Mercury advises owners to review insurance policies before plugging an electric vehicle into the home

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LOS ANGELES, August 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Production of all-electric vehicles (EVs) is growing rapidly – ​​nearly 20 unique EV models are available for sale in the United States, and nearly 100 EVs are expected to debut by end of 2024. While EVs only account for around 2% of new vehicle sales, the ability to “refuel” at home is cited as a major benefit of owning one. In fact, a recent JD Power study found that this is where most owners (88%) say they often or always charge.

Electric vehicles come with a 120-volt (Level 1) compatible cable, which allows the vehicle to charge through a standard wall outlet. However, the charging speed is extremely slow – around four miles per hour – and many electric vehicle owners prefer to switch to a 240-volt outlet (Level 2). Mercury Insurance Vice President of Property Claims Christopher O’Rourke advises owners to consult a professional if they want more power.

“Consider the experience of an individual who assembled dozens of batteries to charge a car, it didn’t end well,” says O’Rourke. “The batteries overheated and burned the garage. Luckily for this person, the home insurance claim was covered. Still, it’s best to have an electrician handle the EV charging station installations.”

Electric vehicle owners looking to install a 240-volt power outlet or hardwired charging station in their home should speak to a trusted local electrician who is trained, licensed, and insured to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet. (This is similar to what a clothes dryer or electric oven is plugged into.) They can also discuss installation recommendations with their dealers.

O’Rourke also recommends that electric vehicle owners who plan to charge at home:

Consider getting comprehensive car insurance. Although damage to a home may be covered, the charger itself may not be. A standard home insurance policy excludes motor vehicle coverage, which means vehicle losses; trailers, motorhomes or other equipment towed by a vehicle; and vehicle equipment, accessories and parts are not covered.

Hardwired charging stations are generally considered part of your home and therefore the station will likely be covered depending on the type and cause of loss,” says O’Rourke. “Portable chargers, on the other hand, can be considered vehicle equipment, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have adequate car insurance coverage as well. »

If an electrical problem with the wiring in the house causes the charger to catch fire, it will likely be covered by home insurance. Otherwise, full automatic coverage is required.

Stay up to date on battery recalls and reported incidents. General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for all Chevrolet Bolts due to possible fire hazards associated with the battery. Recent reports of fires occurring while EVs are parked and charging, though rare, should cause owners to be on the alert. “The thing is, fully electric vehicles are still relatively new to the market, so automakers are still perfecting them,” O’Rourke said. “Electric vehicle owners should exercise due diligence and ensure they are properly informed of their manufacturer’s recommendations for proper charging.”

To own a house or a vehicle, it is important to know what your insurance covers and does not cover. Mercury found in a recent survey of US owners and drivers that 83% say they have read their policies in full. However, half (50%) of respondents expect their policy to cover 100% of their property for any claims they may make. Mercury recommends speaking with a local agent to fully understand coverage and any exclusions or limitations. More information on home insurance and car insurance coverage can be found on Mercury’s Blog.

About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a property and casualty insurance company providing primarily auto, home and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in providing quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information, visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.

SOURCE Mercury Insurance

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