Compare insurance rates for popular hybrid and electric cars to find an eco- and budget-friendly option.
Because of their unique parts and service needs, hybrid and electric vehicles often cost more to insure than do gas-powered cars. On average, insurance for hybrid cars and electric vehicles costs 14% more than insurance for a sedan, and 21% more than insurance for an SUV. As such, it’s important to price shop to find the cheapest car insurance rates for your eco-friendly vehicle. Let’s look at insurance premiums from major providers for some of the most popular green vehicles.
Because insurance is designed to cover the value of your car, a vehicle with a high list price — such as a hybrid car or EV — will naturally come with higher premiums. We've collected the average annual insurance costs for some popular hybrid vehicles and EVs by individual insurance company, based on a user profile outlined here.
Although the Chevy Volt's list price is the highest of the green vehicles we surveyed, at $33,220, the Volt's insurance costs are relatively low for a hybrid electric car. If you're looking for cheap car insurance for a Chevy Volt, begin your search with Nationwide, offering an average premium $124 less than the mean insurance cost for the plug-in hybrid Volt.
The cheapest to insure of the green vehicles surveyed, insurance for a Ford C-Max will set you back $135 per month, or about $812 for a standard 6-month policy. The C-Max carries one of the cheapest list prices among hybrid or electric cars, with a 2017 value of $24,170. For this vehicle, Farmers is the cheapest insurance company, with Nationwide a close second.
The Nissan Leaf in the second most expensive of the eco-friendly cars surveyed in terms of list price and average insurance premium. On average, the Nissan Leaf costs $29,010 to buy and $1,677 a year to insure. Similar to the C-Max, Farmers and Nationwide provide the cheapest insurance rates for the Nissan Leaf (based on our user profile).
Of the three Toyota hybrid models we evaluated, the Prius is the cheapest to insure, if not to buy. With a list price of $23,475, it's approximately $3,000 more expensive to buy than the Prius-C. On a monthly basis, insuring a Prius costs $137 on average, making it the second-cheapest green car to insure.
Although the Prius-C carries the lowest list price of the eco-friendly cars surveyed ($20,150), it's the second most expensive to insure. At nearly $1,700 a year to insure, this vehicle is deceptively expensive. If you want to purchase this vehicle, consider Farmers and Nationwide for your car insurance.
The Toyota Prius-V is among the most expensive eco-friendly options, carrying the highest list price ($26,675) and the second-highest average insurance rates (approximately $1,700 per year) of the surveyed group. The cheapest car insurance for the Toyota Prius-V is offered by Farmers and Nationwide.
In short, no. Car insurance is designed to be as broad as possible and to accommodate all forms of vehicles, including eco-friendly cars. The only truly unique aspect of hybrid or EV car insurance is the potential for an EV or hybrid auto insurance discount. While the name of the benefit may vary, it’s sometimes called a “green vehicle discount,” an "alternative fuel vehicle discount," or a “fuel-efficient discount.” The amount of the discount depends on the insurance company, but premium reductions enjoyed by hybrid owners often average 5% per 6-month policy period.
As we’ve seen, the list prices of eco-friendly vehicles not only make them expensive to buy, but also to insure. So, it makes sense to save whenever possible. Let’s review some simple and easy steps that could save you money on your car insurance.
Car insurance has an annoying habit of becoming more expensive the more you use it. Nearly every car insurance company will raise your rates quite significantly after filing a claim. Moreover, a claim continues to be a chargeable offense for three years. If you’ve damaged your vehicle and aren’t sure whether the value of the damage is worth filing a claim, use this step-by-step process to help.
If you’ve damaged someone else’s vehicle, you have less flexibility in terms of whether or not to involve insurance companies. If the other driver does not want to be paid out of pocket for the damage, which is common, you don’t have a choice. Moreover, there is much less of a financial penalty for filing a comprehensive or uninsured motorist property damage deductible. These accidents are typically seen as outside of the control of the driver and thus aren’t rated the same.
While there is a considerable amount of difference between your state regarding rate increases for at-fault claims, below is an average across the US. The below data shows an at-fault accident can — over a 3-year period — raise rates by more than $1,700.
Average Rate Increase After at At-Fault Claim
|Increase at 6 months||Increase at 12 months||Increase at 3 Years|
Although typical car insurance bonuses are relatively small, they can add up to cut down on your insurance bill. When seeking savings, consider the following discounts:
Even though it’s more expensive to insure a hybrid or an EV than to cover a Honda Accord, you shouldn’t let that deter you from these vehicles. You can still find cheap car insurance for a green vehicle if you evaluate as many companies as possible. Shopping around is the only way to see if you could be getting a better rate elsewhere, or to confirm you’re already getting the cheapest possible rate.
Didn't get all your questions answered? See our additional articles here for more ways to save on car insurance.
Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary car insurance quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.
Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. For coverage level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.
National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.
For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data.
Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.