March 20th, 2020 at 6:50 am
There are two primary discussion points when it comes to electric vehicles. The first is their initial cost – after all they’re very expensive. The second is the concern that motorists have about the availability of charging points. Many incentives now exist to persuade drivers to adopt the latest technology. These include offsetting of the initial purchase price or help with installing charging points. It’s clear that the cost of running an EV is much cheaper when compared to diesel or petrol cars, especially if you’re able to install charging points at home and generate electricity yourself with wind turbines or solar panels. Not only that, but you can benefit from zero congestion charge and cheaper VED. However, what does the insurance landscape look like? There is little discussion about this, so for many drivers, it comes as an afterthought.
Usually, premiums on EVs are more costly when compared to premiums for conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. This is partially because insurers use averages that are taken from the historical data on repair costs so when EVs came into the market, this data didn’t exist. Premiums were therefore high while insurers got to grips with the latest technology. Some insurers even refused to offer policies for electric vehicles and this means that those who had invested in the technology had fewer companies to pick from.
Yet, as with every new development, the market has finally begun to settle down. Electric vehicles are now not such a novelty with more on the roads than ever before. This has led to increased confidence amongst insurers and more companies entering into the marketplace. As a result, drivers have more charge and premiums are reducing. Interesting, electric vehicles represent a lower theft risk and, should they be stolen, they’re more likely to be recovered. If its battery is flat or low, thieves can’t get far!
Repairs And Faults
A key factor that determines how insurers gauge premiums lies in the cost and type of repairs. When these vehicles were first introduced, this was an unknown factor. However, today, there is plenty of information about repairs and garages have begun to acquire knowledge about likely faults and how they can repair them. Electric engines have fewer moving components, therefore, there’s less chance of breakdowns and faults. An electric car’s most costly component is its battery pack. Due to its location, which is usually under the car, it’s quite protected should the car be involved in an accident.
Another essential when it comes to insurance is whether you choose a third party or fully comprehensive policy, and, essentially, the third-party aspect of killing or injuring another road user or motorist. As electric cars are quite quiet, insurers have yet to handle a fatality or serious injury due to the victim being unable to hear the vehicle approaching. Should this happen, though, premiums could increase. Luckily, new electric vehicles are now being fitted with several noises that can alert others on the road that they are present.
At the moment, the advice is to compare prices for coverage more thoroughly than you would if insuring a diesel or petrol car. Green vehicles are now becoming more mainstream and this means more insurers have provided policies. With more insurers entering the marketplace, the cost of policies will probably fall. It couldn’t be more important, then, to avoid simply auto-renewing when your EV policy comes to an end – shopping around is vital to get the best price.
Is An EV Insurance Policy Different?
If the technology used in EVs is different, should insurance policies be different? The answer is no, however motorists still need to take the time to check what is covered by their policy. EVs have additional elements that motorist might not consider. Usually, drivers expect every component in their engine to be fully covered, yet this may not be the case with an EV.
Always ask your insurer about coverage for your power cables. Power cables are becoming a more desirable and obvious target for thefts. Some manufacturers also require drivers to lease their battery and this arrangement is separate to the finance of their car. You should, therefore, ask your insurer if another separate policy is required for battery coverage if it is leased or whether it will be covered in your existing car policy. Usually, when separate policies are necessary, battery lease companies will try to find a policy for you, however you should still check anyway.
Just like with any new development, a gap exists in the marketplace which needs filling, and now some companies are emerging that are specialists in offering insurance for electric cars. Pluginsure is just one of these. New players are also offering incentives like discounts or donations to environmental charities when drivers take out a policy.
You should begin with insurance search with a price comparison website, but remember that not every insurer can be found on these sites. Therefore, make sure you don’t overlook niche businesses, especially in this new market. All of the usual rules you would use to find a lower insurance premium will still apply. Keeping your vehicle in your garage and off-road will help reduce your costs and will also help to protect your from theft.
What About Breakdown Cover?
Some insurers offer breakdown cover as an extra “add on”. Other times, you’ll need to talk to recovery and breakdown providers. You should always make sure that your cover will be suitable for your electric vehicle. What will happen if you accidentally get a flat battery, will you still be recovered? Is it possible to charge up at the roadside? Breakdown companies need to adjust when it comes to the latest technology just like insurance companies do, so it’s important to ask these key questions before taking out a policy.