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Let’s Talk Tesla

Linden Chalfant Nelson, Personal Risk Advisor

Are you considering Elon Musk’s recently developed insurance program for your Tesla?  You may want to keep reading.  “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,” said the electric carmaker in a company blog post. “The data is there, it’s all there, cameras in and all-around your car, all of the data points are there,” Matthew Edmonds, Tesla’s Head of Insurance, said at an auto insurance conference in Chicago. 

As a risk advisor to individuals and families, I have a few questions and concerns regarding Tesla’s initial rates, marketing strategies, and overall coverage. Tesla plans to use your GPS, vehicle cameras, and your internal computer system to determine your insurance rates. If the company knows your exact driving habits down to the millisecond, do you think your rates would be lower? #BIGBROTHER 

With Tesla just entering the insurance market, how will their financial strength stack up? Will they be around to settle large-tail claims? (Claims with a long duration over months or years while still being settled in court) Is there a conflict of interest between an auto maker’s product liability and driver’s liability? For example, if the self-driving car fails and causes an accident, which policy would pay? Does Tesla’s familiarity with the vehicle change the fact that there is a shortage of repair parts and considerably longer delivery times? Your Tesla may be in the shop for months while they manufacture what is needed for your vehicle. 

What are the rental car options, and will Tesla impose time limitations? Teslas take a notoriously long time to repair. Will Tesla employ its own claims adjuster s and, if so, will there only be a limited number of them? An insurance carrier’s reputation can be made or broken with the claims experience. Do they offer high enough liability limits for you, your exposure and what you can(‘t) afford to lose? 

Will your umbrella or excess liability policy sit over this auto policy? Will you have an insurance advisor to help navigate questions and scenarios or will you be talking to a computer/automated system? What happens if the other vehicles in your household aren’t Teslas? If you total a Tesla, will they settle the loss based on an agreed value to protect your investment, OR—based on product depreciation? 

Whether you currently have a Tesla, or are intrigued by their allure, let’s talk about why an independent risk advisor that caters to affluent clientele is still the best option!

The descriptions of coverages listed in this article are brief and subject to the provisions, limitations, and exclusions that can only be expressed in your policy and related endorsements. For additional information of how Swingle Collins & Associates can assist in meeting your coverage needs, please contact your dedicated risk manager. The information contained in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It contains general information on insurance issues and may not reflect the most current developments in insurance coverage and is unlikely to apply in all factual scenarios. The information does not include all the terms, coverages, exclusions, limitations or conditions that may be contained in the actual insurance contract language. The policies themselves must be read for those details. Sample policy forms will be made available upon reasonable request. Thank you. 

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There are two traits you’ll find in every Swingle Collins Risk Advisor—unsurpassed knowledge of insurance products, and a steadfast commitment to recommending the solutions that are best aligned with your business and personal goals.

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