Tesla owners share their thoughts on Tesla Insurance
Since 2019, Tesla has offered their competitively priced insurance offering designated protection and coverage to their drivers. With Tesla insurance, drivers can expect comprehensive coverage that includes roadside assistance, a seamless sign-up process, auto-payments, a direct line to agents, online access to their insurance card, and many more features in their one-stop-shop service. As of now, Tesla Insurance is only available in California to Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y, and Roadster owners. However, Tesla Insurance plans on expanding to other states.
According to the Tesla Insurance website, users can expect up to 20% to 30% of lower rates when compared to other traditional insurance providers. Be that as it may, for actual Tesla Insurance consumers, the experience is far more skewed. As specified by Tesla Insurance users who were interviewed for this article, their savings fluctuate far more than what Tesla promises. On average, users saved anywhere between $40-100/month with Tesla Insurance compared to their previous provider. One customer stated that Tesla Insurance offered them a rate of $1,200/year for three drivers compared to their previous insurer State Farm who offered them a $2,600/year rate.
The desire for an in-house insurance experience was a trend with the interviewed individuals, as each one of them, minus the one whose first car was a Tesla, traded their prior insurance for Tesla’s. These users left behind established insurance companies like GEICO, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and AAA. Customers like the idea of insuring their products with the company that makes them. And when a product is as complex as a Tesla, those customers find solace with that fact. Tesla customers are loyal, and Tesla is aware of this. Most of the interviewed customers have been with the insurance service for over a year now, with one user who switched to the platform the moment it was available.
Yet, despite the easy sign-up process and the ability to also insure other non-Tesla cars, Tesla Insurance is not without its shortcomings. Many users hope to see the service expand and making the platform even more user-friendly and innovative. Home insurance, a dedicated smartphone app, more website flexibility and insurance discounts for military or students are all desired features that customers hope to see in the future. And despite enjoying their cars, some users are still skeptical of the idea of a car manufacturer directly selling insurance. “I don’t specifically hate the idea of their offering insurance. However, I’ve heard some negative reports of their insurance,” says one Tesla owner.
No matter the company, misinterpretations are bound to happen and with Tesla there’s no exception. Advertising a service that uniquely understands their own vehicle, thus resulting in charging lower fees will come with caveats. For one Tesla Insurance customer, they thought their damaged windshield bill would be taken care of by Tesla Insurance, instead; they were met with an out-of-pocket charge of $900. Yet despite the accident, Tesla – which selected Crawford & Company to handle claims – hasn’t increased this policyholder’s insurance rate. “My car got sprayed by gravel from a truck going the other way on a highway,” says the customer, “[it] chipped my windshield and scratched the hood and front bumper pretty good.” The client needed to replace the windshield, get paintwork done, and install a new plastic bumper piece. His $5,000 claim was almost immediately approved after the Tesla Service Center and body shop submitted photos of the damage to Tesla Insurance on his behalf.
Tesla Insurance has demonstrated that a car company can offer a viable insurance option for their clientele . Going forward, it will be interesting to see if other car manufacturers introduce similar streamlined policies as the amount of Tesla owners switching to the carmaker’s insurance only seems to be growing.
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As a college student, Elon Reeve Musk pledged that he would make an impact on the Internet, on the environment, and in space. As a grown-up billionaire and the inspiration for Iron Man hero Tony Stark, he is now promising to build a major, revolutionary insurance company. And just as 'car people' were skeptical then, insurance people are skeptical now.