It is tricky to find out whether an electric vehicle cost less to insure, especially in Ontario where competing companies provide highly variable rates. In general, pricier vehicles will cost more when it comes to insurance, and EVs typically have higher price tags than their gas counterparts. However, a quick web search will also find insurance companies that offer a green discount for EVs and some hybrids.
The insurance arms of the Canadian Automotive Association (CAA) – Desjardins, TD and Intact Insurance – all offered discounts to EV owners, mostly about five per cent. A March 2022 “MoneySense” article on auto insurance suggested discounts can range from five to 15 per cent.
For comparison purposes, I went to the insurance aggregator website Rates.ca and searched quotes for two new and two used EVs, all of which have a purchase cost between $40,000 and $60,000 at time of writing. The makes and models of these four vehicles – a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier, 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Preferred AWD, 2018 Tesla Model 3 75D and a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE – were entered along with the same details, like a Toronto area code, male in his mid-40s and no speeding tickets.
The lowest combined quote I received to ensure all four EVs was just over $277 a month, or $3,330 per year. This worked out to an average of $833 per year for each vehicle. The site didn’t give me a breakdown for each EV, but when I searched a Tesla Model 3, I was quoted $1,068 per year. These quotes were for full comprehensive and collision coverage without added discounts for bundling or using a driving monitoring app.
Ian Jack, a national spokesperson for CAA, said that there’s no industry-wide discount, but its insurance does offer an EV discount for environmental reasons, not actuarial ones. “The question is really the sticker price and not the drivetrain,” he said. “As of right now, there is no statistical analysis behind the discount.”
He also said that with CAA, pay-as-you-go insurance discounts are available for EV drivers as well as all other types of vehicles. “It’s per kilometre, so it’s a great deal for folks working from home,” he said. “Why should someone who drives 200 kilometres a day pay the same as the person who just drives around the neighbourhood?”
Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court
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