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Homeowner battles 'ridiculous' HOA insurance requirement for EV charger: 'The solution is ... change the rules'

"It's been impossible to talk them down from this high horse."

"It's been impossible to talk them down from this high horse."

Photo Credit: iStock

A California condo owner's plan to install an electric vehicle charger in his personal garage hit an unexpected roadblock: an unusual insurance requirement from his homeowners association.

The condo owner shared his predicament on Reddit's r/Insurance community, seeking advice from insurance experts.

He explained that his HOA's EV charging rules include a peculiar stipulation requiring the HOA to be added as an "additional insured" on his homeowners insurance policy.

"Looking to install an EV charger inside of my garage (I pay for all the costs, installation and the electricity is paid by me)," the Redditor wrote. "No insurance company will do this, and it's been impossible to talk them down from this high horse of the rules."

The condo owner notes the apparent double standard, as other potential fire risks such as clothes dryers and water heaters do not require special insurance riders.

"For context, in my opinion it's ridiculous that they treat something like this different than any other potential risk, such as my dryer or water heater catching fire," the condo owner lamented. "That's all covered under my homeowners policy and requires no specific insurance."

HOAs nationwide have faced criticism for obstructing homeowners from making eco-friendly, cost-saving property upgrades, including installing rooftop solar panels or planting native, low-water lawns.

These restrictions not only limit residents' ability to lower their utility bills and live more sustainably but also hinder wider adoption of green technologies that benefit the environment.

Redditors chimed in with suggestions and commiseration.

"The solution is vote out the old board, vote in a new board and change the rules," one commenter advised.

Another questioned the HOA's stance: "I don't see why they can't be additional insured. If someone rents out their home we put the rental agency as additional insured for liability, I would think HOA would be easy to do the same."

The OP can also work with their HOA to make mutually beneficial changes. By approaching the situation with an attitude of kind candor and highlighting electric vehicles' environmental and monetary savings, the HOA just might be willing to change its bylaws.

As more drivers switch to electric vehicles, it will be key to streamline the process for condo and apartment dwellers to install EV chargers — without undue insurance burdens — to accelerate America's transition to cleaner transportation.

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