Insuring electric charging stations: focus on location and liability
The benefits of FEP are particularly apparent when it comes to two risk factors: the location of the electric charging station and the question of liability. From an insurance standpoint, these two issues soon become extremely complex. As regards the location, the following usually applies: if the electric charging stations are located in the policyholder’s building (e.g. in the underground car park), they are, generally speaking, insured as fittings through the building insurance, albeit only against the perils stated in the policy. If the charging equipment is situated on the insured plot, they are often not covered automatically, meaning that separate insurance is required for the wall box or charging station.
The problem is that not every buildings insurer acts in accordance with this state of affairs, meaning that each insurance policy for a wall box or charging station needs to be reviewed individually. What’s more, the scope of buildings insurance does not always match the actual needs. Electronic equipment insurance, which has an all-risks character and also covers unforeseen damage, represents a much more comprehensive option. The picture becomes exceptionally challenging, however, in cases where the charging equipment is located outside the policyholder’s property, even though they bear the risk as the owner. In such cases, insurers often refuse to cover the electric charging stations as part of building insurance.
In terms of the liability risks of electric charging stations, the following questions play a central role:
- Who operates the station and who uses it?
- Who is responsible for meeting the road safety and/or maintenance obligations?
- Does the buildings insurance cover the damage if a car catches fire in the underground car park?
The answers to these questions are the subject of fierce debate, because – in the absence of reliable statistics – insurers are still in the dark and are unable to conclusively evaluate the risk.