Insurance for wall boxes and other charging points: how to protect your electric charging station
Electric cars are now a familiar sight on the roads and are coming on in leaps and bounds – partly thanks to a raft of government subsidies and directives. The expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric cars is now also an issue for the property sector. Companies in this sector are expected to lay the foundation for a blanket network of charging stations. This not only leads to questions about the electric charging stations themselves among the personnel responsible, but also harbours new risks. Funk provides information on insuring wall boxes, charging stations, etc.
The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport’s master plan envisages an expansion of the charging infrastructure. The plan is for the installation of one million public charging stations for approx. ten million registered electric cars by 2030. By virtue of the reform of the Act on the Ownership of Apartments and the Permanent Residential Right of 1 December 2020, all owners can now install an electric charging station (e.g. wall box) on their own property or in the garage. However, legal and official regulations must be observed during installation. These not only apply in public areas, but also in apartment complexes, commercial properties and other buildings.
The role of the property sector in expanding the charging infrastructure
As part of its master plan, the government expects the property sector to play an active role in helping to ensure that drivers of electric vehicles can get from A to B hassle-free – and without running out of battery halfway through the journey. However, the installation of electric charging stations raises many questions – and harbours new risks that need to be insured. With a view to finding appropriate solutions for insuring wall boxes and charging stations, the insurer will usually start by requesting precise details of the equipment (operation, ownership, design, etc.). The necessary cover is often then incorporated within various pre-existing insurance policies. However, this requires a high degree of administrative effort and often leaves gaps in cover.
The innovative Funk electric charging station policy (FEP) combines all risks relating to an electric charging station within a single contract, thereby providing holistic cover. As a result, property companies benefit in more ways than one: firstly, the administration process is streamlined, from damage assessment to billing. What’s more, they benefit from comprehensive, gap-free cover. ‘With FEP, our clients in the property sector can focus on their core business without having to take greater risks in connection with electric charging stations,’ explains Silvana Sand, Head of the Funk Real Estate Division. ‘Within the meaning of FEP, an electric charging station is a charging station or wall box comprising one or more individual charging points.’
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.
Straightforward protection for wall boxes and charging stations
‘With the Funk electric charging station policy, we reduce the complexity of insurance and administration,’ explains Dirk Berthold, a member of the Real Estate division senior management team. The key benefits include:
- Streamlined management within a single policy, e.g. through future risks cover for subsequent charging stations
- Extensive cover for the use and operation of electric charging stations, e.g. all-risks cover with the full range of insured costs and the coverage of pecuniary losses of an extended range of users
- Separate insured sums for electric charging stations, including coverage of contractual agreements in respect of road safety obligations
Berthold: ‘We offer clients holistic, all-round cover for the most important risks, as we already do with other property-specific Funk products. As such, companies in the property sector can contribute to the expansion of the charging infrastructure from a position of safety.’