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Tips & advice

Electric car insurance: how to insure your EV

You might think that electric car insurance works much like any other car insurance. It does, but with some important differences…

Insuring an EV

If you’re buying or already own an electric car, have you considered electric car insurance? Insurance designed for electric cars comes with specific benefits that could be very handy if you own an EV. 

These electric car insurance policies are a sign of how far things have come over the past decade. EVs used to be ‘unknowns’ to insurers who would often err on the side of caution and ramp up premiums to cover their backs were you ever to make a claim.

Now things have come full circle. The relative simplicity of EV powertrains means they’re cheaper to maintain and repair, and because EVs tend to be state-of-the-art designs, they have the latest autonomous safety features making accidents less likely. 

Is it hard to insure an electric car?

At one point it may have been hard to insure an EV in the UK but those days are long behind us, thanks to the rapid growth of the electric car market. 

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Now numerous insurance providers offer insurance that’s designed especially for EVs with specific cover for their expensive motive batteries. 

You will still hear people suggesting that EV insurance costs more than insurance for an ICE (internal combustion engine) car. This is true in some cases, but as insurance companies’ understanding of EVs grows, increasingly these vehicles are achieving price parity or becoming cheaper to insure than petrol and diesels. 

How does insurance work with electric cars?

Electric car insurance works the same as it does for ICE models, you pay an annual fee or split it over monthly instalments – usually of 11 or 12 months – to cover your car against everything from fire to injury liability, accidental damage and theft. 

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The level of protection you get depends on the cover you go for, you can choose from a third party, third party fire and theft or fully comprehensive policy.

Third-party insurance gives you the least protection and often costs the most. It protects you against third-party liability covering injury to other people, their vehicles or their property. Third-party, fire and theft policies give you the same cover, but mean you can also claim against fire damage or theft of your own car.

Fully comprehensive insurance provides you with the most watertight cover yet is often the cheapest. It protects you against the same scenarios as third party, fire and theft policies, but you can also claim against damage and repairs of your own car, plus medical expenses. This is usually the best option. 

What do I need to get an electric car insurance quote?

Insurance companies like to have as much data as possible to make an accurate calculation of your risk to base their premium against.

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They’ll want to know information like your sex, age, relationship status, the work you do, whether you have children and whether you have any driving or non-driving convictions. They’ll require similar detail on your driving history and on the car you’re getting insured for.

What does electric car insurance cover?

Electric car insurance is designed to give you traditional insurance cover but also protect you against issues unique to EV ownership.

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Most electric car policies cover an EV’s battery specifically, but also its charging cables – if they are lost, damaged or stolen, when in your car or being used. EV insurance can also give you unique legal cover, protecting you if, say, someone trips on cable while your EV is charging. 

How can I make my electric car insurance cheaper?

Getting your electric car insurance cheaper could be as simple as shopping around. Comparison sites offer a quick and easy way to get quotes from multiple providers all at once – they’ll mark out the price as well as what is and isn’t covered. 

They can be a little too easy, though, and sometimes it pays to pick up the phone and ring around. Many insurance companies specialise in providing insurance cover to specific groups of people – either overtly or covertly – meaning there are savings to be made if you fit their criteria. 

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Other tricks can make you a saving, like putting a more experienced driver on your policy. 

Got a drive where you can park the car? Then using it will lower the risk your car will be damaged and, again, lower your insurance policy.

Can I insure my electric car battery?

Nissan Leaf e+ - 62kWh battery and motor

Your electric car’s battery is likely its single most expensive component, so it’s good to know most electric car insurance companies – including Admiral, LV= and the AA – will cover your battery against accidental damage, fire and theft. 

Is it cheaper to insure an electric car?

Electric cars used to be more expensive to insure than their internal-combustion-engine (ICE) equivalents thanks to uncertainty over repair costs because insurance companies had no historical data to base their quotes on.

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But the tide is turning. The exponential growth of the EV market means electric cars are no longer the unknown they once were, the latest data suggests EVs are cheaper to repair – their motors are mechanically simpler than ICEs – and they tend to come loaded with autonomous driving tech so they’re less likely to be involved in an accident.

Sounds good in theory, but how does that play out in practice? We hit the insurance comparison sites to find out. 

Our quotes are based on fully comprehensive insurance for a married middle-aged man living in South West London, who’s held a driving licence for more than ten years and uses the car for social and commuting purposes.

The results? A mixed bag. To get as accurate a result as possible we first pitted a MINI Electric against a petrol MINI Cooper S of similar specification. The result? A narrow win for the EV – the petrol model snared a £476 premium, the Electric made you a £1 saving. 

Conversely, pitting an electric Tesla Model 3 against an equivalent petrol Mercedes C-Class, saw the Tesla stung with an £806 premium compared to the £537 cover offered to the Mercedes. 

To further muddy the waters, big luxury saloons brought the biggest saving for EV owners – we were quoted £844 to insure Mercedes’ flagship EQS salooon, but £1,459 to cover a diesel S-Class of comparable specification. 

The conclusion? While some EVs do indeed offer insurance-premium savings versus conventional equivalents –  it’s by no means a given.  As ever, it’s best to shop around because it's never fully transparent how various insurance companies calculate their premiums.

Need to buy an electric car to get insured Read our guide to the best EVs on sale in 2022. 

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