I am 28, I work for a multinational company. My commute to and from work is around 16 kilometres in each direction, due to which I just booked an electric car. What is the most comprehensive cover I can opt for my EV? In addition, how does this vary from motor insurance? Where should I start when looking to obtain EV insurance?
Electric Vehicles (EV) are increasingly becoming sought-after because of many advantages over Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) vehicles — such as reduced road noise, reduced air pollution, and significant cost savings brought about by reduced petrol and diesel use. Since electric cars are gaining prominence, automobile manufacturers are ramping up production as well in both the two-wheeler and four-wheeler segments.
Harshad, I am glad you have made an informed choice by going in for the greener vehicle variant and doing your part in contributing to the environmental good. You should now opt for a comprehensive motor insurance policy — that means a cover that includes Third-Party (TP) insurance coverage along with an Own Damage (OD) cover, with an additional protection of add-on covers specifically designed for EVs in order to be financially protected against any unforeseen eventualities.
EV insurance is a necessary tool to protect you from any financial losses that may result from an accident, natural disaster, or fire in an electric vehicle. It is recommended that EV owners looking to insure their electric vehicles check whether their policy expressly covers the items listed below:
- A separate cover for battery and a coverage for the total loss of the battery in the event of a flood, and fire whilst charging
- A separate liability cover which is helpful in case of damage to a third-party property and personal injury and if any suit is filed against the owner of the EV for any damage caused by their vehicle
- Coverage for nil depreciation for all the parts, be it plastic, metal, glass, orfibre
- Separate cover for all wall-mounted charger and charging cable. As these parts are not fixed in the vehicle, it is important to cover them under a motor policy with a specific mention of it
- Coverage for all electronics items like infotainment gadgets, music systems, and any other gadgets fixed in the car in addition to standard fittings by OEMs
Every vehicle on Indian roads must have at least a third-party liability insurance, as per our country’s Motor Vehicles Act, and EVs are no exception to this. Electric vehicles are created with cutting-edge technology, but fixing them sometimes requires the services of specialised mechanics and comes with higher maintenance prices. Similarly, the expense to repair the batteries in these vehicles, as well as any other specialist components, may be rather significant compared to conventional vehicles. To address this, the insurance industry has also curated EV-specific add-on covers with motor insurance policies, which is a differentiator to traditional motor insurance policies. In fact, some insurers are providing an entire ecosystem for EVs beyond just insurance — providing benefits like a Dedicated EV Helpline, SOS, On-site Charging, Pickup and Drop, and Immediate Mobility, Accommodation Benefits and Legal benefits, amongst others. The purpose of such an ecosystem is to meet the needs of a wide variety of consumers and to provide a one-stop-shop solution for EV customers, reducing their worries regarding the purchase and ownership of electric cars.
To get started on your journey of opting for an insurance policy for your electric vehicle, you can purchase it through multiple distribution channels such as your local agent from whom you may have purchased your other policies or the OEM from whom you purchased your vehicle or directly from the insurance company, or also buy the policy online from the insurance provider’s website. My advice would be, while deciding on an insurance company for your electric vehicle, you must consider the insurer’s services, network garage, high solvency ratio and their claim paying capability — but also ensure that your coverage requirements are met.
The writer is Chief Technical Officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
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