Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Charging Stations?
According to the JD Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study, 80% of EV drivers charge their cars at home. So are all these people required to carry home insurance and car insurance to protect their chargers and their homes? The answer is, some do, yes.
It is optional in some states, but in California and Oregon home and condo owners are required to carry homeowners liability insurance coverage for electric vehicle charging stations in their homes. But that’s not the only reason to buy coverage.
If an electrical issue with your home’s wiring causes damage to the EV charger, you will likely be covered by homeowners insurance. If your home is damaged due to a covered event, like a fire caused by a short-circuited charger, you’re again protected with homeowners insurance. If your charger causes a blaze that also destroys your neighbor’s home, again only your home or condo policy will cover the exorbitant losses.
There are also instances when only comprehensive car insurance covers your charger and your car’s charging system, so keep reading to see how it all works.
How Does Car Insurance Cover My Home EV Charger?
In some instances, the EV charger itself and the accompanying cord are considered an extension of your car as pieces of equipment. A standard homeowners policy excludes coverage for car equipment, accessories, and parts. That charger and cord would be covered only by comprehensive car insurance coverage if there’s a need to repair or replace them, unless they are damaged due to certain conditions in the home (i.e. electrical problems), at which point home insurance would cover the loss.
Only comprehensive auto insurance will cover portable chargers, not homeowners insurance, because they are not an extension of the home but of the car and can be used anywhere.
Comprehensive coverage will not cover damage due to negligence or regular wear-and-tear.
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Are Homeowners and Condo Insurance Required for an EV Charger?
Only in California and Oregon is it required that you carry liability coverage in the form of homeowners or condo insurance if you have a home charging station but it’s highly advised that you have the right coverage in case of a mishap regardless of where you live.
Hard-wired charging stations in your garage are considered a part of your dwelling and the station would therefore be covered by a home or condo policy, not your car insurance in most instances. There are times, however, when comprehensive car insurance would cover your home charger, like if it were stolen or vandalized.
Damages to a portable charger, on the other hand, are almost always covered by comprehensive auto insurance coverage and for specific situations because it is not a part of your dwelling.
Therefore, it’s important to have a home insurance policy and comprehensive auto insurance coverage.
Should I Install an EV Charging Station in My Home?
If you want to install a 240-volt power outlet or charging station in your home, hire a trusted local electrician, who is licensed and insured to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
If you have a faulty installation and your battery packs overheat, they can burn down the garage and/or home. You may not be covered by homeowners insurance if a licensed electrician did not install the charging station. That’s why it's always best to hire a skilled electrician and speak with the car’s dealership about manufacturer installation recommendations.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage for Home Chargers
While certain events that cause damage to a home may be covered by home insurance, the charger and cord may not always be covered.
For example, say an electrical issue in the home's wiring causes the charger to catch fire. This event would be covered by homeowners insurance. However, say you used a public charger that had bent metal prongs that damaged your charging system. Comprehensive auto coverage would cover the latter claim, not homeowners insurance. Comprehensive coverage will cover you if you bring your own cord to a public charging station and it gets damaged too. The insurance for the charging station may be liable for the last two examples, but you would need to contact your car insurance company to start the claims process.
You may not be covered at all by your insurer for damaging your car by installing a faulty level 2 charging station without the help of a licensed electrician.
Do your due diligence and educate yourself about their manufacturer's recommendations for proper charging before you destroy your battery by being negligent (and getting your insurance claim denied).
EV Cables and Cords: Vandalism and Theft
Vandalism in connection with EV cables has been an issue since they hit the market. Thieves tamper with or steal them for the valuable copper which is easily resold for profit. Comprehensive insurance covers cord replacement, but filing too many times may cause a rate hike or policy cancellation.
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What Is Wall Charger Coverage?
Some insurers, like Lemonade, offer wall charger coverage as a clause on an auto insurance policy, which would reimburse you for certain kinds of damage to a wall charger as long as own the charger, use it for your covered car and the charger is installed at the garaging address of the car on your car insurance policy.
After you file a claim with your car insurance company, they’ll investigate the damage or theft. If they find it’s a covered event relating to a wall charger for an electric vehicle listed on your auto insurance policy, they’ll pay out up to the limit defined in your policy contract.
While you won’t have to pay your deductible, your car insurance rates could go up after filing a claim.
What’s Excluded in Wall Charger Coverage?
- Manufacturer’s negligence, a manufacturing defect or liability
- Damage caused by using the power charger in ways not intended by the manufacturer
- Any intentional damage or loss caused by you or someone you told to damage your charger
- Wear and tear from freezing, as well as mechanical or electrical breakdown
- Improper installation of a wall charger