Insurance companies have been charging more to insure EVs for different reasons. The first is that they cost more to make and their list price, car for car is more. A VW Golf will be in insurance class 7 while an eGolf, class 15 thanks to similar cars costing a lot more if they have an electric powertrain.
Electric cars have parts that can’t be fitted by just any repair shop. With EVs going mainstream and volumes of sales rocketing, this is less of an issue.
Another issue raised by some insurers is that EVs make little or no noise. This can mean that pedestrians don’t hear your vehicle coming and can lead to injury.
Finally, EVs can accelerate a lot more quickly than ICEs. This can catch the driver unaware and lead to accidents as they mishandle the vehicle.
Insurance Companies are on a Learning Curve
Though they both have four wheels and keep you dry as you drive them, EVs and ICEs are fundamentally different vehicles. In the early days of the technology, insurance companies didn’t have that much in the way of accident data to go on to assess the safety of EVs over ICE vehicles.
As more and more electric cars have come on the road, so such data is now available. This is another reason for insurance premiums falling on them – it is becoming clear that they are as likely or less so to have accidents.
There was a myth, happily promoted by the fossil fuel lobby that EVs are more likely to catch fire than ICEs. As more and more have come on the road, so it has become apparent that you are far less likely to be in an EV car fire than a petrol car fire. This is a classic example of how insurance companies are starting to learn about the risks associated with EVs.
EVs have fewer parts to go wrong thanks to the relative simplicity of their drivetrains. Insurance company research has shown that EVs are half as likely to have problems with their tyres than ICE vehicles and around 11% of call-outs are due to flat batteries. This is feeding into insurers understanding around the risks associated with EV use.
Specialist or Mainstream Insurer?
Though there are one or two brokers out there that still specialise in EV insurance, the majority of drivers will now be able to go on Compare The Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare or Confused.com to get their insurance. You will find that insurers like Zurich, Admiral and LV will insure your vehicle in much the same way as they would an ICE vehicle.
Some insurers like to go for lower risk drivers – women and low mileage drivers are targets for some insurers who will offer a woman or a low mileage driver better premiums. If you have an old Leaf for getting the kids to school and running about town, you might wish to consider companies like these who could offer a better deal.
You the Driver Are Part of the Risk Factor!
A final thing to remember is that the car itself isn’t the only risk factor that an insurer will assess. If you are a 17 year old man you will pay a premium close to the purchase price of the car itself, while a 45 year old woman who lives and works at home will pay a relatively tiny amount. She could cost less to insure on a Tesla Model S Plaid than the 17 year old on an old Leaf!
Someone living in a quiet village will pay less than someone living in a poor neighbourhood in a city. If you have a private driveway, you will pay less than someone who has to park on the public highway.
If you are worried about the cost of insuring your EV, try the following tips:
- Do fewer miles
- Avoid breaking the speed limit as points on your license make you higher risk
- Pay for your premium upfront rather than in monthly instalments
- Offer to pay a greater voluntary excess
- Shop around! Loyalty doesn’t achieve anything where it comes to insurance.
With these in mind you can keep your premiums as low as possible. As more and more EVs come on the road, so prices will fall. Eventually, as ICEs fall from the mainstream, they will become more expensive to insure than EVs!