If you’re considering an electric vehicle, you likely have questions about insurance. Rest assured, insuring an EV is very similar to insuring a gas-powered car. I’ll walk through what you need to know, from coverage specifics to insurance rates to government incentives.
Let’s go through what you need to know, from coverage specifics to insurance rates to government incentives.
You Have to Cover What Matters
Standard car insurance policies provide adequate coverage for EVs. You might want comprehensive coverage just in case your car or battery is damaged. Theft protection is also key since EV batteries can be stolen. Many insurers, like Aviva, even cover damaged charging cables and at-home charging stations.
One unique EV coverage is out-of-charge roadside assistance. If you run out of juice on the road, companies like Aviva will send a mechanic to either charge your battery or tow you to a charging station. Helpful when you miscalculate that last mile.
Insurance Rates: EVs vs Gas Cars
Despite high upfront costs, EVs are generally cheaper to insure than gas cars. Why? Firstly, EVs tend to be safer with advanced driver assistance tech. Secondly, EV batteries and parts are expensive to replace. Insurers know EV owners will fix any damage to protect their investment.
Insuring an Older EV
The used EV market is growing rapidly. When insuring a pre-owned electric vehicle, collision coverage is especially important.
Unlike gas cars, EVs don’t require regular oil changes or tune-ups. But their battery capacity diminishes over time – by 20-30% after 5-8 years typically. Knowing an EV’s mileage and battery range is crucial in evaluating its worth.
When adding an older EV to your policy, ask for specifics about battery warranties or replacements. Review the car’s service history for major repairs or crashes that could compromise safety or lifespan. Get a professional inspection of essential components like electrical systems.
Buying used requires more research upfront. But you can score an affordable EV with insurance rates reflecting its depreciation. For older electrics, comprehensive coverage brings peace of mind.
What’s Covered by Electric Car Insurance
When reviewing insurance policies, you first want to understand what core protections are included. Standard electric car insurance provides coverage for:
Loss or Damage to Vehicle/Battery: Comprehensive policies cover repairs if your EV or battery is damaged, regardless of cause. Theft of the car or battery is also covered.
Out-of-Charge Roadside Assistance: If your EV unexpectedly runs out of charge mid-trip, insurers like Aviva will send a RAC mechanic to either charge your battery just enough to get to a station, or tow you to one – whichever is closer. Helpful when you miscalculate the range!
Liability Protection: Insurers cover injuries or property damage you cause to others if you’re deemed responsible for an accident. This coverage is mandatory to legally drive.
Uninsured Driver Collisions: If an uninsured driver hits your EV, comprehensive policies protect you by covering repairs and waiving any claim deductible.
Vehicle Recovery: Standard policies provide roadside repairs or transportation if your car breaks down and needs a tow. Some insurers cover accommodation costs too if repairs take days.
Driving Other Vehicles: Those 25+ years old can pay extra to drive friends’ or family’s cars, covered by their EV policy’s third-party liability protection.
Injury Protection: Should the worst occur in an accident, additional medical coverage and income replacement are available to care for you and your family.
Reviewing what’s included and optional help match your risk tolerance to the right coverage level. Understanding policy specifics also prevents surprise gaps when filing a claim.
What’s Not Covered
While electric car insurance provides comprehensive protections, some exclusions apply. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with what’s not covered, such as:
Wear and Tear: Standard mechanical or electrical breakdowns from routine use over time are not covered. This includes aging of the car’s computers and electronics. Insurance repairs accident damage, not maintenance issues.
Tires: Tire punctures, cuts, or bursts are excluded, even if caused by sudden braking. Tires deteriorate and require regular replacement regardless of accidents.
Loss of Resale Value: Insurers pay for repairs to get your EV back on the road, but they don’t reimburse for any loss in the car’s market value after being fixed. Even flawless repairs can negatively impact what buyers will pay.
While no one enjoys thinking about exclusions, it prevents unhappy surprises later. Review what’s not covered carefully rather than assuming you have complete protection. Know how to best shield yourself beyond your insurance policy.
Optional Add-Ons Covered
Customizing with Optional Extras
While core electric car policies meet most needs, you may want extra protections suited to your lifestyle. For additional premiums, most insurers offer popular options like:
Breakdown Assistance: Roadside help, vehicle recovery, onward travel, and at-home assistance are available through providers like the RAC. Give yourself peace of mind during road trips.
No Claim Discount Protection: Ensure a single claim doesn’t negate your safe driving discount. Worthwhile if you’re accident-prone.
Legal Assistance: Get help recovering losses from an accident that wasn’t your fault. Useful given EVs’ high repair costs.
Courtesy Vehicles: Secure access to a short-term replacement car while yours is in the shop. Especially helpful if repairs take days.
Foreign Use Extensions: Expand coverage to trips across Europe and beyond. Charging networks are expanding, enabling more continental travel.
Enhanced Injury Payouts: Increase payout maximums for you or family members injured in an accident. Includes physiotherapy too.
Mix and match add-ons to tailor protection for your needs and budget. Just beware piling on too many can make policies unaffordable. Focus on what risks you most want to mitigate.
Are Electric Vehicles More Expensive to Insure?
In the past, insuring electric vehicles cost significantly more than gas-powered cars. The main driver was the high price of EV batteries and limited body shop options for repairs. But as battery production scales, prices fall, and more mechanics train on EVs, that cost gap has narrowed.
Per the Department of Energy, battery packs dropped around 90% in price from 2008 to 2022 as manufacturing improved. And the expanding EV market incentivized more repair facilities to gain required certifications. This one-two punch caused EV insurance rates to decrease and converge with gas car coverage.
However, the specific EV model still impacts your insurance rate. A Tesla Model X owner would pay around $4,300 per year for full coverage – over double the $2,000 average for a Chevy Bolt. Compare within vehicle classes for the best savings analysis. On average most drivers pay about $2,014 annually.
How to Save on EV Insurance
Your driving record, mileage, credit score, and other personal factors weigh heavily on insurance costs. Don’t assume going electric alone guarantees savings. Leverage typical money-saving techniques like:
- Increasing deductibles to lower premiums
- Raising credit scores
- Earning safe driver discounts
- Bundling home and auto policies
While some insurers offer discounts for being eco-friendly, the standard strategies work regardless of fuel type. And they ensure you find the most affordable electric car insurance for your situation.
As electric vehicles go mainstream, insurance carriers adapt products and rates to fit the evolving market. Comprehensive policies now provide tailored protection for EV owners at ever-more-comparable pricing.
The outlook is bright for electric vehicle adoption, with expanded model availability, government incentives, falling costs, and insurance carriers facilitating the transition. While gas cars dominate today’s roads, environmentally conscious consumers and emission regulations make EVs the future of driving.