AAA raises Tesla insurance rates 30 percent; company disputes analysis


2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

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It's never a good day to learn one's insurance rates are rising, but AAA has decided the Tesla Model S and Model X warrant 30 percent increases.

AAA combed through its own data and found Model S and Model X owners had abnormally high claim rates.

The claim rates were also much costlier than competing vehicles in the Model S and Model X's respected classes.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model S: Too Many Problems To Recommend, Consumer Reports Says

After cross-investigating AAA's data with the Highway Loss Data Institute, AAA announced insurance rates could rise 30 percent for the vehicles.

Tesla immediately refuted all claims by AAA and the Highway Loss Data Institute, according to Automotive News.

"This analysis is severely flawed and is not reflective of reality," Tesla said in a statement. "Among other things, it compares Model S and X to cars that are not remotely peers, including even a Volvo station wagon."

2017 Tesla Model X

2017 Tesla Model X

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AAA is confident the data speaks for itself.

"Looking at a much broader set of countrywide data, we saw the same patterns observed in our own data, and that gave us the confidence to change rates," Anthony Ptasznik, chief actuary of AAA, said.

Tesla recently updated its maintenance plans to include higher rates, but also include hardware updates.

READ THIS: Tesla updates maintenance plans; higher fees now include hardware updates

Digging into the details reveals quite a bit of activity from Tesla owners and their insurance companies.

The Model S is involved in 46 percent more claims than average, and the claims cost twice as much than the average.

Model X owners filed claims 41 percent more often compared to the average and repairs cost 89 percent more than the average insurance claim.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Tesla argued the Model S and Model X have been placed among incorrect competing vehicles in the HLDI database.

The electric car maker stated if it were compared with similar, rival vehicles, the crash data would not stand out negatively.

CHECK OUT: Waits for Tesla service get longer as more electric cars are sold

Tesla also pointed out the Model S is a vehicle with the lowest likelihood of injury, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Other major insurers such as State Farm and Geico said AAA's approach is a common way to calculate insurance premiums—number of claims and the cost of them—but did not say if Tesla customers would see premium hikes.

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