Insuring your electric or hybrid vehicle: Basics
18 July 2018
Electric vehicle registrations in New Zealand are doubling each year according to the Ministry of Transport, with Kiwis insuring electric cars, SUVs and even motorcycles. This includes entirely electric vehicles (think Nissan Leaf), hybrids (like the Toyota Prius) and plug-in hybrids (like the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV). In this article, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about electric vehicle (EV) insurance.
What is the difference between an electric vehicle, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid?
While all of these run on electricity, some of them also use petrol. The main difference is how much:
• Electric vehicles (or ‘EV’s) run on electric battery power only.
• Hybrid vehicles use a combination of fuel and electricity. They have a small battery which recharges as you drive.
• Plug-in hybrids have a large battery which recharges as you drive and can also be charged via a plug-in power point.
Does AA Insurance cover electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles?
Yes. Common makes and models (e.g. Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq and Renault ZOE) may be insured by AA Insurance online or over the phone under our current car insurance policies. Other makes and models are considered on a case by case basis.
Does insurance cover hybrid and electric vehicle batteries?
AA Insurance’s Comprehensive vehicle insurance covers your batteries if they are damaged as part of a sudden and accidental event, fire or theft. There is also limited cover for this under Third Party, Fire and Theft policies. There is no cover under Third Party only polices.
Battery failure or wear and tear on normal or electric vehicles is not covered under any AA Insurance policy.
Does insurance cover electric vehicle battery chargers and charging stations?
AA Insurance covers the standard charging pack and cable which comes with an electric vehicle for accidental fire or theft under Third Party, Fire and Theft or Comprehensive vehicle policies. It is not covered under Third Party only policies. If a charging station is installed in your home, this would fall under your home and/or contents policy.
Does insurance for hybrid and electric vehicles cost more than insurance for traditional vehicles?
Electric vehicles are generally no more expensive to insure than non-electric vehicles of similar age and value. Some of the key factors cost can depend on are the agreed value, engine size (or equivalent level of power), year of manufacture, driver details (such as date of birth and claims history), where you live and the level of cover you select (e.g. Third Party, Third Party, Fire and Theft or Comprehensive).
What about electric motorcycles?
Electric motorcycles are still relatively new to New Zealand. AA Insurance offers cover on the Evoke Urban S electric motorcycle at the moment and are happy to consider cover for other models as they come into New Zealand.
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The rise of the e-bike
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are growing in popularity. They’re used for both recreation and commuting. Office workers are enjoying biking to work without arriving all hot and sweaty. Staff at AA Insurance who use e-bikes say a more comfortable ride, fluid speed, and efficient braking are reasons they wouldn’t go back to a traditional bike.