So, you’ve made the decision to opt for an electric car and now it’s time to sort out insurance cover. That all sounds relatively straight-forward, doesn’t it? Well, it can be with the right EV insurer, but this is where some frustrations can creep in. There are a few factors that should be taken into consideration, which is when a specialist EV insurance company can make life much easier.
Let’s explain a fundamental difference when comparing EV insurance with standard petrol or diesel fuelled vehicle insurance because it is good to understand the situation from the underwriters’ perspective. Electric car insurance differs from traditional motor insurance, so the clauses and cover provided need careful consideration by the prospective policy holder! There is a good reason. Technological advancements often prevalent in EVs, coupled with the performance capability of some of the more expensive marques and models, means that underwriters need to view and consider EVs in a different light.
Therefore, EV insurance is not always as easy as the first-time owner of a battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle may imagine. However, there are companies providing specialist EV insurance which makes arranging cover a lot easier. It’s worth remembering that while BEV and PHEV cars are making significant headway in market gain, they still have a long way to go in catching up with their traditional ICE counterparts. Similarly, the motor insurance sector is catching up and adapting too.
LIKE-FOR-LIKE LOAN EV REPLACEMENT IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT
So, what are some of the details to be mindful of when looking for electric car insurance? One important, but often overlooked clause, is the reassurance of a replacement electric loan vehicle. This is more crucial than ever for the EV driver, who is used to the convenience of plugging in and charging at home or a work, rather than being forced to visit the nearest fuel station.
There are a multitude of reasons why having a non-EV replacement car can be a problem. For a start, reverting to fossil fuel is not an ideology for many EV drivers, many of whom have a strong commitment to their personal or corporate environmental responsibility. The high cost of petrol and diesel is another reason. But a company car driver can be hit hard financially through tax implications (BiK) if they must settle for a replacement petrol or diesel loan car. The average time is currently more than 45 days for repairs to be carried out – and longer if the car is written off.
Novo Insurance, for example, guarantees the use of a ‘like-for-like’ electric loan vehicle if the policy holder’s EV is off the road, due to an accident or repair work. This includes replacement of premium marque cars. So, if you regularly drive a Tesla or an electric Porsche Taycan, you won’t end up with a small petrol hatchback delivered to your door. Like-for-like, in Novo’s case, means exactly that. The company also has a comprehensive Incident Management solution, providing another layer of support for its EV policy holders, with a personal concierge service to manage the entire process.
James Allenby, Founder and Director of Novo explains: “Unlike many other insurers, Novo has a large fleet of electric courtesy vehicles available through our Incident Management solution. We are seeing the average time for a vehicle repair extend beyond 45 days which isn’t being helped by supply chain challenges. So, if a company car driver is given a fossil fuelled courtesy car as a replacement to their EV, they could suddenly face BIK charges of over £500 per month. Factor in fuel costs, it is easy to see how expensive this can be.”
GETTING THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF INSURANCE COVER
Not everyone realises that EV insurance can be tailored to suit specific requirements. The motor insurance industry tends to have a ‘one size fits all’ mentality, giving customers little option for flexibility. A specialist EV insurance company will generally have more in-depth knowledge of the EV industry, with greater expertise and scope for understanding policy holders’ needs. Yes, there are more generalised motor insurers out there offering EV insurance, but overall, they do not have the same ability for personalising electric car cover.
Again, seeking advice from a specialist EV insurer, such as Novo can make all the difference. Novo’s made-to-measure policies are tailored to provide the appropriate level of insurance cover to suit its customers. Personal and business requirements, as well as lifestyle factors, are evaluated to recommend the best solution. This may include specific needs, such as the provision of fully comprehensive cover for vehicles not owned by the policy holder.
All these elements are discussed by a team of people at Novo, who have extensive experience in EVs and motor insurance. Each client is assigned a concierge manager as a personal point of contact, providing support and advice at every stage for added reassurance and continuity of relationship. Should a claim need to be made, the concierge manager will co-ordinate the entire process from start to finish.
EV INSURANCE FOR DRIVING IN EUROPE
Anyone considering a road trip to Europe, should ensure they have the appropriate insurance cover, and carry the correct documentation for each individual country. A Green Card (or International Motor Insurance Card) is no longer required for driving in countries in the EU, as the UK became part of the Green Card Free Circulation Area (GCFCA) on 2 August 2021. Some countries, such as Turkey, may still require the Green Card, so it’s always best to double-check. This is not to be confused with an International Driving Permit. An IDP is needed in some EU countries, especially for those who have a paper driving licence rather than photo ID driving licence.
For those wishing to drive their electric cars in Europe either for business or pleasure, it worth noting that Novo provides 182 days per trip of European cover. Novo’s experienced EV insurance specialists will also provide clients with all the essential insurance information they need before embarking on their drive to Europe.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TO THE RESCUE
In the unfortunate event of a road accident, it is reassuring to have an incident management service to rely on. Incident management, or accident management as it also often called, can be a salvation should an accident occur.
An accident management service provides an end-to-end solution handling all elements of a claim, and is commonly used by drivers who are not at fault in respect of the incident. People use them as an alternative to their insurance company because they don’t want the hassle, or responsibility of sorting out a resolution themselves, and they also don’t want to risk damaging their no-claims bonus.
The ‘accident management’ industry is very competitive so care should be taken on who is appointed to represent a case. With so many ‘promises’ it can be difficult knowing who to trust. Caution is required about potential hidden fees, that may crop up out of the blue. Finding a reputable company, and the right incident management solution is imperative.
Novo provides a turnkey accident management solution, that is tailored to suit each individual situation, through its exclusive Incident Management concierge service. The concierge claims manager co-ordinates and manages all aspects of the claim, including third party losses. Novo provides a like-for-like replacement EV loan car, and has the benefit of its own substantial fleet of EV courtesy cars to pull on.
Novo also ensures that repair work is carried out by manufacturer-approved repair partners using genuine parts in validated workshops. This is especially important for electric cars that need to be repaired by EV specialists. Novo’s Incident Management solution is free to those who are not at fault, and the company is committed to getting the best possible outcomes for clients. No catches, no small print.
So, to summarise, there are many practical, economical and environmentally-ethical reasons to choose an electric or plug-in hybrid car as your next vehicle. Reducing carbon emissions is a responsibility all drivers must share, and there is now an EV to suit virtually any need, from the family car to high performance sportscars.
But when you make the move to ‘electric’ make sure you choose the right insurance company; preferably one that specialises in EV insurance, such as Novo Insurance, respected and trusted for its high-calibre service and comprehensive solutions.