Buying an electric car is a good choice for the environment and your wallet, but not all auto insurance companies are yet convinced. Some may even provide lower limits of coverage than you receive on your traditional gas guzzler.
As with any type of new technology, there will always be early adopters who embrace it wholeheartedly and then there is a wait-and-see crowd. The wait-and-see crowd is comprised of those who aren’t quite ready to be among the first to take full advantage of what an electric car has to offer.
However, many of the same affordability principles apply when purchasing an electric car as they do with any other vehicle; you can save money by shopping around and comparing rates.
The following are some mistakes to avoid when purchasing an electric car insurance policy:
11. Going for the first quote you receive
It is quite possible that the company offering the cheapest rate isn’t aware of all your options, or it could be positioning itself as a great choice for those who don’t use their vehicles very much. If you are the type of driver who is on the road once or twice a week, then these rates may not be adequate for your needs.
10. Putting convenience over price
This mistake involves primarily Tesla owners because they have only one authorized buyer in their area, United Automobile Insurance Company (UAAIC). They are generally considered to have the lowest rates because there are no comparisons necessary. However, many owners are finding their UAAIC rates are not competitive enough for them to stay with that company over the long term.
9. Not asking about discounts
Discounts can be applied to your electric car insurance policy in a number of ways and should always be considered. There are some discounts that will be advertised, such as multi-vehicle and multi-policy, which can save you money on both your insurance rates and your home or renter’s policy.
8. Not shopping around
The more you shop for a good rate, the better your chances of finding a great deal on an electric car insurance policy. Most electric car owners who have done the research and shopped for a quote, find that there can be significant savings to be had by shopping around — often in some cases $1,000 or more per year.
7. Not asking about discounts
Discounts can be applied to your electric car insurance policy in a number of ways. There are some discounts that will be advertised, such as multi-vehicle and multi-policy, which can save you money on both your insurance rates and your home or renter’s policy.
6. Not being clear about what you need
Electric car owners have the same auto insurance needs as traditional gas guzzlers do, such as having the appropriate level of liability and protection against uninsured or underinsured motorists. However, electric car insurance companies may offer more options than traditional providers. For example, you might be able to purchase:
5. Forgetting about your home and renter’s insurance
Electric cars require a dedicated circuit in order to charge them quickly and safely. Many electric vehicles will not accept a charge from an ordinary household outlet, so it is important to check with your insurance company to make sure you have the right home and charger. You might even be able to take advantage of discounts for having both your electricity and auto insurance policies with one provider.
4. Not considering all the ramifications
Your insurer will want to know if you have solar panels on the roof of your home because these could increase your electric bill, which in turn could cause your insurer’s rates to increase. You may also want to check with your homeowner’s association or condo board because some are not very friendly to alternative transportation options.
3. Making assumptions
As with any other vehicle, you should never assume that owning an electric vehicle will result in lower rates. Look at all of your options, including your driving record and the number of miles driven annually on a yearly basis. Don’t forget to factor in any safety features that might save you money, such as anti-lock brakes.
2. Forgetting about the charger
What you will need in terms of a charger depends on the type of car you have and where you live. In one case, an owner might be able to simply plug into a standard household outlet for slow charging. However, another might need to have a specific high power charge station installed at their home or workplace in order to recharge the vehicle in a few hours.
1. Not knowing the difference between policy types
The type of electric car insurance you need depends on the type of vehicle you drive and whether or not your primary form of transportation is an automobile, motorcycle, boat or RV. The three most common types are:
- Casualty (liability)
- Property damage
- Umbrella liability coverage
What kinds of discounts can I get?
Some of the most common electric car insurance discounts include multi-vehicle, multi-policy (home and auto) and good driver. Depending on your state, eligibility for waivers may be based on emissions certification level. “Enhanced” safety features could also save you some money if they are standard or optional on the vehicle you are considering.
Can I purchase my car insurance and home insurance from the same company?
Yes. Many electric vehicle owners find that it is more convenient, not to mention more cost effective, to purchase these coverages from the same insurer. Depending on your insurance needs, you may be able to bundle home, auto and umbrella coverage for additional discounts. However, doing so also means that you won’t have the option of shopping around for better rates or investigating other options if your insurer raises rates or cancels your policy.
What types of electric car insurance policies might I need?
The most common types are property damage, liability and collision. If your state offers a clean air discount, you might also save on an umbrella policy to increase the limits of other coverages under your policy. However, if you live in a state that does not offer such discounts, it might actually hurt your wallet to add this coverage because you will be paying for it even though you are not taking advantage of its benefits.
Is there an easy way to comparison shop?
The best way is to get quotes from multiple providers, but this can be time consuming. Although shopping online has never been easier, you still need to check each quote for accuracy and completeness. Many sites require that you enter information manually, so checking for errors or omissions can be tedious.
To Wrap Things Up
I hope this list of mistakes has helped you avoid the pitfalls that often come with buying electric car insurance. If you think there are any other mistakes to add, please leave a comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading!