If you own and drive a vehicle, you should know that car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. EVs are no exception to this rule.
Insurance Awareness Day is celebrated in the USA on the 28th of June, but it’s just as important to understand your insurance options in England. We’re sharing a rundown of EV insurance to help you understand what you can expect when taking out a policy.
What is included in standard car insurance?
Car insurance is designed to provide financial protection against physical damage to a vehicle or bodily injury resulting from a motor accident or collision. Insurance policies will usually also provide financial support for liability that may arise from an incident. Drivers pay a premium to the insurance company, either monthly or yearly, in exchange for financial protection.
There are a few specialist EV insurance policies on the market, however, many insurers cover EVs with a standard car insurance policy. There are three main types of car insurance:
- Third-party only: the lowest level of protection that meets the minimum legal requirements. This will cover any damage or injury caused to others, but will not cover you or your own vehicle.
- Third-party, fire and theft: this covers the same aspects as above, as well as covering your vehicle against instances of fire and theft.
- Fully comprehensive: this is the highest level of cover, covering everything included in the above policy types, as well as injury or damage to you or your own vehicle.
Many policies have optional extras that you can add on for a higher level of coverage. For example, breakdown cover, misfuelling cover and key cover.
What does EV insurance cover?
When insuring an EV, you are likely to receive a few extra elements of cover compared to a petrol/diesel vehicle:
- Battery cover: the insurer may provide protection for your vehicle’s battery. The battery is the most expensive part of an EV, so having adequate cover for instances of damage, breakdown or theft can be very beneficial. Check with your vehicle manufacturer to see if your battery is covered by them, as some manufacturers will provide complimentary battery cover for a set amount of years, often 8-10.
- Charging cable cover: some insurers cover your charging cable against damage or theft. If your vehicle is charging and someone is to trip over the cable and injure themselves, you may find that the insurer covers public liability for charging cable-related incidents. Although slightly more niche, some insurance companies offer a standalone policy for insuring charge points against accidental damage, vandalism, fire and theft, as well as public liability.
- Out-of-charge recovery: some policies will cover you for recovery if you find yourself stranded and out of battery.
Note that these can vary between insurers so be sure to do your research to be confident in what is covered.
There may be some restrictions on your EV insurance policy. For example, although your battery may be covered, you should check what exactly it is covered for, such as accidental damage, fire, theft, breakdown and fault. Insurers also commonly require any repairs to be carried out by a qualified EV mechanic and will void your policy if you do not comply. EVs work very differently from petrol/diesel vehicles, so repair works, maintenance and servicing shouldn’t be carried out by any mechanic that is not EV trained.
What does EV insurance cost?
Any insurance policy will vary in price depending on a variety of aspects. Some things that are taken into consideration to determine cost are:
- Personal information: age, gender, marital status and occupation.
- Driving history: claims, accidents and traffic violations.
- Vehicle type: the make and model of your EV, as well as the type (battery electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid).
- Usage and mileage: how you use the vehicle (personal, commuting or business) and your average annual mileage.
- Location: where you live, and where the vehicle is primarily kept (driveway, garage, communal car park, on-street or away from home).
EV insurance tends to be slightly more expensive than traditional motor insurance, due to the fact that these vehicles require a specialist mechanic who likely charges more for their work and are composed of specialist parts that can be expensive to replace. As EVs become more common, it is likely that these costs will decrease.
What’s the best EV insurance?
Many of the big-name insurance companies now offer policies for EVs, such as Admiral, AXA, Direct Line, LV= , The AA, and more. You can use comparison sites to compare the cost of a policy with each provider but remember that each insurer will offer different benefits and perks with its policies as well as varying restrictions, so the cheapest options may not be best suited to your needs.
Do thorough research into your prospective provider to be confident that the policy is suited to your requirements. It’s also beneficial to seek out genuine customer reviews for the provider. Reviews can give you insight into how easy (or difficult!) the provider is to contact, whether that’s to update your policy, ask a question or make a claim. Being confident that the provider is reputable and has a proven customer service track record can help alleviate unnecessary stress if you do ever need to make a claim.
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