Everything you need to know about electric car insurance
Whether you own a petrol car or an electric car, there are some practical aspects of being a car owner that remain the same. For example, all cars need to be serviced and they all need to be insured.
As more people buy electric vehicles (EVs), they’re bound to have questions about the practicalities of owning an electric car.
Whether you’ve already joined the electric revolution, or you’re thinking of buying your first EV, we’ve put together a guide that tells you everything you need to know about electric car insurance
Do I need specialist insurance for an electric car?
Car insurance is a legal requirement, whatever your engine type.
So, you’ll always need insurance to drive an EV. However, you don’t necessarily have to take out specialist electric car insurance.
Insuring an EV isn’t all that different from insuring a petrol or diesel car. For the most part, the risk factors involved with electric car ownership are the same as with any other car.
Having said that, you can choose to take out a dedicated electric car policy if you want. Some of these have extra features that specifically relate to EVs. We’ll look at those later in the blog.
Are electric cars more expensive to insure?
There are plenty of factors that can make your car insurance premiums more or less expensive.
If you own an electric car, insurers will still set premiums based on:
- the value of your vehicle
- the car insurance group it belongs to
- your driving and claims history
- how likely you are to make a claim
- what a claim could cost
- crime rates in the area where you live
Specifically to EVs, the insurance group an electric car sits in can make a difference to the cost of the policy.
Vehicles are allocated to a group between 1 and 50, with 1 being the cheapest and 50 the most expensive.
EVs can sometimes be put into a higher group because of the cost and availability of spare parts and the difficulty in finding a qualified or specialist repairer.
As the number of qualified electric-car repairers increases, this will have less of an impact, though.
The differences between insuring a petrol car and an electric car
Insuring an electric car has plenty of similarities to insuring a petrol car. However, there are some aspects that you might want to include on a policy that are more relevant to owning an EV.
Here are a few things that it might be worth considering when you want to insure an EV.
Are my battery and charging equipment covered?
This will depend on the policy. Some EV car insurance policies might offer specific cover for your vehicle’s battery and your home charging unit.
This could include cover for your battery, charging cable, chargers and adapters against accidental damage, fire and theft.
You’ll need to check the policy to see what’s covered, but it’s certainly worth considering.
But what if you are leasing the battery?
What affect does leasing an EV battery have on electric car insurance?
To reduce the cost of buying an EV, some electric car manufacturers used to offer customers the chance to buy the vehicle but lease its battery separately. With the cost of batteries having reduced significantly over the past ten years, all manufacturer now include the batteries with the car rather than than lease them. You will however need to consider this when purchasing a used car. If your used electric cars has a leased battery you should notify the insurance company when taking out your policy.
This can affect the outcome of an insurance claim if the policy does not reflect the fact that the battery is being leased.
What car insurance do you need if you have a home charging unit for an electric car?
As more people are choosing to buy an electric car, more will be charging their cars at home.
Some car insurance includes cover for your home-charging unit against accidental damage, fire and theft.
One thing to consider is how you might claim if there’s a fire while the car is charging. Should you claim on your car insurance or home insurance?
It will depend on where the fire originated.
If it was a result of faulty electrical wiring in your home, you would claim on your home insurance.
If there was a fault in the car, you would claim on your car insurance.
What if someone trips over my charging cable?
If you’re charging an electric car at home while it’s parked on the street, there’s a risk that someone might trip over your charging cable.
This could result in allegations of negligence and a personal injury claim.
For this reason, some policies include liability cover for trips or falls due to charging cables.
This means that, with the usual legal caveats, you won’t have to spend your own money defending yourself against any legal claims.
Our EV experts are here to help
For the most part, a regular car insurance policy will be sufficient for insuring an electric car.
However, it’s probably worth shopping around to look at other insurance companies with policies that include specific cover for EVs.
You can then decide for yourself if the extra peace of mind they offer is worth spending a little more.
If you have more questions about insuring an electric car, or anything else about being an EV owner, you can ask the experts at Nathaniel Cars.
Simply fill in the “Ask our EV Experts” form, or pop into our Cardiff and Bridgend showrooms to see our range of electric cars for yourself.