Electric vehicle owners should check their homeowners insurance policy before charging

Homeowners insurance - EV car charging

While it’s convenient to charge a car at home, it’s important to understand coverage.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, but homeowners insurance may not cover everything involved in ensuring that they can be safely recharged at home.

There are almost 20 unique electric vehicle models currently available in the United States.

By the end of 2024, there are almost 100 electric vehicle models expected to be available for sale in the United States. Though they currently represent only 2 percent of new vehicle sales, one of the top selling features is that it’s possible to recharge them at home. This convenience is highly appealing to many drivers. Eighty-eight percent of EV owners charge most often or always at home, according to a recent JD Power study.

However, Mercury Insurance has issued a news release cautioning owners to be aware of their homeowners insurance coverage. The insurer also reminded owners to pay attention to the types of risks associated with this innocent-seeming practice.Homeowners insurance - EV charging risks

Electric vehicle charging at home can come with risks that need homeowners insurance coverage.

Electric vehicles come with a Level 1 120-volt compatible cable. This makes it possible to plug the vehicle into a typical wall outlet. Unfortunately, this results in exceptionally slow charging time. A 120-volt outlet will only charge about 4 miles per hour. For this reason, it’s easy to understand why many owners upgrade their chargers to Level 2, which is a 240-volt outlet.

According to Christopher O’Rourke, vice president of property claims at Mercury, it’s very important for EV owners to consult with a professional if they want this type of upgrade.

“Consider the experience of an individual who rigged scores of battery packs together to charge a car, it didn’t end well,” said O’Rourke in the news release. “The battery packs overheated and burned down the garage. Fortunately for this person, the homeowners insurance claim was covered. Nevertheless, it’s best to have an electrician handle any EV charging station installations.”

Electric vehicle owners should ensure that a trusted, adequately licensed, and experienced electrician installs a 240-volt power outlet or hardwired home charging station. The next step is to remember that a standard homeowners insurance policy does not include coverage relating to vehicles and their associated equipment. Therefore, it’s advised that EV owners who charge at home speak with their insurers to be sure they have the coverage they need.

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