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Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 17:16
by Barry Murfett
I've just been knocked back by the RACV for insuring my EV. Which insurance companies will insure EVs? Is there any thing I should or should not say as I am answering the questions about the car?


Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 17:27
by Goombi
Ask them why they will not insure your vehicle (in Writing if possible) We are talking about comprehensive? If the car is registered and has no special clauses in registration then there is no reason to refuse you. Unless you value your EV too high? You show them your Motor vehicle inspectrors aproval. They have no right to refuse you especially RACV...All you have to tell them the car has been converted to electric vehicle and show them the rego and Inspectors approval with a picture of the blue sticker. any details are on registration form and that is all they are entitled to know same as the registrar. I hope you solve this soon


Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 17:32
by Johny
Try Shannons. They specialise in Classics and Modified vehicles.


Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 20:09
by PeterS
I was given a quote for comprehensive cover by AAMI, no trouble at all. But my EV was built in 2002, so asking to insure it for $20,000 probably sounds reasonable. If it had been a 1982 model, the requested value may have been incomprehensible to the insurer's risk assessors.

I suggest you give AAMI a try.


Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 21:22
by woody
In my discussions with people, it's apparent that it's not the EV bit which makes the insurers ask questions, its the extra value bit, like PeterS says.

The big end of the insurance game is played with big numbers of cars which all have similar depreciation curves, risks etc.

There are a few specialty insurers, Shannons, Vigil, Torque who will give you a go. Also Just Car insurance advertise that they won't say no.

I would advise anyone against hiding things from insurers, you may get past the minimal checks to convince them to take your money for premiums, but when you make a claim, they'll have a whole bunch of reasons not to pay. (Paying you when they don't have to is the same as stealing from their shareholders in their mind).

I guess you really want to insure against fire & theft for the batteries, motor + controller, which may be possible as an add-on, similar to a mobile locksmith or mechanic insuring their equipment?

Other things you'll want are "retention of wreck" (so you can salvage batteries, controller + motor + other bits which will most likely survive all but a fire).

After a while the small insurers will get the hang of things and realize that EV owners are all excellent drivers and give us a discount to keep their lucrative clients who never crash.



Posted: Fri, 12 Dec 2008, 22:02
by Johny
I have 2 classic vehicles with Shannons and that is exactly why they are great with Classics and specials. Their actuaries notice that people who build and maintain their own cars tend to drive with a great deal more care (or/and perhaps ability due to knowledge - who can say) and tailor their rates and coverage to match.
Sorry to harp, but I highly recommend them for "specials".


Posted: Tue, 16 Dec 2008, 19:37
by Barry Murfett
Not going too well with getting insurance. So far the only company will to quote are Vigil. Refusal from AAMI, Shannons, RACV.

I primarly just want third party property cover (you know the story, run in to a Rolls Royce).

Which companies do people have their cars covered with? Could you please list the companies. E-mail directly to me if you would prefer not to publish here.


Posted: Tue, 16 Dec 2008, 20:07
by Jeff Owen
RACQ covers my EV for 3rd party property.


Posted: Tue, 16 Dec 2008, 23:43
by a4x4kiwi
GIO said they would insure mine for 3rd party.


Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2009, 17:14
by Barry Murfett
I have found an insurer at a reasonable rate. It is the Just Cars magazine insurance arm. The quote is about 20% more than my regular similar size petrol car.

Vigil was the other insurer who gave a quote but it was too expensive.

I was interested to note in the resent meeting minutes that somebody got a quote from Shannons. They would not insure me, I must have rung on somebodies off day.

Maybe the association could approach Shannons and come to some agreement with them. This would save me and people in the future having to run around to get a reasonable priced quote.


Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2009, 17:52
by woody
Just Cars Magazine and Just Cars Insurance are separate I'm pretty sure, Insurance tried to wrestle the domain away from the magazine :-)


Posted: Tue, 03 Feb 2009, 18:06
by acmotor
My EV is insured by Shannons.
The policy states clearly that it is an electric vehicle and with emotor, controller and batteries.
It is a comprehesnive policy with agreed value.
3rd party only may be harder to obtain ?
Try comprehensive with a low value.

Shannons is a motoring enthusiasts insurer. They did require that I be a member of some motoring club or association. They were quite happy with AEVA membership to satisfy this requirement.

Tell us more about your EV / application to Shannons. Perhaps the AEVA need to contact them ?


Posted: Tue, 24 Feb 2009, 23:36
by carnut1100
I don't have an EV yet, but Shannons have been very helpful with my unusual stuff...
Try ringing again, the person you speak to makes a huge difference...I got a Volvo enthusiast and we talked for 30 minutes about my 242GT and I went away with a very nice premium indeed.


Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2009, 23:42
by Peter C in Canberra
I just started phoning around today. As noted above the sticking point is the high value of the modifications to a low value car. In my case $20K of parts in a car that cost $1000. The guy I spoke to a Dawes said that they had insured a BEV converted Hyundai Getz for $17 based on it being a new car worth ~$14K but could only go as far as adding another ~$3K of mods, not the ~$30K of mods that it actually had. They acknowledged that that situation should have been easier than mine because there was an identifiable business that did the modification, and could presumably repair damage.
NRMA said no. Ryno said no. Shannons said no but said they had done some but had reviewed the whole DIY electric car issue and decided quite emphatically not to insure any more. They suggested I contact the insurance ombudsman for suggestions. The guy there was sympathetic but unable to help beyond suggesting a few places to try without thinking my chances were good. Lumley Special Vehicles said no, they don't do daily drive cars, electric or otherwise.
Vero and Just Cars could bump up the agreed value a bit from their estimates of about $2500 for my Charade but only to about $3000. Dawes would value the car at $2500 and could bump that up to $5000 but then charge over $1000/yr for comprehensive rather than $333 for 3rd party.
I don't think I got a quote on the comprehensive insurance offers of <$3000 but Just Cars would do a basic 3rd party for $330/yr and would include fire and theft cover to $10000 for $483/yr. I'm not sure if I think that's useful or not.
I had hoped to find someone prepared to insure the car for the value of the parts in it if I could provide a set of receipts. I would not have thought it too hard to have an agreed list of expensive bits, much like a house contents insurance where one notes an unusually fancy stereo or certain items of jewelry.
I asked what would happen if I went ahead with comprehensive insurance for $3000 or $5000 and someone smashed the front of the car with $10K of motor/controller/charger/pump/gearbox etc bits but not the back half with $10K of battery bits. Would I find myself in a 'catch 22' where the company regarded me as underinsured even though they would not ensure me for more? I didn't get a clear answer.
So far, it seems that I can get 3rd party insurance without much trouble at a reasonable price but I can't get any worthwhile cover for my car if it were a total wreck. If another person were at fault I guess I can sue them and hope they are insured or rich.
I am a few months off from being finished with my conversion so I would appreciate any updates to this thread! Perhaps we do need some sort of collective approach to these companies?


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 00:10
by Peter C in Canberra
Hi me again.
After typing the above I phoned back to NRMA who had been the first I tried. This time I got someone who read out a document that the call centre people have on their on-line help called "Electric operated vehicles" It said some sensible things about electric vehicles being generally highly modified by individual enthusiasts resulting in vehicles whose value is not reflected realistically in their normal valuation process. I was recommended to take details of the modification to a branch and ask the staff to look at that document. Their underwriters would consider those details and might then agree to insurance. Assuming the vehicle was properly roadworthy and registered they should at least do 3rd party. All in all this sounded more promising than I heard from any of the others.


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 00:14
by woody
Perhaps house insurance is the way to go: named items - 45 electrical storage units @ $250, 1 electric motor @ $4000 and 1 controller at $2500.
GIO has mobile coverage of at least some named items carried in a vehicle I recall from my last reading.

The other way of looking at it is that you're unlikely to lose your motor, controller and all your cells in the same accident. Fire & Theft would be good cover to have though.


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 04:02
by acmotor
I've just paid my EV insurance renewal with Shannons. No problem.

If this EV insurance thing is a problem, should AEVA be writing to Shannons ?


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 04:15
by antiscab
acmotor wrote: I've just paid my EV insurance renewal with Shannons. No problem.

If this EV insurance thing is a problem, should AEVA be writing to Shannons ?

would this be a job for the president, the vice-president or the secretary?


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 04:55
by acmotor
Tea Lady. (they do most of the work anyway) Image Everyone else just talks.

Perhaps we can throw a few ideas around here first to get some angles ?

Shannons are insurers for car enthusiasts.
EV owners qualify as enthusiasts. (why on earth else would they do it !)
In many (most) cases their performance is less risky than the 240kmph on my ICE speedo.

EVs don't need to present any increased risk over ICE vehicles. (perhaps some risks unique to EVs ? but then I would ban wet lead acid anyway)
If EVs are built to some accepted standards of wiring, fusing, enclosers etc then there should be no appreciable risk of fire or electrocution. This is always a trade off with fuel anyway !
Unfortunately, some EVs scare me, let alone insurers, with their lax standards !

A converted EV's value could be rationalised by perhaps depreciating the battery pack value with time ? But at least in the first year a full coverage would be expected. The thinking here is that maybe this distribution of value is a problem ?

There should be no change to the 3rd party risk in my thinking, but perhaps the comprehensive component, i.e. your EV itself and the $ of damage vs degree of accident ?

Shannons ( are probably just cautious of something they don't understand. More info is required to put them at ease ?
Just as long as the oil lobby has not got to them !

They might as well get used to it. EVs are here to stay. The conversion market may scare them though.

Thoughts ?


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 05:39
by Richo
Here is an example.
Lets say I converted a Lancer worth $6000.
I took out the ICE where a recon is worth say $1500.
I then put in an AC induction motor which cost $1500.
I now don't need the ECU for the ICE which is $300 S/H or $2000 new.
I then replace the ECU with a controller for $3000.
The car is realistically worth $1000-2700 extra.

An ICE you don't hold 5 years worth of fuel and don't insure it.
So as an eqv it is unrealitic to insure the Batteries in an eV.
And I think this is where the problem is.

Insuring a $6000 lancer with a value of $7000-8700 is more realistic than $18,000.
Maybe tell them then the car is worth $8000 but has itemised part in it such as $10,000 worth of batteries.
Like some people do with car stereos.
The car is worth $6000 but has $4000 of stereo in it that is itemized.

Prob need a clause on it that the value of the batteries depretiates 20% per year.
Obviously if the batteries are replaced then you will need to renew/update the insurance.
Where as the car would depretiate at the nominal rate of the vehicle.

Because they are not insuring a really expenisve car they are insuring a modified car which is worth a little bit more plus batteries which happen to be in there all the time as a listed itemImage


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 05:43
by Richo
Also - it is easy for someone to say sorry and put down the phone.
Make up a couple of pages itemising the value with some pictures.
Go into thier office and say you want to insure this and hand them the pages.
It's a bit harder for them to tell you to leave.


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 06:03
by acmotor
Agreed, almost, on the batteries issue.
It could be argued though that $4,000 worth of stereo and other techno junk will cause more risk to the vehicle in use than the EV battery pack, and probably be worth less in 2 years time !

Yes, I think the sell with pics and details may work with Shannons.

That has always been a concern of mine with insurance. They never want to see the insured item until you make a claim !


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 08:24
by Richo
acmotor wrote:It could be argued though that $4,000 worth of stereo and other techno junk will cause more risk to the vehicle in use than the EV battery pack, and probably be worth less in 2 years time !

Not to mention the theft factor.
An eV in many cases just looks like a regular car.
Except the exauhst fell off Image

I remember RAC use to have inspection facilities so that they could inspect vehicles that didn't fit the usual insurance mould.
Ah the good 'ol days Image

Would be interesting to see if any insurer, not necessarily a car insurer, would seperately insure the pack.


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 08:33
by a4x4kiwi
GIO had to talk to the underwriter to insure me. They still havn't got
back since Sat.

I went with Shannons for 3rd party only until I can get 3rd party fire and theft


Posted: Thu, 12 Mar 2009, 16:48
by Johny
I have 2 vehicles insured with Shannons. I had to ring them a few weeks ago and we had been discussing this at the time. I mentioned that EVers had been "knocked back" for insurance and would I be OK. He said I would be OK because of my history with them and that my car is already a classic. When I pushed a bit harder he appeared to get a little bit evasive but did say it was unchartered ground.

My thoughts are that an official letter pointing out all the good parts of a DIY EV, and pushing the "enthusiast" part, would go a long way toward getting them on side.

The battery aging issue really sounds to me like it will fog the issues and end up in the "too hard" basket. Better to go for an agreed value system which is how I do mine at the moment.