The 4 steps below will provide you with the information needed to file a claim for your hybrid electric vehicle.
Please note, this is not meant to be legal advice, but hopefully it will help answer some of the questions you might have after an accident.
STEP 1 – IDENTIFY THE INSURANCE COMPANY
Before you can begin working on your claim, you need to know who to call. There are some instances when the insurance company will pay for the total cost of the repair, but in most cases they will only pay for a percentage.
It is important to understand how the percentages work so that you can get an idea of what their limitations are. If your vehicle can be repaired for less than the total amount your insurance company is willing to pay, it would still be in your best interest to have the repairs done.
In this case you will have to self-pay some of the cost of repair and use a loan or line of credit if necessary.
STEP 2 – DETERMINE THE COST OF REPAIR
The company that insures your hybrid should have a list of certified technicians in their network. The insurance company will only pay for the cost to repair, not replace, your vehicle. You can hire any mechanic you choose to make repairs; however, it is recommended that you check with the insurance company to ensure they are qualified and will use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts.
It is also important to note that the insurance company will only allow for a reasonable amount of time in which you can have your vehicle repaired. If they do not receive it back within this period, they may decide to pay out the total value and require you to purchase another vehicle or just ask that you pay the difference.
STEP 3 – DOCUMENT THE DAMAGE AND YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH THE INSURANCE AGENT
It is important to understand that your insurance company is only obligated to pay for what they believe is fair and equitable. You will need documentation of all the damage and conversations you have with them about why certain things should be repaired.
For example, if the battery is destroyed and will need to be replaced, there should be documentation on how it was being charged or being drained. It is important that you have a record of this as well as anything else that may have contributed to the problem.
STEP 4 – GET ASSISTANCE FROM A HYBRID SPECIALIST
If you are unable to find the information you need on your own, contact a hybrid specialist. They can help you determine if your claim is valid and provide assistance when it comes to understanding the specifics of the finance portion of the repairs.
A hybrid expert will also be able to assist in finding OEM parts that meet or exceed manufacturer specifications at an affordable price.
The first 3 steps provide important information about dealing with insurance companies for hybrid cars. Please note that it may be worthwhile to find a hybrid specialist who can help you through this process if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the claims process.
Now that you have some idea of how insurance works for hybrids, what does this mean for your claim? When dealing with any type of claim, it is important to have documentation so the insurance company can see that you are not trying to rip them off.
You will want to create a spreadsheet with the following headings:
- Description of Damage
- Date of Incident
- Estimated Cost of Repair/Replacement
- Date of Call/Email & Follow Up Notes
- Date Vehicle Will be Ready For Inspection
You can use this to keep track of your conversations with the insurance company and the services you receive. This allows you to refer back to what was said, instead of finding yourself in an argument about how things work.
There are some items that will need to be replaced that may not be covered by the insurance company if they deem them as not part of the “drive train” parts.
For example, if your vehicle has a GPS system, hybrid computer or electric motor cooling fan, this could be considered as an accessory and not covered. Before you have any repairs performed, it is important that you check with your insurance company to ensure these items are included or will be replaced at no cost to you.
By staying organized and having documentation, you will be able to reduce the stress associated with this process. If you are looking for more information about how hybrid car insurance works, contact an insurance specialist or get in touch with your insurance company directly.
The following is a list of common components that your hybrid car may have that make up its “drive train” and will be covered by the insurance company:
Up-fitting of parts for electric car conversion kits is not covered, even if it is performed by a professional or an OEM. If you opt to keep the original powertrain of your vehicle, such as the gasoline engine and drive train (radiator, alternator, AC compressor, power steering pump, etc.), your claim will be denied.
If the battery was replaced with a new or used part of less capacity than what is listed on the original invoice for your vehicle, this may result in your insurance company denying your claim. If you are looking to replace the battery pack in your vehicle because it is completely destroyed, you will need to get a pro-forma estimate from your dealership or third party repair shop.
If this repair creates a substantial increase in the OEM battery capacity, the insurance company may not be willing to cover it especially if they deem your vehicle as being past its warranty period. Repairs performed by non-OEM shops may be denied if the original dealer was not contacted to provide a pro-forma estimate before beginning work.
When does Hybrid Electric Vehicle Insurance Coverage Begin?
Hybrid electric vehicle coverage is typically available as an endorsement to your current car insurance policy. Your car insurance company will need time to review the modifications that you have made and change the coverage on your policy from “Standard” to Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
If you have been driving a hybrid before getting a policy with Hybrid Electric Vehicle coverage, you will need to pay the deductible and “preliminary charges” out of pocket before your insurance company will begin paying. If you are not sure when Hybrid Electric Vehicle coverage begins, contact your car insurance provider for clarification.
What is Hybrid Electric Vehicle Insurance?
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Insurance is coverage added to your current car insurance policy which covers damage to your Hybrid vehicle caused by something other than a collision. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Insurance is meant to assist in covering things such as, vandalism, theft, fire, etc., not damage due to collisions with another vehicle or object.
How much do Hybrid Insurance deductibles cost?
Hybrid Insurance deductibles can range anywhere from $100-1000 depending on the state and the policy limit. Hybrid Insurance deductibles are typically lower than standard car insurance deductibles however, Hybrid Insurance often “pays for itself” in the form of fuel savings.
How much do Hybrid Insurance policies cost?
Hybrid Insurance policies vary based on many factors such as; region, insurer, coverage limits, etc. Hybrid Insurance premiums are typically more than standard car insurance policies but it is important to note that Hybrid Insurance often “pays for itself.”
I am interested in getting Hybrid Insurance on my new Hybrid car, how do I go about this?
Hybrid insurance is added as an endorsement to your current car insurance policy and you will need to contact your current insurer. Depending on the company, you may be able to add Hybrid Insurance as “preferred” or as a separate policy all together.
If you have been driving a Hybrid before getting a policy with Hybrid Insurance coverage, you will need to pay the deductible and “preliminary charges” out of pocket before your insurance company will begin paying. Hybrid Insurance is available for both new and used Hybrid cars depending on the insurer.
In The Main
I hope this article has been helpful and you found it easy to navigate. If there is any information that needs clarification, please leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer your questions. Thanks for reading!