Why is it more expensive to insure electric cars?

The quotes to insure my Nissan Leaf are generally much higher than those to insure my Skoda Kodiaq. Is this a disincentive to buying electric cars and could it put people off buying them?

Asked on 9 April 2021 by Graeme Lanfear

Answered by Georgia Petrie
There are a number of factors that go into insurance policy pricing. Other than the obvious things like power and acceleration, insurance pricing can also be based on things like how many cars are stolen in your local area. For example, if the Leaf is recorded as a more at-risk (of theft) vehicle, that could factor into the premium. Other factors include the value of the vehicle (electric vehicles cost more, generally), the ease of finding a professional qualified to repair the model (there are far fewer qualified technicians for EVs than ICE cars), and the cost and availability of parts.

There's also a matter of insurance history. Petrol and diesel cars have been around yonks, but EVs haven't — meaning up until recently, there wasn't much for insurance providers to go on. If you look at the torque stats for, say, a Tesla Model 3 Performance model — it accelerates much faster than a conventional petrol. If there's not a long insurance history that shows what drivers of EVs do with said EVs, insurers have to price the policies based on expectations. It's only in the last few years that EVs have become more mainstream, allowing for more of an insurance history on electric vehicles.

Lastly, higher premiums for EVs aren't always the case. 2020 marked a tipping point for EV owners, with new data from two of the largest price comparison sites showing that EVs are now consistently cheaper to insure than their petrol and diesel counterparts. Examining insurance trends from GoCompare, we found Nissan Leaf drivers paid £394 per year (on average) in 2020, while owners of the smaller and cheaper to buy Ford Fiesta were charged £550 for their yearly premiums across all petrol and diesel models. This is compared to 2019, which saw Nissan Leaf drivers pay on average £424 for their yearly premiums, while drivers of the smaller Ford Fiesta paid £602. You can read the full story on our parent site, heycar, here: heycar.co.uk/blog/electric-cars-cost-less-to-insur...s

On a separate note, you may find that using an electric vehicle-specific insurer gets you a much better deal as they will offer an incentive. A number of established insurance companies have specialist policies available for electric car owners. There are also a few bespoke electric car insurers. These specialists will have a better understanding of how accurately price your insurance cover, while some may offer a discount as an incentive, too. I know that Admiral and LV have their own specialist EV policies. However, it may also be worth your time to look into a specialist like PlugInsure.
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