Zurich rewards eco drivers with new insurance premiums

12 Sep 2011

As one of the world’s first insurance products for the electric car marketplace, Zurich Insurance has teamed up with ESB ecars to launch new insurance products targeted at electric car and plug-in hybrid owners in Ireland, offering them a 20pc discount on their insurance premiums.

Developed in alliance with ESB ecars, the electric car arm of Ireland’s electricity utility company ESB, the insurance product is a first for Zurich Insurance globally.

As part of the new e-car insurance product, Zurich will offer its Irish customers a 20pc discounted rate on their electric and plug-in hybrid car insurance premium.

Customers will also benefit from:
• Free transportation to a charge point in the event of a breakdown due to a loss of charge
• Transportation to and repair by an electric car specialist in the event of a mechanical failure
• A replacement car for up to 10 days while the electric car is being repaired
• Replacement charge point access cards in the event of loss or theft.

The two companies say the product is being launched to coincide with the rollout by ESB ecars of charge points across Ireland this year and the wider availability of electric cars in the Irish market.

“Ireland’s target is to have 230,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020 with the Government offering financial incentives for electric car owners. By rewarding eco-friendly driving with a discounted, tailored insurance product, Zurich’s electric car insurance is a great example of how the insurance industry can play a role in incentivising and derisking the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Ken Norgrove, CEO, Zurich General Insurance.

He said Zurich conducted research into the e-car market in Ireland in order to identify the specific needs and requirements of e-car owners and realised that these needs were not being met.

Paul Mulvaney, managing director, ESB ecars, said the company was delighted to be working with Zurich on this e-car product.

“Electric cars already offer the consumer clear savings in running costs and the growth of customised products for electric car motorists, such as reduced insurance rates and tailored services will help to encourage its widespread adoption.”

The electric and plug-in hybrid car insurance product is one of a range of products being developed by Zurich as part a global initiative focused on developing products and services to help customers cope with climate-related risks.

According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the target is to have 6,000 passenger electric cars on the road by 2012. This target has been set in order to generate the critical mass necessary to assist Ireland in achieving its overall goal of ensuring that 10pc of all vehicles (circa to 230,000 vehicles) are electric by 2020.

ESB set up ESB ecars to roll out the charging infrastructure and supporting IT and communications systems to support the introduction and demand for electric cars in Ireland.

ESB’s target is to have 40pc of electricity generated using renewable sources by 2020 and being a carbon neutral organisation by 2035.

Photo: Paul Mulvaney, managing director, ESB ecars, and Ken Norgrove, CEO, Zurich General Insurance

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic