Tesla has opted to go it alone in some far-reaching and profound ways—like how it sells and services its cars, how it provides charging infrastructure, how it keeps them updated and, well, that every single car the automaker produces is fully electric.
And now Tesla is adding another potentially mammoth line of direct-to-consumer services: insurance. Wednesday it launched Tesla Insurance, which it says can save drivers up to 30 percent, available to drivers of the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Roadster.
The company said that the product—so far only offered in California—will not use individual driver data in pricing coverage for individual drivers. Just as with other insurance policies, it depends on the applicant’s driving record, among other common insurance factors.
That's a bit different than what Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased earlier this year—that the insurance product would be based on driver behavior, or data from Autopilot sensors.
“It will be much more compelling than anything else out there,” said Musk, during an April first-quarter financial call with analysts.
Tesla didn’t have an answer for Green Car Reports regarding who is underwriting the policy. The policies will extend to buying and leasing.
Reports from May cited documents filed with the State of California, suggested that Tesla might be using Markel’s State National Insurance Company. That particular filing stated that the product might use “direct data feeds with customer permission, when required, that eliminate frictional costs and inefficiencies inherent in traditional insurance processes.”
2018 Tesla Model X
Tesla’s product may be welcomed by many owners. The carmaker has had some high-profile disputes with how major insurers are assessing the safety of Teslas, including a 2017 row with AAA when the insurer raised premiums for Model S and Model X by 30 percent because of abnormally high claim rates.
Although Tesla is only covering its own vehicles, it says that it will help cover customers’ other vehicles, in what sounds like a referral to another insurance provider—or perhaps under a different insurance product from the same underwriter.
“Because Tesla knows its vehicles best, Tesla Insurance is able to leverage the advanced technology, safety, and serviceability of our cars to provide insurance at a lower cost,” sums a brief blog post from the company on the new service.
In an adjacent Q&A page, the company explains that Tesla Insurance can be managed in owners’ Tesla Account pages. The company says that customers can even request an insurance quote prior to delivery of their car, once a VIN has been assigned within their Tesla Account.
Tesla emphasizes that you can still select a plan through other insurers, and that you can cancel the monthly coverage at any time.
Tesla Insurance will expand to other states in the near future. It’s not the only automaker going in on insurance for electric cars either; Porsche earlier this summer announced the rollout (limited to Illinois and Oregon at first) of an insurance product program for its upcoming Taycan.