By Legal Futures Associate Allianz
Don’t let a legal battle drain the batteries.
You might not have heard them, but you’ll have definitely spotted an increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads. They’re becoming ever more popular with an estimated 712,000 electric cars on UK roads, and over 400,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) – up nearly 70% on 2021. It’s expected this number will only grow in the coming years, as we approach the UK’s 2030 cut off point for sales of new petrol and diesel cars. However, as with any technology, there are some unique risks associated with owning an EV.
It has been found that drivers of luxury or SUV EVs may be 40% more likely to cause collisions than those with combustion engines due to the different acceleration and braking characteristics. With the increased risk of accidents comes the increased risk of legal disputes. This is why a motor legal expenses insurance (MLEI) policy could be a benefit.
Support for claim disputes:
When involved in an accident with another vehicle, there may be questions about who is at fault. A claim which would normally be straight forward could be complicated if the cause of the accident is attributed to a malfunction in the EV’s own systems, or the third party doesn’t accept fault. A MLEI policy would mean legal experts could assess the claim and, if possible, pursue recovery of losses.
Motor contract disputes:
The motor ombudsman received 273 electric vehicle complaints between January – March 2023 alone. Although many of these were regarding battery life and the distance travelled after a full charge, sometimes they can be more severe so simply making a complaint might not be enough. For example, where an EV is defective in some way, an MLEI policy could provide access to legal representation to help remedy a breach of contract. This could be related to the purchase, sale, repair or servicing of the insured EV.
Uninsured loss recovery:
When involved in an accident, many losses are covered by the motor insurance policy. But some costs aren’t covered, and as an EV owner, these could prove expensive. If an EV needs to be repaired, this can take significantly longer than a combustion engine vehicle. However, with an MLEI policy, the legal expenses to recover alternative transport costs from the party at fault would be covered whilst the insured vehicle is being repaired. If the collision resulted in injuries that kept the insured from working, MLEI would also help to recover lost earnings.
It’s clear there are many benefits to owning an EV. They’re cheaper to run and produce zero emission. But that doesn’t mean they come with zero headaches. Much like vehicles with internal combustion engines, issues can arise without warning, and it’s important to be protected. So, it’s worth considering how a MLEI policy could help owners switch off, safe in the knowledge that they could get the help they need with any future issues.