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Hybrid and electric car insurance: does it cost more?
Because of their unique parts and service needs, hybrid and electric vehicles usually cost more to insure than gas-powered cars. 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.
Hybrid and electric vehicles are changing the current landscape of automobiles. Purely electric cars, in particular, are overcoming mileage and affordability limitations to become more accessible to the average driver. More robust networks of charging stations are increasing the distance drivers can go, making the concept of purely electric cars more enticing.
Hybrid and electric car insurance rates
Because insurance is designed to cover the value of your car, vehicles with high list prices — including many hybrid cars or EVs — bring higher insurance premiums. We've collected the average annual insurance costs for some popular hybrid vehicles and EVs by insurance company.
EV insurance rates
Each year sees new entries to the electric car market. Many major auto manufacturers are offering electric versions of their most popular models. Below you’ll find average insurance rates for commonly available electric vehicles. We’ve listed prices from popular insurance companies along with overall average rates.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S brought electric vehicles to the public’s attention, making the idea of a purely electric car seem attainable. However, it is also one of the highest-priced electric vehicles currently on the market, with an MSRP starting at $75,000. Of the vehicles listed here, it costs the most to insure. The yearly average to insure a Tesla Model S is $2,503. The lowest rates among the eight insurance companies listed come from USAA.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: TESLA MODEL S
Tesla Model X
Like the Model S, the Tesla Model X has been a game-changer in the electric vehicle market. It also happens to be the most expensive vehicle featured on our list. Coming in at a starting cost of $81,000, it will similarly be expensive to insure. On average, it is less expensive to insure the Model X, at a yearly average rate of $2,427. State Farm and Progressive are two of the cheapest options for Tesla Model X insurance.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: TESLA MODEL X
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market, starting at $22,995. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is also affordable to insure, with an average yearly rate of $1,474. USAA and Liberty Mutual, on average, are often the cheapest companies.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: MITSUBISHI i-MiEV
The Nissan Leaf is one of the more affordable electric cars surveyed in terms of list price and average insurance premiums. On average, the Nissan Leaf costs $29,990 to buy and $1,391 a year to insure. USAA and Nationwide provide the cheapest insurance rates for the Nissan Leaf.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: NISSAN LEAF
Like the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Bolt is a moderately-affordable purely electric vehicle in regards to price and average premiums. On average, the Chevy Bolt costs $36,620 to buy and $1,717 per year to insure. USAA and State Farm provide the cheapest insurance rates for the Bolt.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: CHEVY BOLT
Find insurance for your EV today!
Hybrid car insurance
While enthusiasm for hybrids may have cooled somewhat in light of the expanding availability EV models, their impact on eco-friendly driving is hard to overstate. Hybrids still remain a moderately affordable option for eco-minded drivers. Also, they can be insured at a much lower cost on average. Below are some of the more popular hybrid models.
Even at a starting price of $33,520, the Chevy Volt's insurance costs are relatively low for a hybrid, averaging just $1,357 per year — the lowest of all hybrids and electric cars surveyed. If you're looking for cheap car insurance for a Chevy Volt, begin your search with USAA and Nationwide, which offer lower-than-average annual insurance rates for the Chevy Volt.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: CHEVROLET VOLT
One of the cheaper green vehicles to insure, the Ford C-Max has an annual average insurance cost of $1,440. The C-Max carries one of the cheapest list prices among hybrid or electric cars, with a 2018 value of $24,120. For this vehicle, USAA is the cheapest insurance company, with Nationwide coming in second.
ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES: FORD C-MAX
One of the more popular hybrid vehicles at the time of its introduction, the Toyota Prius continues to be a highly-valued eco-friendly vehicle. While there are many different models available, the base price for Prius starts at $24,200. Insurance rates average at about $1,375 annually. Consider USAA and Nationwide for your Prius car insurance.
ANNUAL TOYOTA PRIUS-C INSURANCE RATES
Is car insurance different for hybrids and EVs vs. gas-powered vehicles?
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 six-month policy period.
How else can you save?
While the prices of EVs and hybrid vehicles have slowly crept downwards over the years, they still remain more expensive to buy and insure on average. As such, it makes sense to look for savings whenever possible. Let’s review some simple and easy steps that could save you money.
Be smart with your claims
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 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.
Should you file a claim?
- Get an estimate for the repairs at a local repair shop
- Use our State of Insurance analysis to see how much an at-fault accident would raise your rates in your state. Rate increases will vary by state.
- Compare the rate increase plus your deductible to the out of pocket value. Take whichever option is more affordable.
Seek out tax credits
Electric vehicles may come with tax incentives at the state and federal level. Check the Energy Department’s website for more information and to see if your car is eligible.
Compare insurance rates
Even though it’s often 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 by shopping around to get insurance quotes from 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 insurance policy available.
Compare insurance rates now!
The auto insurance rates displayed in our articles are based on the results of The Zebra’s comprehensive car insurance pricing study. In our analysis of all U.S. ZIP codes — including Washington D.C. — our user profile consisted of a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord. To generate pricing specific to particular rating factors, we altered the driving profile based on the common pricing factors utilized by top car insurance companies. These factors include, but are not limited to, credit score, coverage level, and driving record.
Learn more about our insurance rate-gathering methodology.
About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.