A complete guide to insuring electric cars

 

Despite the plethora of fantastic benefits to driving an electric car, lessening your chances of being involved in a collision unfortunately isn’t one of them. For that reason, you still need to insure your EV to ensure both yourself and other drivers are protected should you be unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.

Below is our complete guide to electric car insurance.

A tree has fallen onto a car and damaged the windscreen

What levels of cover can I get for an electric car? 

The coverage options for electric cars are similar to those for petrol or diesel cars.

Third-party only: The most basic level of coverage is third-party only, which meets the minimum legal requirements. This type of insurance covers the costs of damages or injuries to other people, but you cannot make a claim for damages to your own car or personal injuries.

Third-party, fire, and theft: Third-party, fire, and theft insurance includes the same coverage as basic third-party insurance, but also provides protection for your own car in case of damage from fire or theft.

Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive insurance is the highest level of coverage available. It encompasses both damages and injuries to others, as well as providing coverage for you and your own car.

Does insurance cover EVs in the same way it covers petrol and diesel cars?

EV insurance works in a very similar way to how insurance covers petrol and diesel cars. Insurance is designed to protect you should you be involved in an incident with your car.

However, EVs don’t work in quite the same way as other cars. Therefore there are certain small differences when it comes to EV insurance, compared to insurance for other types of cars.

Batteries

Batteries are the single most expensive component of an EV, which is why many EV owners lease their battery. You need to be sure that your EV insurance will cover your battery – whether leased or owned.

Maintenance and servicing

Speak to your insurer and check your policy to see whether there are any restrictions regarding maintenance and servicing. EVs need to be serviced by a qualified mechanic, and if any unqualified repairs are undertaken it could invalidate your policy.

Power cable

One thing many EV drivers overlook is power cable safety. When using public charge points, there may be occasions when your charge cable inadvertently causes a hazard, such as by falling into the pavement. If a member of the public were to trip and fall on your cable, you may find yourself liable. Because of this, it’s worth checking with your insurer as to whether you’re covered.

Do EVs need any kind of special insurance?

No, there is no kind of special ‘EV insurance’. Of course, some insurers do specialise in providing electric car insurance in the UK, but a specialist insurer isn’t required, You’ll find that most – especially the big name insurers – will offer insurance for each type of EV.

There are three types of EVs found on UK roads:

1. Battery electric cars which are powered purely by electricity and contain a battery that needs to be recharged regularly

2. Hybrid electric cars which are powered by a combination of electricity from a battery (charged via regenerative energy) and an internal combustion engine (so therefore still requires fuel)

3. Plug-in hybrid electric cars which don’t use regenerative energy and need to be charged in the same way as a battery EV

Drivers of every type of EV should have no problem in finding a provider – however, there may be different costs involved for each.

Signing a document

Does insurance cover faults with EV batteries?

We’ve already mentioned how leasing a battery may affect your insurance. It’s important to check with your insurance provider that they will offer coverage for your EVs battery.

If covered, you’ll want to check whether the insurance covers your battery for the following:

  • Accidental damage
  • Fire and theft
  • Breakdown
  • Charge cable
  • Charge point
  • Fault

One key point to check is whether your insurance covers you should your EV battery experience a fault or failure. You should also check this with your manufacturer, as some will replace or repair your battery for no charge should it develop any issues outside of your control.

What is generally not covered by EV insurance?

As we’ve already discussed, your battery is likely to raise the most questions regarding whether or not it’s covered through your insurance policy.

  • Liability Insurance: Many insurers don’t provide liability insurance should a member of the public injure themselves by tripping on your charging cable. You may be accused of negligence and find yourself on the receiving end of a personal injury claim. However, if you don’t use public charge points and your home charge point is away from a publicly accessed area then this isn’t likely to be a risk.
  • EV battery replacement: An EV battery can be costly to replace, so a small additional charge to your insurance could save you thousands should yours experience a fault.

With each of these, we recommend you check with your insurer, and make sure they’re included in your policy. An EV battery can be costly to replace, so a small additional charge to your insurance could save you thousands should yours experience a fault.

Similarly, even if you’re careful with your charge cable accidents can happen, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

Are electric cars cheaper to insure?

As you’re no doubt aware, insurance costs can vary depending on a variety of factors:

  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • How long you’ve held your licence
  • Your no-claims history
  • Where in the UK you live
  • How many miles you drive
  • Where you park your car at night

And the list goes on. Another key variable in how much you’ll pay for insurance is the make and model of your car – and what type of EV it is.

On average, EVs are a little more expensive to insure than their petrol, diesel, and hybrid counterparts. However, this gap is closing as EVs become common and insurers are increasingly more used to insuring EVs.

Why are electric cars more expensive to insure? 

Insuring an electric car tends to be more expensive compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, these costs are offset by the huge savings drivers make in reduced fuel costs, lower maintenance costs, and zero vehicle excise duty costs.

In 2021, electric car insurance cost on average £1,238 a year – but in 2022 average premiums have fallen by £141 to £1,097 a year. To compare, in 2022 on average, diesel cars cost £1,119 to insure, whilst petrol cars cost £1,0872

EV insurance can be more expensive primarily due to:

  1. Specialised Parts: Electric cars use specialised components and parts that may be more expensive to repair or replace than those found in ICE vehicles.
  2. Expert Mechanics: Repairing electric cars often requires the expertise of specialised mechanics who are trained in handling electric vehicle technology. Their skills and knowledge may come at a higher cost.
  3. Expensive Batteries: The batteries used in electric cars are a significant cost factor. In case of damage or replacement, the cost of these batteries can be substantial.

As the availability of electric cars increases and the government’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars takes effect in 2030, the cost of insurance is expected to decrease. Over time, electric car insurance premiums may even become more affordable than those for ICE counterparts.

Do all insurance providers insure EVs?

While not all insurance providers insure EVs, most will. Each of the big-name insurance companies, for example, Direct Line, AA, Admiral, and Aviva, all offer a range of products that cover electric cars.

Are there optional extras when it comes to EV insurance?

As we’ve already mentioned, some providers will offer liability insurance as an optional extra, along with cover to protect you in the event of battery failure.

Some providers also offer breakdown cover, and some a towing service (either to a charging station or home – whichever is closer) should your battery run flat.

Get your insurance included with elmo’s all inclusive car subscriptions

When you subscribe to an electric car service through us here at elmo, you don’t have to worry about arranging insurance, or even MOT and servicing – it’s all covered in the price. That means you can drive away the moment you get your EV, and you don’t have to worry about a thing.

For more information check out our guide to how it works.

FAQs

Does insurance cover EVs in the same way it covers petrol and diesel cars?

Yes, generally, insurance covers an EV in the same way insurance covers a petrol or diesel car. However, it’s best to check your policy for any differences.

Do EVs need any kind of special insurance?

No, EVs don’t need any kind of special insurance. However, when signing up for your policy you will have to tell your provider that your car is an EV.

Does insurance cover faults with EV batteries?

Some policies may cover your car for faults with the battery, however, you will need to check this. It’s also worth noting that some EV manufacturers may provide you with a repair or replacement service in the event of a fault.

What is generally not covered by EV insurance?

Battery faults and public liability are not included by every insurance provider, so it’s worth checking your policy documents to see whether these are included.

Are electric cars cheaper to insure?

On average, EV insurance is slightly more expensive than petrol/diesel car insurance. However, the gap is narrowing, and EV drivers will save money in other ways, such as fuel costs and tax exemption.

Do all insurance providers insure EVs?

Most mainstream insurance providers will insure EVs of all kinds.

What if someone trips over my charging cable?

If you’re charging your car and have to extend the cable across the pavement to reach your vehicle, there’s a potential risk that someone might trip over the cable and get hurt. Situations like these are not straightforward, so it’s important to be aware of the extent of liability coverage included in your insurance policy.

What happens if I'm leasing the battery?

To make electric cars more affordable, some manufacturers like Renault and Nissan offer the option to purchase the car while leasing its battery separately. With this option, the monthly lease amount for the battery is typically lower than the cost of two full tanks of fuel. While it doesn’t directly save you money on running costs, it does contribute significantly to reducing environmental impact.

If you decide to lease the battery, make sure your insurer knows and is still happy to cover you. 

Any Questions?

Call us on 0330 165 4945

Email us at hello@elmodrive.com

Try our suitability tool

Browse our electric cars