The California-based EV manufacturer has said that its insurance data collection for providing insurance service to the users will depend on state laws and user’s authorization. A senior executive of the company clarified that data would include GPS location and camera footage.
What does the new insurance setup mean?
Speaking at an auto insurance conference in Chicago on Wednesday, Head of Insurance at Tesla, Matthew Edmonds said that the company’s offering would depend entirely on state laws. There will be no federal provision guiding their offerings. Additionally, the company will seek a user’s authorization for the collection and use of their data in order to determine their suitability for the insurance product.
“The data is there, it’s all there, cameras in and all-around your car, all of the data points are there. It really comes down to case law, and how much of the data we can utilize. It would have to be a state-by-state proposition.”
Insurance dreams for Tesla and Elon Musk
Note that that the electric car maker is planning a leap into the insurance sector. It will be offering cheaper insurance to Tesla owners in the state of California, which also happens to be its biggest market. The company said that the lower price would be contributed by the safety features of their cars. The company hasn’t announced the name of an insurance partner yet, but the insurance sector has welcomed the company’s move.
According to the website of the California Department of Insurance, the Elon Musk led company is licensed to operate as a broker for the National Insurance Company Inc. (a part of the Markel Corp). Musk has been harping about the lower insurance costs because of the rise of self-driving technology and better driver-assistance programs.
However, insurers in the US claim that they don’t have sufficient data to suggest that self-driving could improve the safety of the cars. They suggest that automakers do not readily provide data that could help them define the benefits of such technology. Additionally, the repair costs of these systems are very high. The insurers also suggest that drivers use the self-driving or driving assistance systems in an unpredictable way, and there is no set of consistent standards too.
As of 2019, almost all Tesla cars come equipped with some kind of driver assistance features. However, it is not free from controversies. The NTSB is currently investigating some car crashes which involved the use of Tesla Autopilot systems.