Do I need special insurance if I have an electric or hybrid car?

As electric cars grow in popularity, insurance companies have developed new products aimed specifically for drivers of next-generation vehicles.

Electric car on charge
Electric cars made up 11% of new car sales in 2021

The legal bit


Car insurance for electric cars covers the same third party liabilities that all car insurance policies have to provide as a minimum in the UK. So if you cause damage to property or injure someone whilst driving your electric car, they're covered to be compensated just the same as if you'd caused it driving a traditional petrol or diesel car.


So all car insurance is the same?


No. Over recent years, car insurance companies have tweaked some of the things they cover specifically for electric vehicles (EVs) but not all car insurance policies cover the same things.


Liability for charging cables


Some insurers will extend liability cover to include any accidents involving the charging cable whilst it's plugged into your car. So if someone trips over the cable for example whilst your car is parked topping up on juice, your car insurance will pick up the compensation bill.


Damage to cables, charge points and adaptors


Some insurers will treat these as accessories for your car so may extend cover for them if they are accidentally damaged, or stolen, for example.


Battery cover


As with lots of things when they're new or developing technology, the batteries in an EV can be pretty expensive. Some insurers will cover the batteries for accidental damage, fire or theft. But be sure to check if they also extend this cover if you're leasing the battery from the manufacturer.


Do all these things make insuring an electric car more expensive?


Not necessarily. Insurance prices are based on insurance company views of risk, and many risks relating to EVs are still unknown. The only way insurance companies can start to learn about these risks and price for them accurately is to build some customer and claims experience by insuring electric vehicles and the only way they'll do that is by offering competitive prices for EVs.


Do I need to look for specific electric car insurance quotes?


No. Whenever you get a quote from an insurance company, either direct or via a price comparison website, you'll enter your vehicle details usually at the start of the quote. The vehicle make and model will indicate to the insurance company that it's an electric car and they'll offer you their most suitable product (which may be their standard policy that covers traditional-fuelled cars as well) automatically. Then review the policy they offer and check how their EV-specific cover compares.


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