The subject of insurance for electric cars and vans (EVs) is one that seems to cause widespread concern.
To some extent, that’s understandable and it’s probably fair to say that some insurance providers haven’t exactly responded quickly and flexibly to the large-scale arrival of this technology on the road.
Fortunately though, some providers have and that means finding such cover and at an affordable price, shouldn’t be a major headache. That’s providing, of course, you go to the right provider to begin with.
Let’s quickly examine some of the issues here and correct some misconceptions.
Why electric vans are different
In many respects, the generic risk exposures constituted by your electric van aren’t hugely different to those that are associated with a conventionally powered vehicle.
There are though some differences and they can’t be ignored:
- cables being draped over access paths when charging (tripping risks). It may sound unlikely to you but claims for tripping over cables are far from unusual in our increasingly litigious society and insurance providers need to take that into account;
- silent running mode. This issue is now the subject of European legislation but the quietness of electric trucks is a potential added risk to pedestrians;
- out-of-charge breakdowns. This is only likely to be an issue until such time as there is a nationwide ‘available everywhere’ charging grid. In the meantime, insurers need to recognise some increased risk in this area;
- battery ownership complications. This isn’t a huge issue and some of the battery leasing schemes might be commercially attractive but insurers do need to be sure they understand who owns the vehicle’s battery and what that means for insurance liabilities. There is no equivalent to this with conventional diesel or petrol vehicles;
- an absence of claim statistics. Insurance providers love statistics because they help them to understand the risks associated with a given insurance proposition and to formulate a price (the premium) accordingly. Of course, such statistics don’t really exist for electric goods vehicles because they’re so new to the market. Let’s assume that the one sure insurance research team or similar others will look into the statistics for electric vans, and make the data available soon.
Some insurers deal with this by not offering cover at all. Others react by heavily loading their premium ‘just in case’. That’s why to find cost-effective electric van insurance, you may need to contact a specialist provider.
There is a fair degree of mythology surrounding electric vehicle insurance. Some of the more commonly-encountered misconceptions include:
- you can’t find cover. This just isn’t correct! It may be slightly harder to find though and that’s why you can save a lot of time by dealing with a specialist;
- the cover will cost a fortune. This is equally incorrect. True, some providers have made some highly inflated ‘wild guesses’ so far as premiums are concerned but the specialists are providing cost-effective solutions;
- it’s impossible to insure your battery. Wrong again! This confusion arises over the need to clarify who owns the battery with the insurers. If it’s owned by you then you can cover it of course.
The bottom line here is simple. Don’t believe the wild stories about electric van insurance and instead get the facts from an insurance provider who has expertise and a track record in this area.
Many argue that EVs are the future and insurance issues typically won’t prevent you from joining in.