Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Electric van insurance
There are currently around 10,000 electric vans (EVs) on the UK’s roads. The number is growing as charging infrastructure expands and we become conscious of our contributions to climate change, and the potential impact of it on our business’ bottom lines. Low running costs, grants, and tax discounts all make electric vans viable for both business and households. And if that’s not incentive enough, the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, including vans, will be suspended by 2040.
Flipping the switch early can seem like a huge change. But one thing that isn’t dramatically different for your electric van is insurance. However, you’ll need to consider how the battery, and who ultimately owns it affects your policy and its costs.
In This Guide:
- How much does electric van insurance cost?
- Do I need a specialist provider for electric van insurance?
- What additional coverage do you need for an electric van?
- How do batteries impact electric van insurance?
How much does electric van insurance cost?
You may have heard that electric vehicles are more expensive to insure and that you’ll need to seek out a niche insurer for them. And it’s true that the electric van market and thus the insurance provisions for them are just getting off the ground. But as more businesses and families adopt electric vans, more insurers, including mainstream providers, will cover these vehicles. With competition and choice, the expense and complication of insuring an electric van will diminish. In fact, this has already started to happen.
But because electric vans cost more to buy, or to replace, than comparable diesel and petrol-powered vans, premiums for their insurance are often steeper. Additionally, their parts are more expensive, including batteries. Electric vans are also more complicated to service and repair, mainly because you might need to take them to a specialist mechanic. And because these vehicles are rarer, sourcing replacement parts can be expensive and time-consuming. Electric vans also pose some unique risks, including electrical fires.
So electric van insurance is indeed pricier. The exact premium you’re quoted will depend on the make and model of the van, along with the other factors that usually influence van insurance prices (the driver, how the vehicle is used, what’s stored in it).
Additionally, some insurers will give you discounts on your premiums for running a lean green machine. And the other savings and perks of going electric can offset higher premiums. This includes their low running costs and exemption from vehicle tax and congestion charges.
Do I need a specialist provider for electric van insurance?
More mainstream auto insurers are offering policies for electric vehicles, but you can also use a specialist provider. If you’re looking for coverage for a lesser-known make and model of electric vehicle you might need to use a specialist provider. Mainstream insurers may not have that particular vehicle in their database.
What additional coverage do you need for an electric van?
Electric vehicles do pose some unique risks, and you’ll need to ensure that your policy covers the damage and liabilities associated with them:
- power cables and tripping: Electric vans need to be charged, via large power cords. And if you’re charging your vehicle on the street or at a public charging station, those cords trail along the ground where they can be tripped over by a member of the public. Your insurer will therefore want to know not only where you park your vehicle but also where you charge it. And if you’re not able to charge it in your driveway or garage, you may face higher premiums to reflect the potential public liability from the cord.
- fires: If your electric van or its charger catch fire while plugged in at your home or commercial premises and causes damage to the building, you may wonder which insurer you should be submitting a claim to: your buildings or auto insurer. Which policy you can claim on will ultimately depend on where the fire originated. But the risk of your electric van causing a fire is one factor that contributes to higher premiums for EVs.
How do batteries impact electric van insurance?
Some manufacturers, including Renault and Clio, give drivers the option of buying their electric vehicle but leasing its battery for a monthly fee and under a specific mileage limit. These arrangements can save you from the expense of replacing the batteries, which are pricy and lose functionality after a few years.
But you’ll need to inform your insurer if you’re leasing the battery because, in the event of the theft or total loss of the van, part of the insurance payout will be directed to the manufacturer, the ultimate owner of the battery. Some policies won’t cover electric vehicles with leased batteries.