Don’t let the high average insurance prices put you off buying an electric car.
Most important points
- Electric vehicles contain a number of expensive parts that are costly to replace.
- There are also fewer mechanics who are experienced in repairing them.
- There are steps electric vehicle owners can take to find affordable auto insurance.
The increasing availability of electric vehicles is encouraging to those concerned about climate change and how traditional gas-powered vehicles are contributing to it. But as anyone who has ever tried to buy an electric car knows, they don’t come cheap. And the increased cost extends to the insurance drivers pay to cover them.
Here’s a closer look at why this is and what electric vehicle drivers can do to keep their costs down.
The latest technology is expensive
Electric vehicles use more complex technology than many traditional gas-powered vehicles. This technology helps motorists save fuel and save maintenance costs in the long run, but it comes back to bite motorists when they have an accident.
The parts needed to repair electric vehicles can be expensive, and as a result auto insurance companies have to pay more out of pocket to get the vehicle back on the road. Complicating matters is the fact that many mechanics are not well versed in how these electric vehicles work. Drivers may need to take their electric vehicles to a specialty shop for repair, which can increase labor costs. As a result, insurers charge higher rates to electric vehicle owners, but not for all types of insurance.
Collision and extended coverage protects the policyholder’s own vehicle if it is damaged as a result of an accident at fault, a collision with an animal, weather damage and more. The costs for these protections are therefore often higher for an electric vehicle.
Liability protection, however, which is required by state law, pays for medical expenses and repairs for other people and their property if the policyholder causes the accident. This type of protection has nothing to do with the policyholder’s own vehicle, so the cost of this coverage is not affected by owning an electric vehicle.
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What electric vehicle owners can do to keep costs down
The type of car a driver owns is just one of many factors that affect their premiums. Insurers also look at a driver’s accident history, their zip code, their level of education, their marital status and much more to assess their risk of an accident. Each company weighs all of these factors a little differently, which is why they all give different quotes.
Drivers can take advantage of this by comparing quotes from different companies to see which offers the best deal. Many companies have online quote tools these days, so it only takes a few minutes to see how much a policy would cost. But remember, price isn’t everything. Drivers should also look at how much coverage they’re getting for the price and quality of the insurer’s customer service.
While rare, some companies offer auto insurance discounts to electric vehicle drivers, so this is something to watch out for. Drivers may also be able to save by enrolling in optional programs, such as usage-based auto insurance, which monitors a driver’s behavior and gives them a discount for safe or erratic driving.
Finally, if that doesn’t work, drivers can raise their deductibles to lower their premiums. This will result in greater out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim, but drivers can save for this in their emergency fund so that an accident doesn’t put too much of a strain on their wallets.
Hopefully, as EVs become more common, the cost of these vehicles will drop and the number of mechanics comfortable working on them will increase. Then electric vehicles may not be that expensive to insure. But for now, the tips above are your best bet for protecting an electric vehicle on a budget.
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