Confusion about car insurance: Normal policies are often not enough for e-cars

More and more e-cars are rolling onto the streets.

Confusion about car insurance: Normal policies are often not enough for e-cars

More and more e-cars are rolling onto the streets. In addition to the obligatory motor vehicle liability insurance, many want to protect the expensive vehicles with comprehensive insurance - this can be done with special tariffs.

If you want to insure your electric car with comprehensive insurance, you should check carefully whether the policy adequately covers special components of an electric car. Simple basic tariffs are not sufficient. Because with e-cars, according to the “Finanztest”, completely new damage can occur. If, for example, the drive battery breaks due to an animal bite, overvoltage or operating error, several thousand euros are quickly due. If the coverage is then not sufficient, it can quickly become uncomfortable.

More and more insurers are including such damage specific to e-cars, and there are not always extra tariffs. Some providers include the special services in the conventional tariffs. In some cases, important services are then only included in the more expensive policies. Other providers have bookable modules for e-cars. And some grant discounts of up to 25 percent on the respective tariff if an e-car is insured.

However, there are some of the relevant components only in a fully comprehensive insurance, which the experts recommend for new electric cars anyway because of their high value. The following important components should always be included:

damage to the battery

For a certain period of time, the battery should also be insurable up to the amount of its new value. Some even offer protection indefinitely, but most have to accept deductions from the reimbursement value each year after the end of a period.

The design is also different: some only reimburse the battery price if the whole car was damaged. Others too, if only the battery was damaged. It is important to take a close look and ask questions when in doubt.

Charging cable or wall box

These should also be covered if, for example, the cable or a mobile charger has been stolen or a wall box has been damaged. According to the information, the latter is often automatically insured via residential building insurance if it is permanently connected to the house.

operator error

It is helpful if operating errors are also insured. This is usually done via the so-called all-risk cover ("all-risk") in comprehensive insurance, so that the term "operating error" does not necessarily appear in the conditions. Some providers assume damage of up to 5,000 euros, others up to 20,000 euros or more.

animal bite

In the case of animal bites, it is important to ensure, among other things, that the consequential damage is also insured via the partially comprehensive insurance. The services listed by "Finanztest" range from 3,000 to 20,000 euros. Some are liable "without a fixed limit". This usually means that the replacement value of the car is the limit.

For some, it could also be useful to have components such as a protection letter, which also provides breakdown assistance if the battery is exceptionally empty. However, the insurance conditions are often a jumble. Even for the financial experts, it was sometimes "difficult to understand which benefits apply and which specific claims are insured." "We had to ask many insurers several times in order to be able to classify some of the formulations. Such conditions can certainly cause confusion among consumers," report the product testers.

(This article was first published on Thursday, June 02, 2022.)

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