Electric car insurance: costs and what to look for

The battery of an electric car represents around a third of the value of the vehicle. Battery damage quickly leads to costs of 10,000 to 15,000 euros. More and more insurance companies have adjusted their rates accordingly and are offering special services for electric cars. But the deals are often not easy to see. AUTO BILD explains what to look for in car insurance for electric cars and how high the costs are.

Do I need special car insurance for an electric car?

Basically not. In any case, it is irrelevant to the liability insurance that you drive the car, since it does not pay for damage to your own vehicle anyway. And comprehensive insurance applies to an electric car in the same way as to a gasoline or diesel engine.

It is still worth taking a closer look when it comes to comprehensive insurance: certain insurance services that are important for an electric car can be included in the normal rate or offered as an additional service. Sometimes individual services are only offered as part of an additional electronic module. However, the offers of car insurers are woven very differently, which does not exactly facilitate comparison.

What benefits should electric car insurance include?

Especially in the case of short circuit damage and consequential damage from marten bites, many insurance companies have made improvements regarding higher damage amounts for hybrid and electric cars. Most providers now pay a maximum sum of €10,000 or more for consequential damages caused by marten bites and short circuit damage. Just a few years ago, such damages often amounted to €5,000. Now some rates even offer maximum amounts of 20,000 euros.

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Good insurance should also cover surge damage caused by lightning. Charging stations (wall boxes) and charging cables are also insured against theft and damage with many offers. Whether the individual services are included in the normal umbrella insurance or offered as an additional module is ultimately irrelevant. The bottom line is that total costs are decisive.

Is the electric car battery also insured?

The comprehensive insurance must always include the vehicle’s battery. This is the case for almost all providers, there are only a few exceptions. It may be that the battery is only secured as part of an add-on module. Apart from these exceptions, damage caused by fire, theft, short circuits, marten bites, storms and floods are covered by partial comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive insurance also covers damage caused by vandalism and self-inflicted accident damage (on your own car). But be careful: as mentioned above, there can be significant differences in the sums insured for individual comprehensive insurance services (eg short-circuit damage, marten bites) depending on the provider.

What does comprehensive coverage for the battery bring?

As an additional module, some insurance companies offer so-called all-risk or all-risk coverage for battery damage. Batteries are fully protected against all hazards, unless they have been excluded beforehand. Construction errors, chemical reactions and wear and tear are generally excluded, as is declining battery performance over time. However, in the case of such damage, the manufacturer’s warranty sometimes applies.

Damage caused by incorrect operation, for example, is insured. One possible damage scenario for electric cars could be a deep discharge, which permanently damages the battery. But there are also providers that point out that thanks to the battery management system, operating errors are not possible.

“All-risk coverage satisfies customers with a higher need for security,” explains Wolfgang Schütz of the comparison portal Verivox. “But important risks can also be covered without this basic element.” Even among the cheapest rates on the market, many already include comprehensive coverage or offer it for a manageable surcharge. You do not have to pay more than 20 to 40 euros.

Attention, towing costs!

Transporting an electric car is much more difficult with an electric drive car than with other cars. The reason: In an electric car, electricity is generated through the drive axle. Improper towing can cause short circuits.

In the worst case, the battery will be damaged or a fire will break out. If you want to have towing costs covered in the event of a breakdown, you should normally take out insurance cover.

Is there used car insurance for electric cars?

Used car insurance (also called used car warranty) covers repair costs for vehicles purchased used. The components or assemblies that are insured are precisely defined in the contract. Insurance coverage may include motor, transmission and electricity, for example, but recently it also includes an electric car battery.

How is the price of electric car insurance calculated?

In principle, the insurance premium for an electric car does not have to be more expensive than that for a combustion engine. In some cases, electric cars are even cheaper to insure, even if the rate includes additional modules, such as comprehensive coverage. This is mostly related to the type class ratings: if a model’s drivers cause little damage, the rating is low and insurance is cheap. In general, electric cars do quite well here, compared to gasoline vehicles of similar power.

Are electric cars more expensive to insure than combustion engines?

no Verivox evaluated the insurance costs of five popular electric cars and comparable combustion engines for AUTO BILD (see table below). In four out of five couples, the Stromer can be insured more cheaply. The biggest difference is in the Mini. Here, e-mobile insurance costs almost a quarter (24%) less than that of the combustion engine. With the Fiat 500 alone, the comprehensive insurance for the pure Stromer is 18 percent more expensive than the contribution for the comparison model with hybrid drive.
“Despite the higher purchase price, electric cars are often significantly cheaper in car insurance than comparable models with combustion engines,” explains insurance expert Schütz. “To position themselves in this growing area of ​​business, several insurers are courting the favor of electric vehicle owners with attractive discounts. Some providers are also including hybrid vehicles in their discount programs for alternative fuel cars.”

Average contribution for select electric cars and comparable combustion engines*

Union

tesla model 3

Union

Union

mercedes-c300

Union

Union

fiat 500e

Union

Union

fiat 500 1.0

Union

Union

Hyundai Kona Electric

Union

Union

Hyundai Kona 1.6 T-GDI

Union

Union

VW ID.3

Union

Union

VW Golf 8 1.5 TSI

Union

Union

Mini Cooper SE

Union

Union

Mini Cooper 2.0 S

Union

Verivox evaluated the five cheapest comprehensive rates for all car models and formed the average price from them. All rates assessed included important services such as protection against damage and consequential damages caused by animal bites, extended protection against hunting damage, and protection even in case of gross negligence.

In the case of electric cars, important performance features were also required to protect the expensive battery, for example coverage for damage caused by short circuits or surges.

The fee calculation was based on a typical driver profile, which was identical for all vehicle models (44-year-old family man from Münster; 12,000 km mileage; new car; single driver, no accidents class 13, franchise €150 partially integral, €300 all complete).

Save on electric car insurance

Electric car drivers are favored in many places: subsidies for purchase, tax exemption and free parking. Some insurance companies also promise discounts for electric cars. Wolfgang Schütz advises: “Buyers of electric cars should not rely too much on the discount communication of individual insurers. The cheapest rates on the market offer a savings potential of 27% compared to average expensive offers and often they’re not even shown at a discount.” For the cheapest deals with the best services, individual fare comparison remains indispensable for drivers.”

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