How to get the best rates for your planet-saving wheels.
So you looked at gas prices, followed headlines about oil production, calculated your commute mileage, and made the decision: you bought an electric car. But did you consider the price of auto insurance for your electric car? Many people don’t before making the plunge into green driving and are surprised when their insurance premiums are much higher than they were expecting.
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Electric cars are more expensive to insure than conventional gas cars. In general, insurance premiums for electric cars are about 20% more expensive than car insurance for similarly-priced cars that run on gas. There are two reasons electric car insurance is more expensive:
1. Electric cars cost more. For cars that come in both versions — like the Kia Soul, the Chevy Spark, or the Ford Focus — the electric model is between 50% and 100% more expensive than the conventional gas model. So just like luxury cars cost more to insure than cheap, no-frills cars, electric cars are more expensive to insure, too.
2. Electric car repairs cost more. In addition to costing more out the gate, electric cars also cost more if they need to be repaired after an accident. Not only do they require special (and expensive) parts, they also require special (and expensive) technicians.
Buying insurance for hybrid cars, also called hybrid electric vehicles, is similar to buying insurance for all-electric vehicles or gas-only cars.
Insurance costs for hybrid cars are more expensive to insure than gas-only cars but less expensive to insure than electric-only cars, for the same reasons: they are more expensive than gas-only cars to buy, and more expensive than gas-only cars to repair.
Tesla cars are high-end vehicles that run entirely on electricity. While Tesla owners can buy car insurance from regular car insurance companies just like for other electric cars, you have one more option when buying car insurance for Teslas: Tesla’s proprietary car insurance product called InsureMyTesla.
Read more about buying car insurance for Teslas.
In addition to car insurance, you may also need to add coverage to your homeowners insurance policy if you have a plug-in electric car and you decide to install an at-home charging station. If you have a charging station, ask your homeowners insurance agent if your policy homeowners policy covers charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles, or if you need to purchase additional coverage.
Policygenius can help you get free homeowners insurance quotes.
Car insurance policies for electric cars include the same kinds of coverage that car insurance policies for traditional cars. The different coverage types that make up a car insurance policy include:
Liability insurance — Covers payments to the victim when you cause him or her a bodily injury (BIL) or property damage with your car.
Personal injury protection (PIP) — Covers medical payments when you cause an injury to yourself or your passengers with your car.
Collision insurance — Pays for repairs to your car when it’s damaged in an accident.
Comprehensive insurance — overs financial loss for vandalism, theft (including the contents of the car and the car itself), and weather damage to your car when you’re not driving it.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance — Makes up the difference between the other party’s coverage (or lack thereof) and the actual amount of damages you suffered.
Gap insurance — Increases the payment made when your car is totaled or stolen to the amount the car was worth when you financed it, before depreciation
The steps to buy car insurance for your electric car are the same as those for buying car insurance for a conventional car, and include deciding how much coverage you need, comparing quotes, and then picking a premium. You can read more about how to buy car insurance, but the gist of it is this:
1. Decide how much coverage you need. Auto insurance is made up of a few different types of coverage, including liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, and gap insurance (read more about the types of coverage above). Your state likely mandates a minimum amount of some coverages, and others you should pick based on your financial situation and your risk threshold. Find out how much car insurance is required in your state, and learn more about the different types of coverages.
2. Get quotes. Once you know how much coverage you want to buy, it’s time to get quotes. Whether you go directly to car insurance company websites or get quotes from a car insurance broker like Policygenius, you should get quotes from a few companies. Read about the best car insurance companies.
3. Vet your quotes, pick a policy and pay your premium. Once you get your quotes back, research the providers, and choose a policy. Pay your premium, either through the broker or directly to the company, and you’re insured.
Zack Sigel is a SEO managing editor at Policygenius. He covers personal finance, comprising mortgages, investing, deposit accounts, and more. His previous work included writing about film and music.