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Updated: Sep 20, 2022, 1:48pm
Electric vehicles (EVs) are an increasingly common sight on UK roads, but they’re still far rarer than petrol and diesel cars.
That said, sales of EVs are increasing as a proportion of total vehicle sales, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders. And it should be remembered that the government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by 2030.
If you’re taking the plunge with an EV, here’s what you need to know about finding the best insurance policy given that you’ll have a different set of factors to consider.
We’ve listed the top five EV car insurance providers based on price and level of cover.
Admiral’s comprehensive car insurance policy offers a good level of EV-specific cover. As well as features you’d expect from a comprehensive policy — such as a courtesy car, personal injury cover, and windscreen cover — your battery and charging equipment will be covered against accidental damage, fire and theft.
The policy also has you covered if you run out of charge partway through a journey. If this happens, you can ask to be transported to the nearest charging point, your onward destination or your home address.
Bear in mind the policy comes with a telematics device that records metrics such as acceleration, deceleration, and whether you’re sticking to the speed limit. If you drive safely, you may get a better deal on renewal. However, if you consistently drive poorly Admiral could cancel the policy.
Elephant offered the cheapest quote for a comprehensive policy without a telematics device. It includes windscreen cover, access to a courtesy car and personal injury cover up to £5,000 as standard.
Since Elephant is underwritten by Admiral Group PLC, you’ll get the same EV-specific cover as an Admiral policy. This means your vehicle’s battery and charging equipment are protected against accidental damage, fire and theft.
The policy also provides a recovery service should the vehicle run out of charge before you reach your destination.
Elephant allows you to add optional extras to the policy including breakdown cover and hire vehicle cover.
Diamond’s comprehensive policies include windscreen cover and a courtesy car if yours is off the road as standard.
The policy is underwritten by Admiral Group PLC, and offers the same EV-specific cover as Admiral. This means the policy includes protection for the vehicle’s battery and charging equipment against accidental damage, fire and theft, along with recovery if you run out of charge on the road.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Diamond only allows annual payments for its policies — there’s no monthly option.
Although this comprehensive policy from Budget does not come with EV-specific extras, it could be a good option for regular travellers, since full coverage applies throughout the EU. Motor legal protection is included, covering any legal expenses that result from an accident.
The policy also includes child seat cover as standard, along with audio equipment cover that covers the cost of replacing the car’s radio, navigation and entertainment equipment.
A courtesy car is not included as standard, but can be added as an optional extra.
The comprehensive YouDrive policy from Hastings Direct offers full coverage wherever you drive in the EU, as well as personal belongings cover, windscreen cover and a courtesy car as standard.
As a telematics insurance policy, you’ll be required to open the YouDrive app whenever you drive. The app is paired with a small ‘tab’, which is kept in the vehicle.
The app and tab allow Hastings to give you feedback on your driving and offer you a discount on your renewal for safe driving. Bear in mind that if you regularly exceed the speed limit, use your phone while driving, or brake suddenly, your score will be impacted. If your score remains low, Hastings could cancel the policy.
We reviewed comprehensive insurance policies for a 2017 Nissan Leaf, driven by a full-time employed 30 year-old living in Birmingham.
We’ve assumed they have no unspent driving convictions or points on their licence, use the vehicle for commuting and social purposes, and want to pay annually.
We gave the top five insurance providers a score based on the following factors:
All providers included personal accident cover of at least £5,000.
Electric car insurance works in much the same way as other car insurance policies, although there are some extra factors to consider. But when buying insurance for an electric car, the process of comparing quotes and choosing a policy is no different to insuring an internal combustion car.
If you plan to lease an EV, you may be able to purchase your insurance policy at the same time as part of a package deal.
For example, the insurance provider LV= offers a scheme that combines EV leases, insurance and charging facilities into a single package.
Launched in July 2022, the ElectriX scheme allows customers to select a car to lease through CBVC Vehicle Management, insure it, and arrange for the installation of an Indra home charging point at the same time.
Currently, insuring an EV tends to be more expensive than insuring an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, or a hybrid.
There are a few factors behind the discrepancy, including:
Policy prices are likely to fall in the coming years as EVs rise in popularity and insurers are able to gather more data on EV-related claims.
According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 137,498 fully electric vehicles were registered between January and August 2022 alone.
Although EV insurance policies tend to be more expensive, running a comparison when you’re ready to buy can still help you get the best possible price for the level of cover you need.
When comparing EV insurance policies, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, you’ll need to work out the level of cover you need.
Most insurers offer three different kinds of cover:
Most providers allow you to add optional extras to your policy such as legal expense or breakdown cover.
Another factor to bear in mind is the policy’s compulsory excess. This is the amount you must pay towards any costs you claim for. Choosing a higher excess usually lowers your premium, but it could end up being more expensive in the long run if you need to make a claim.
Note that insurers also offer you the chance to pay a voluntary excess, which can bring down your premium further, but which must be paid in the event of a claim.
When insuring an EV, you may wish to look out for EV-specific elements. For example, some policies offer specific cover for your battery and charging equipment, or recovery if you run out of charge on the road.
It’s also worth checking whether a policy covers you against charging mishaps such as injury to passers-by should they trip over your charging cables. Usually, this will be included under your ‘liability to others’ cover, so long as you’ve taken reasonable steps to charge the vehicle safely.
If you have an EV charging point at home, it’s unlikely to be covered by any car insurance policy. To protect this piece of kit, check whether you can add it to your home insurance policy.
If your car sets on fire during charging, you should be able to make a claim on your home or car insurance policy, depending on where the fire originated.
Yes, because hybrid cars are more common than their purely electric counterparts, it’s typically cheaper to insure them.
However, as full EVs become more popular and insurers gather more data, insurance premiums will likely come down.
The battery is one of the most important – and most valuable – components of any EV.
Battery prices can make the cost of buying an EV prohibitively high, and manufacturers such as Nissan and Renault allow customers to lease the battery separately through monthly payments when buying an EV.
This shouldn’t impact the price of your premium, but it does mean in the event of damage or a write-off the insurer will need to reimburse the battery’s owner.
When purchasing an insurance policy, be sure to let the insurer know if your battery is leased.
Provided your insurer covers electric vehicles, you can add an EV to a multi car insurance policy, even if the other cars it covers have petrol or diesel engines.
Bear in mind that not all insurance companies cover EVs, and some only offer insurance for certain makes and models.
When purchasing an insurance policy for your EV, you’ll be asked to provide the same details you would when taking out a policy for any other car.
You’ll also need to let the insurer know whether you lease your EV’s battery.
This includes the vehicle’s make, model, registration plate and any modifications you have made to it.
The insurer will also request information about you and other named drivers you wish to add to the policy, such as:
I’ve been writing for a broad array of online publications for four years, always aiming to make important insights accessible. It’s my goal to ensure that as many people as possible can make informed decisions about their money, and get the most out of their finances with the least amount of stress.