Due to the relatively new and evolving nature of the Electric Car / Electric Vehicle (EV) marketplace and the insurance to support it, some myths and misconceptions have arisen.
Here we’ll examine those myths and debunk them by way of a brief guide to electric car insurance.
“Electric cars are exempt from insurance requirements”
This is, of course, simply wrong in every respect – and there is one very important reason why EV car insurance is required:
- you’re using a road vehicle and the law requires you to have at least third party liability cover – just like any other car or van on the road.
There is also another reason why more comprehensive cover might be highly advisable:
- you’re driving a major asset. You probably have a lot of money tied up in your EV and it’ll be just a vulnerable as any other vehicle to theft or damage in accidents.
“You have to take out insurance through the car dealership”
No, you do not.
It’s true that in the very early days of EVs, the insurance position was confused and dealerships and manufacturers often became involved. Consumer choice was, as a result, limited and premiums typically high.
However, today things have moved on. True, many major insurance providers still haven’t yet created policies for EVs or at least not cost-attractive ones but you do have options.
There are now brokers specialising in electric car insurance at sensible prices and it might make sense to check them out.
“You can’t insure the car’s battery”
Yes you can, though it’s true that there is a complication here that you should be aware of.
When some electric vehicles are sold, the battery is actually only being leased from the car’s manufacturer. This just means that you need to discuss this with your insurance provider at the outset so that they’re clear who owns what and where risks/liability resides. It’s not a showstopper for insurance at all.
“Your insurance is invalid while charging”
No, it really isn’t!
This myth has its origins in the fact that many EVs did and still do, charge through a cable connected to a power supply. So, cables between the power source and the vehicle were a potential accident hazard if said charging was taking place in a public location and the cable was draped across, say, the pavement.
Some insurers were worried that the nation was going to be struck by a veritable plague of tripping accidents as a result. Some of them, though not all, heavily loaded their premiums to reflect this perceived risk.
Today the position has changed completely. Firstly, many such policies sourced from EV insurance specialists now cover this risk as routine and don’t hike up the premium accordingly. Secondly, charging technologies are changing and the ‘lengthy cable’ may soon be a thing of the past anyway.
“You can’t get discounts on EV insurance”
This is equally untrue.
Many of the considerations that can increase or reduce the cost of your premium for, say, a petrol-driven car apply equally to EVs.
For example, having motoring convictions on your licence, trying to include a very young driver on your policy or estimating very high annual mileages, will all typically push your premium up – whatever you drive.
By contrast, specialist providers of EV cover may be able to offer discounts on premiums if you:
- estimate a reduced annual mileage;
- accept a higher voluntary excess on your policy;
- garage your vehicle overnight;
The perhaps key point here is to recognise that some generalist car insurance providers might just not yet be fully ready to offer policies specifically designed for EVs. As such, they may have a tendency to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to EV policies or not offer them at all.
This should not be an issue with specialist providers.