April 1, 2011

As Harry Houdini discovered to his cost back in 1926, not being ready can often be quite a bad thing. “I wasn’t ready” may provide a handy justification in childhood games for disallowing successful moves by one’s opponents; but in adult life most of us are loath to own up to unpreparedness.

Motor insurers will doubtless be dismayed to learn, therefore, that according to research by thegreencarwebsite.co.uk “insurance firms are not ready for electric cars.” While recharging the batteries of most electric vehicles is perfectly safe, “some car owners will be shocked,” a report in Fleet News warns this week, “at the cost of insuring their vehicles.”

With electric cars on the verge of going mainstream in the UK, “just two of the four biggest price comparison websites” (that’s around 50% by Bankstone News’ calculations) “are able to quote for such cars.” Meanwhile just four of the “biggest insurance companies and brokers in the UK” were willing to quote for electric cars (more understandable in the brokers’ case, really.)

Shockingly, two didn’t have “some of the biggest names in the electric car market (Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn and Mitsubishi i-MiEV)” on their lists, while four “required confirmation of whether they were diesel or petrol models.” One apparently kept researchers waiting on the phone for 20 minutes before coming back to ask what size the engine was.

Prices quoted for a 27-year old female with a clean licence and three years’ NCD varied “wildly.” One price comparison site quoted £12,000 to insure a Mitsubishi i-Miew, and another £3,499 for a Nisa Leaf. Less interestingly, others quoted prices that were a bit higher than for petrol or diesel vehicles but “not eye-watering.”

Thegreencarwebsite.co.uk proposed an intriguing solution to the problems faced by those seeking cover for electric vehicles. “Electric car buyers may need to hunt around for the best deal,” suggested website editor Faye Sunderland, “rather than accept the first quote they get.”

That sounds to Bankstone News like a strategy owners of more conventional vehicles might also want to try out!

Danger! Danger!

Danger! Danger!


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