Tesla Telematics Program Review for 2021

Insurance rates for Tesla owners are 30% higher than the average rate nationwide. Tesla Insurance was created in 2019 to combat these high rates and is currently only available in California. However, Elon Musk announced plans to sell insurance products nationally by the end of 2021, including a Tesla telematics program. Tesla will use the data to calculate your auto insurance rates strictly on driving habits.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Elon Musk announced plans for a Tesla telematics or UBI program during the second-quarter earnings call in 2020
  • Tesla Insurance, currently only available in California, decreases Tesla auto insurance rates by 20 to 30 percent on average
  • Tesla hopes to sell insurance nationwide and offer the telematics program by the end of the year

In 2020, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk announced plans for a Tesla telematics program to lower the cost of Tesla auto insurance rates.

Telematics programs use either a mobile application or a small device to track and evaluate a user’s driving habits.

While we await the rollout of the Tesla-owned usage-based insurance program (UBI), read our guide to learn the latest updates about the future of Tesla telematics.

We’ll cover what data Tesla might collect, how UBI programs work, and more.

Most major insurance companies now offer UBI programs. Before you buy Tesla telematics auto insurance, compare car insurance quotes from reputable providers near you by entering your ZIP code into our free online quote tool above.

What is Tesla telematics?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Progressive created the first UBI program over a decade ago, paving the way for the rest of the auto insurance industry, including Tesla.

During the Tesla second-quarter earnings phonecall in 2020, Elon Musk gave updates about Tesla Insurance and announced a potential telematics or UBI program for Tesla drivers. The program is still in development.

Across the country, Tesla insurance costs are much higher than average. You may wonder, are self-driving cars safe? When it comes to Tesla’s autonomous driving features, the brand proves to be incredibly reliable.

To address customer complaints about high insurance costs despite vehicle safety, Tesla Insurance was created by the company in 2019 to provide owners with more affordably-priced auto insurance rates.

By introducing a UBI program, Tesla Insurance can base rates on your actual driving data and habits, which means fairer premium costs.

Currently, Tesla Insurance is only available in California. However, the company hopes to expand to other parts of the country by the end of the year.

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How will Tesla telematics work?

During the quarter two call, Musk announced that the company is seeking revolutionary Tesla actuaries to help shake up the auto insurance industry.

Tesla Insurance already sells cheaper coverage options in California when compared to other major companies. Some customers even received notices that their policy rates will lower at the time of renewal.

Soon, Tesla telematics auto insurance rates will be entirely based on the client’s real-time driving habits, thanks to Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) programs.

Tesla’s chief financial officer, Zachary Kirkhorn, says by the end of the year, the company will use the data already collected through Autopilot and FSD to create nationally-available insurance products for all Tesla drivers.

Driver data collected by the car itself will assess crash correlations and probabilities.

Based on the data, premiums for customers may be evaluated monthly instead of every six or 12-months.

What driving habits will Tesla telematics track?

We won’t know for sure what information the Tesla telematics program will collect until it’s announced later in the year. But what data does Tesla collect currently?

The Tesla autopilot data collection includes three major types of information:

  • Information about you or the devices you use in your Tesla
  • Information about the vehicle itself
  • Information about your Tesla energy products

The autopilot program can steer, accelerate, and brake your vehicle automatically within a lane.

The autopilot technology features eight surround cameras that provide 360-degree viability around your car and up to 250 meters of range.

A forward-facing radar collects additional data about your vehicle’s surroundings.

Tesla will use this technology to gather information about your driving techniques to place you into an insurance risk category.

The safer you drive, the lower your future Tesla insurance rates will be. Risky drivers will pay higher rates.

Is a Tesla telematics program worth it?

Nobody knows Tesla vehicles and drivers better than the Tesla company itself. It makes sense for Tesla drivers to also rely on the company for insurance purposes.

This is one of the predictions we make in our article about autonomous vehicles and driving habits, that manufacturers of self-driving cars will soon offer their own auto insurance because they know the technology the best.

If you drive a Tesla, the company is already using your data to develop the future telematics program planned to be released later this year.

Even if you plan to purchase a Tesla Insurance policy in the future, you still need proper auto insurance coverage in the meantime. You can find your best prices if you compare auto insurance providers online.

Compare affordable Tesla telematics auto insurance quotes from reputable companies near you right now for free by plugging your ZIP code into our quote tool below.

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