Tesla Offering Car Insurance, But Few Details
On Aug. 28, Tesla Inc. began offering auto insurance to its electric-car owners in California, touting rates as much as 30 percent lower than other products. However, the company didn’t offer many details about its insurance, and its availability is unclear given the single sentence appearing on the Tesla Insurance website stating, “algorithm update in progress.”
Tesla says its insurance product, which only covers the company’s vehicles, eventually will be expanded nationwide. It also plans to eventually offer commercial insurance to support its own ride-sharing network. The company has said it will be able to lower costs because it “knows its vehicles best,” but it won’t use or record vehicle data when pricing insurance.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has bristled for years at some Tesla customers’ complaints that they’re paying high insurance rates. Costlier coverage undercuts the case the company frequently makes that its cars are the safest in the industry and its driver-assistance system Autopilot helps drivers avoid crashes. During an earnings call, Musk said of customers purchasing the insurance product, “If they want to buy Tesla insurance, they would have to agree to not drive the car in a crazy way. Or they can, but then their insurance rates are higher.”