NOVO, EV insurance trailblazer

21 July 2022 | David Young

NOVO is addressing the challenges of the 'EV Revolution' facing insurers, including how the ongoing parts shortage is impacting the industry

NOVO, EV insurance trailblazer

NOVO, specialists in EV insurance and incident management solutions, continues to be a trailblazer in the motor insurance industry as it strategically adapts to meet the changes and challenges facing the automotive sector, to deliver the most comprehensive 'tailored cover' and best outcomes for clients.

The company has a strategic vision that is topical, not least because of the upsurge in popularity of electric vehicles and the UK government's plans to abolish the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. With fuel prices at the pump rocketing at unprecedented levels and many households under increasing financial pressure, it is not surprising that an increasing number of car owners are making the switch to fully electric, or hybrid vehicles that also sit well with their environmental concerns.

The adoption of EV, while being very positive on an environmental level, is posing some challenges to the motor insurance sector. NOVO was present at a recent industry conference - Insurance Post's Motor & Mobility Conference at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge. The focal theme centred on how insurers can overcome logistical and technical obstacles on the road to the EV revolution. There were specific discussions around how insurers are adapting to meet the changing needs of customers, and how insurance companies and underwriters are keeping up to date with increasingly technical EVs and the supply chain challenges impacting the EV repair market.

Covid-19, followed by the semiconductor shortage, now combined with the war in Ukraine have all manifested into a global parts shortage. Car manufacturers are under increasing pressure for build parts, while workshops and body shops are vying for replacement parts to keep drivers on the road.

James Allenby, founder and managing director, NOVO Insurance says, "The parts shortage shows that the motor insurance industry is not yet sufficiently equipped to deal with complexities of EV claims. If an EV is subject to an extensive lengthy repair, there are substantial financial impacts that need to be considered compared with a traditional ICE vehicle. Many insurers are still 'on the backfoot' and are yet to build strong relationships with repairers who have the specific knowledge, training and equipment to reinstate EVs back to factory standard. Fortunately, NOVO has been preparing for this for many years which has placed us in a strong position to offer our EV customers flexible, comprehensive solutions to suit their business and personal driving needs."

Many company car fleets are transitioning to EVs. For companies and company car drivers there are significant financial gains to incentivise change. Electric vehicles are at present very tax efficient for both company owners and their employees, but the insurance industry needs to be adequately prepared. If an EV is off the road, and the company car driver is given a fossil-fuelled replacement loan car, the costs through BiK tax implications can substantially escalate for that individual. Other 'additional costs' extend to congestion charges and the ability to park some EVs for free, such as in most London boroughs.

James Allenby adds: "When you consider the average repair time exceeding 45 days, some a lot longer, the costs can really add up. It is why we have made it our priority to have own large fleet of EV loan cars and promise our clients a like-for-like loan EV, which is also integral to our Incident Management solution. We have invested in an extensive fleet of premium marque EVs for our own clients and as part of a service we offer to others in this industry. We have seen a significant increase in the loan period for our unique like-for-like vehicle replacement service, many of our clients are without their own vehicles for six months or more. In fact, the longest time one of our EVs has been out currently exceeds 214 days – and we are still counting."

NOVO also benefits from established connections with leading EV repairers giving it access to specialist expertise, providing owners with the reassurance of high standards of service from trusted Approved partners. NOVO's foresight extends to the company having its own specialist EV body shop.

James Allenby continues: "Technology is radically changing in motor vehicles and the insurance marketplace must change with it. At NOVO, we also believe that consumers want a more personal, bespoke interaction and as a result of that we introduced our concierge style customer service. We also wanted to break free of the 'one-size-fits' all mentality and be in a position to offer flexible, tailored solutions to suit our policy holders. We offer a level of cover that you will not find anywhere else, and a range of added benefit cradle-to-grave services to help make EV ownership an easy, hassle-free experience. We are passionate about delivering attention to detail and exceptionally high standards of customer service."

For further information visit NOVO Insurance