiser, Pontiac Vibe, Honda Fit, etc. Have any info on that? The PT Cruiser for some reason is almost always one of the absolute cheapest to insure (similar rate to a minivan usually), that's why I mention it.
But I believe for any given person the Prius seems to be always more expensive than say a Honda Fit, in most cases significantly so (though for some insurers Honda Fit is not very far from Prius either), though the Fit can be pretty high too.
Here's some examples of my quotes *in percentage terms* with Prius versus Fit and then one vehicle that was at the cheaper end of things for that insurer:
Allstate Prius 7% higher than Fit, 31% higher than PT Cruiser. Progressive: Prius 13% higher than Fit, 25% higher than Pontiac Vibe. Edmunds: Prius 13% higher than Fit, 28% higher than PT Cruiser.
(Edmunds link so people can try for themselves:)
http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController
Like I said the different insurance companies do seem to have different ideas about which vehicles should be cheaper and more expensive, but some things are obvious checking with say the 3 or 4 insurers I've checked with, like that the Prius is generally more expensive to insure than almost any similar car on the road, it's almost always right up there next to the Kia Rio (and I have no idea why that car is so expensive).
Relatedly, I noticed that small cars generally are expensive to insure, which I wouldn't have expected since generally they are much cheaper to buy, including the domestically-branded Chevy Aveo being quite expensive to insure (though I know it's made by Daewoo).
Another question here might be if anyone knows a good, economical small car that's also among the cheaper to insure...? PT Cruiser is the closest thing I can see but it's not particularly good on gas.
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Actually, I live in a suburb of Phoenix, which has some of the highest insurance rates in the country. When I moved here from the San Francisco Bay area, my insurance actually went up.
But I'm insured with USAA, which has some of the lowest rates in the industry, and I have discounts from them for various things such as having my home insurance and mortgage with them, having had military service, a good payment history, and having had insurance with them for 30 years; I also have a discount for being a good driver, and one called "Vehicle Experience Discount", which means that they have had fewer claims and/or less cost per claim for the Prius than for other cars. The discounts total $176.30.
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I wonder if the higher insurance rates for the Prius might relate to driver age. When one is looking at retirement and reduced income with increasing gasoline prices going to a hybrid seems a good idea.
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My cousin the insurance agent gave me an answer that probably fits your case. Insurance companies go by two major factors when determining rates. First is how much it costs to repair the 'average' accident damage, and 2nd is how badly passengers are injured in accidents. He told me that over 50% of Prius involved in what would be a moderate collision in another vehicle are total losses because repair costs exceed book value of the vehicle. Any damage to the $3,000 battery pack requires replacing it. Even if it's not directly hit in the collision cell terminals crack and cause problems. Add in substatntial body damage and it's cheaper to junk it.
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