Buying insurance for your electric car? Look at these things first

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Published: December 27, 2018 5:35:20 PM

Things to look at before buying insurance for your Electric car

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Electric vehicles have now become a common sight on our roads more so with the Modi government keen on making India a 100 per cent electric vehicle-driven nation by 2030. Auto companies also have taken electric vehicles (EVs) seriously and companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors are already out with their e-cars. According to industry experts, the demand for e-cars is increasing and will continue to grow in the years to come, because of growing consumer awareness and its strict emission norms.

These E-cars come with their own perks, even though they might be slightly expensive as compared to motor cars. For instance, e-cars are noiseless, do not pollute the environment and most importantly saves on petrol and diesel. However, with the higher cost of the car, the payout for insuring the electric vehicle also gets higher.

With the numbers of electric cars being limited, there is no separate coverage available as of now. Currently, electric cars are covered under the traditional motor-insurance policies which also provide covers for petrol and diesel cars. These policies are offered by insurers as per the standard guidelines for traditional fuel based vehicle insurance.

Things to look at before buying an insurance cover:

  • Electric cars operate differently to traditional vehicles. Hence look at these unique issues before buying an insurance cover. Commonly available electric cars can be driven for about 100 to 150 miles before their batteries drain out. Most electric cars take between 5-10 hours to get fully charged. The battery and electricity supply unit is a key component for an electric car. Experts suggest the mechanical, electronic and electric failure of battery and electricity supply unit should be protected by opting for suitable warranty products to cover the risk.
  • Experts say before buying an insurance cover, one should find out the value of the vehicle at which insurance cover is being provided. Insurance should be issued at the correct value of the vehicle. You should also ensure whether the coverage provided is adequate so that your share during an accidental claim is minimal.
  • Look out for insured declared value (IDV), availability of add-on features and the type of plan to be opted for while buying an insurance cover. Along with these check the cashless facility, performance of the company, and claim settlement ratio, before choosing for an insurer.
  • These cars are built with advanced technology, and it requires specialist mechanics for repairs. Costs of the batteries and specialized parts can also be expensive. Hence, it is suggested to opt for separate add-on covers. Though add-on covers are necessary for an e-car, add-ons like engine protector available with comprehensive motor insurance may vary, as vehicles running on the battery are different from traditional fuel engines. Risks of damages due to battery charging, battery leakages, damage of charging connectors, towing of the vehicle to the nearest charging point and provide on-spot assistance should be looked at as add-on covers.
  • Zero depreciation add-on cover can also be helpful as the cost and the repair of these vehicles are expensive. During a claim, the insurance company calculates the depreciation value of the car, which is then deducted from the claim amount. With zero-depreciation add-on cover, the deductions in the claim amount made due to depreciation are waived off and the full amount of damage is paid.
Premiums rates for electric cars

The premium rates for the normal motor vehicles are decided on the basis of the engine capacity of the vehicle. However, to apply for an insurance cover for e-cars, there is no defined engine and cubic capacity (CC) separately mentioned, for calculating the premium. In the absence of cubic capacity (CC) for an electric car, insurers generally take into consideration the kilowatt (KW) to calculate the premium. However, experts say, electric cars attract a higher premium rate than the diesel or petrol cars because the repairing cost is higher in case of any damage.


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