Transport minister seeks to address denial of insurance to EV drivers
An electric vehicle being charged.

PROSPECT, Westmoreland — Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunication and Transport Daryl Vaz says his ministry is currently looking into the issue of some insurance companies' refusal to insure electric vehicles (EVs).

The minister said he was hearing for the first time about the issue, which was brought to his attention last week in a Jamaica Observer business report.

"It is something that the ministry is looking into, based on the complaint that was made. But the policy, as it stands, does allow for used and new electric vehicles," stated Vaz.

In the Observer article, published last Wednesday, a lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr Dwight Robinson said he purchased an EV in September but was unable to get it insured comprehensively with his insurer, Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI).

According to the article, president of ICWI Paul Lalor said the company would only refuse to insure an EV if it is a car imported by an individual or entity that is not one of the registered new car dealers, or if it is an imported used EV.

Said Vaz: "The insurance company has the right to decide whether they want to insure or what type of vehicle — whether new or used — but the bottom line is that the policy, which is what... [Government] is responsible for, allows for both. So, it is something that we will have to look into to see exactly what the issues are," stated Vaz.

"I suspect that the issue of the charging of the electric vehicles and the fact that there has been some reported incidents of fire — which obviously nobody knows what the true situation is in terms of the cause of the fire — [might be the cause of this decision by the insurer]," said Vaz, noting that the Government will speak on the matter in due course.

In the article, Robinson said the issue is something Government should look into, considering its push for EVs.

In June of last year Cabinet approved a policy to incentivise the importation of EVs. Government had also announced that it is making adjustments to the Motor Vehicle Import Policy to accommodate an EV concessional rate of 10 per cent.

Vaz, asked if the development is a blow to Government's push for EVs, said, "No, because the truth of the matter is that EV is a new technology. And I believe that once it shows that it can perform and that the vehicles are roadworthy, and ofcourse safe, the panic and the concerns will die down."

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?