Do electric vehicles need different or more insurance than ‘regular’ cars?

There has been conflicting reports in the past about insuring green cars – some say that hybrids can be more expensive to insure than internal combustion engines, and others show insurance companies giving discounts to hybrid and electric vehicles. Now, a new statement from a UK insurance company recommends:

drivers considering buying an electric car should consult their car insurance provider to discuss adequate car insurance cover as electric cars could require specific car insurance policies in comparison to traditional vehicles.”

When obtaining a car insurance quote, be sure to let your provider know if you have a hybrid or electric vehicle.

There are some specific reasons why car insurance policy prices could be affected when insuring an electric vehicle:

  • car insurance rates are built on risk profiles. The lack of long-term crash data on electric vehicles automatically raises their standing in the risk category.
  • Due to unique engineering and state-of-the-art technology, electric vehicles carry higher repair costs and require non-standard parts that are often not readily available to the standard repair shop
  • smaller vehicles (ie. electric vehicles and small hybrid vehicles) are more susceptible to vehicle theft (one way to prevent theft of your electric vehicle would be to ensure the battery pack is empty when you park it, but that really isn’t practical at all),
  • when involved in a collision, small vehicles are more likely to be totaled which results in higher expenses for the insurance company.

On the flip side, as governing bodies and tax incentives become larger and more readily available, insurance companies may receive some breaks for insuring green vehicles in the same way hydro companies receive incentives for encouraging clients to use higher-efficiency appliances and light bulbs.

During a recent electric vehicle trial among UK drivers, 72% said they would consider using one as their regular cars. During the test-drive involving 250 participants, 82 percent also said they would consider owning one.

If you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle, we recommend that you contact your car insurance provider to discuss adequate car insurance coverage as electric cars could require specific insurance policies.

Some insurance companies are actively seeking green-car customers by planting woodland areas and offering special discounts throughout the year.

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