Mercedes-Benz announced on Friday that its comprehensive insurance will include coverage of home-charging equipment, cables, and batteries. The policy includes risk coverage up to € 10,000 ($10,900) related to theft, vandalism, “overvoltage damage,” short circuits, and even bites from animals and rodents.
The Mercedes-Benz press release states:
Alongside the vehicle and battery, the charging cable is also insured against theft and the wallbox is covered too.
With a new electric protection module, the Mercedes-Benz Bank, with its insurance partner HDI, is offering extensive insurance cover for [plug-in] hybrid and electric vehicles in order to make embarking on and transferring to CO2-neutral mobility as easy as possible for customers.
The provisions for battery-related functions are automatically added to comprehensive insurance contracts for plug-in vehicles. The list of coverage includes:
- Overvoltage damage, rescue costs, fire, towing damage, consequential damage following a short circuit, and following animal bites up to 10,000 euros
- Towing to the nearest charging station if the battery is unintentionally discharged
- Theft and vandalism are included for the Wallbox and the charging cable up to € 2,500
It’s been more than two years since Mercedes-Benz launched its branded Wallbox charger. The all-electric EQC SUV and EQS sedan are expected in 2021. But the specific timing for the market introduction of these Mercedes-Benz EVs to the United States has still not been formally announced.
Benedikt Schell, chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Bank:
With this [insurance] offer, we are covering all customer requirements relating to electric mobility and reinforcing our core business with financing, leasing, and insurance offers. With the new battery protection, we are using an extensive insurance solution to support the launch of hybrid and electric vehicles from the Daimler Group.
EV batteries are already extensively covered by warranties of 8 to 10 years. Lexus announced earlier this month that its UX 300e EV (for China and Europe only) will have a 1-million kilometer warranty.
The significance of the Mercedes-Benz announcement is probably more about giving EV buyers an added sense of security with home charging stations.
The media announcement also calls out “potential new business avenues” related to “supplementing electric mobility on longer journeys via Mercedes-Benz Rent” and “charging station billing systems” for commercial customers.
It’s been a few years since we heard about rodents causing damage to EV cabling — beyond the damage they can inflict on the wiring of a conventional vehicle. It’s odd that Mercedes-Benz called out that feature of its electric-car insurance policy.
Nonetheless, the auto insurance business is expected to go through major changes as private car ownership morphs into a range of mobility services, including on-demand autonomous vehicles. The questionable timing of the transition to self-driving and shared mobility will be further delayed by the pandemic. However, the shift to electric, shared, and autonomous transportation will only be delayed for so long.
In the future, what needs to be covered by insurance will extend beyond the vehicle to a broader set of hardware and scenarios. Apparently, Mercedes-Benz is getting a jump on the transition by covering charging stations.
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