Published: April 2014
When you're thinking about buying an electric vehicle, there are a lot of things to consider, from charging locations to the financial ramifications. Another thing you might be wondering: What about car insurance? Is buying car insurance for an electric vehicle different from insuring other cars?
The good news: Generally, auto insurance covering an electric car works just like insurance that covers a car that runs on gasoline or diesel. This means there are the same familiar options, such as:
There are two types of liability coverage
bodily injury liability coverage, which helps pay for medical costs for someone else who is injured in an accident you cause, and property damage liability coverage, which helps pay to repair or replace property damaged in an accident you cause. Most states have minimum required limits for liability coverage; click here
for information about the requirements in your state.
Collision coverage: This coverage helps pay for damage to your car caused by an accident, no matter who was at fault. Although collision coverage is an optional coverage as far as legal requirements are concerned, if you still owe money on your auto loan or you lease your car, your lender or lease holder may require it.
Comprehensive coverage: This coverage helps to pay for repair or replacement if your car is damaged by a cause other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage typically covers damage or loss from causes such as theft, animal damage or hail, but you should check your specific policy to determine what it covers.
Medical payments coverage: As the name implies, this type of coverage helps pay for medical bills for you or your passengers if you're injured in an accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP): Only available in some states, PIP can help pay for costs you incur because you're injured in a covered accident, such as medical expenses, lost income, child care costs or grocery delivery fees.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: This type of coverage can help protect you in case you're involved in an accident caused by someone who's uninsured (has no car insurance) or underinsured (whose liability coverage limits are lower than the cost of the damage caused in the accident).
There are additional optional coverages you may also want to consider, such as rental reimbursement coverage. Talk to an insurance agent for more information.
A new driver of an electric or hybrid vehicle also may need to consider insurance for more than just the car itself; the installation of vehicle charging stations may also affect your homeowners insurance. The American Association of Insurance Services reports that laws in at least two states—Oregon and California—require some homeowners and condo owners to have liability coverage that protects the charging equipment. Even if your state doesn't require coverage in this circumstance, it may be a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about any homeowners insurance implications of installing a charging station at your home.
Finally, if you have any questions about buying auto insurance coverage for your electric car, it's a great idea to talk to your insurance agent. He or she can help you understand the types of coverage that are available and provide any additional information to help you choose the best insurance for your situation.