Lots of confusion when it comes to electric car insurance

Lots of confusion when it comes to electric car insurance

Finanztest has analyzed the conditions of electric car insurance providers. Five points homeowners should pay attention to.

3 minutes

Electric car on fire in Caputh, Brandenburg: Good for the owner, whose insurance now pays for all the damage.

Electric car on fire in Caputh, Brandenburg: Good for the owner, whose insurance now pays for all the damage.
© J. Stahle/Nonstopnews

If you want to insure your new electric car with comprehensive insurance, you should carefully check whether the policy sufficiently covers the special components of this vehicle. Simple basic rates are not enough. Based on the financial test, completely new damage can occur with electric cars.

If, for example, the unit’s battery fails due to animal bites, power surges or malfunctions, several thousand euros are quickly owed. If coverage isn’t enough, it can quickly become uncomfortable.

Big differences in the fine print

More and more insurers are including this type of damage specific to electric cars, and there are not always additional fees. Some providers include special services in the conventional rates. In some cases, important services are only included in the most expensive policies. Other providers have modules that can be reserved for electric cars. And some grant discounts of up to 25 percent on the respective rate if an e-car is insured.

However, there are some of the relevant components only in comprehensive insurance, which experts recommend anyway for new electric cars due to their high value. An overview of which components should ideally always be included and which are more likely to be considered “useful extras”.

1. Battery damage

For a certain period of time, the battery must also be insurable up to its new value. Some insurers even offer protection without a time limit, but you generally must accept deductions from the reimbursement value each year after the end of a term, often ten percent per year of operation.

The structure is also different: some only refund the price of the new battery if the whole car was damaged, others also if only the battery was exhausted. It is important to watch closely and ask questions when in doubt.

2. Charging cable or wall box

These accessories must also be covered. After all, cables and mobile chargers can be stolen or a wall box can be damaged. According to the financial test, the latter is often automatically insured through residential building insurance if it is permanently attached to the home.

3. Operator error

It is useful if operating errors are also insured. This is usually done through the so-called “all-risk” coverage in all-risk insurance, so the term “operational error” does not necessarily appear in the conditions. Some providers assume damages of up to 5,000 euros, others up to 20,000 euros or more.

4. Animal bite

In this case, you must ensure, among other things, that the consequential damage is also insured through partial all-risk insurance. The services that Finanztest compares range between 3,000 and 20,000 euros. Some are “unlimited” liable. This usually means that the replacement value of the car is the limit.

5. Letter of Protection

A letter of protection can also be useful for newcomers to electric cars. This ensures breakdown assistance in an emergency if you are stranded with a dead battery. Then, for example, the trailer to the nearest charging station is included.

Basically, Finanztest criticizes a “disorder” in the insurance conditions. Even for the company’s own experts, it was sometimes difficult to understand which benefits are now valid and which specific cases of damage are insured. “We had to ask many insurers several times to be able to classify some of the formulations,” the testers report. It’s easy to predict what that means for repeat customers. (dpa/rnw)

The biggest discounts

  • Many insurers grant a discount on the amount of insurance if the rate is contracted for a battery electric vehicle -in some cases also for a plug-in hybrid-.
  • The largest discounts among the fares tested were at Condor, HDI, Kravag and R+V, each at 25 percent. Allianz, Gothaer, LVM, Öffentl granted up to or exactly 20 percent. Braunschweig, Universa, VGH and Württembergische. (rwn)

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