Surprised the first time you bought car insurance for your Tesla? You’re not alone. After all, multiple pieces of research suggest coverage for Teslas costs more than similarly priced cars.
By some analyses, the Tesla Model S even came out as the most expensive car to insure.
But it isn’t just the Model S – other Tesla models have also made headlines for pricey premiums.
So how much do Teslas cost to insure and is there anything you can do to mitigate the prices?
How much more does Tesla insurance cost?
Getting an exact figure or percentage is difficult. No two insurance quotes are the same. This is because they take into account things like age, zip code, driving history, the car you drive, and the type of coverage you buy.
That said, what evidence there is isn’t great for Tesla.
Rated as one of the most expensive cars to insure, the Model S had some estimates suggesting average premiums of $1,789. Although depending on model year and trim, you can see average rates given as low as $721 or as high as $2,963.
However, buying a policy for the more modestly priced Model 3 won’t necessarily come cheap either. One quote comparison analysis put insurance rates at for a Tesla Model 3 $2,813 per year only $35 less than the Porsche 911 — a car with a significantly higher stricker price.
Keep in mind that you’ll see a range figures quoted. Analysis by Value Penguin puts the average rate for a 2018 Tesla 3 at $1,913 for a policy with $50,000 and $100,000 coverage limits for bodily injury liability and $50,000 for property damage along with collision and comprehensive.
So really the best way to find how much your Tesla insurance will cost is just to get multiple quotes from different insurance companies.
Why does Tesla insurance cost more?
Part of the explanation is simple – cars that cost more can also cost more to insure. Logically if an insurer has to pay out if you total your car, the more expensive your car the more they have to pay.
But this doesn’t explain everything.
If we were just talking about the Model S this might work as an explanation, but since the Model 3 policies are also expensive there has to be something else going on.
Firstly, as with any type of electric car insurance policy, the technology included in the vehicles can add to costs. Repairing features like the batteries isn’t so simple, so the costs involved in repairs — and therefore insurance claims — are higher, pushing up premiums.
Another thing that makes the issue worse for Teslas is the use of aluminium in the body (at least in the Model S and Model X). This can push up the cost of body repair work, which again will add to premiums.
Are Teslas involved in more insurance claims?
As well as the cost of repairs, another factor that theoretically could push up premiums, would be how often Teslas are in collisions. What evidence there is does not appear to suggest this is the case.
Stats cited by the company itself suggest that Tesla drivers get into fewer collisions per 100,000 miles than the average driver – but this isn’t an apples to apples comparison. For that to be the case, the characteristics of Tesla drivers, and their driving habits, would need to match those of the American driving population overall.
That said, Teslas generally tend to score well on safety ratings, including a five-star rating from the National Highway Transport Safety Administration.
There’s less evidence on how this impacts claims specifically, but research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that safety features on the model are reducing third-party physical damage and injury liability claims, while the benefit of adding Autopilot is that it lowers collision claims.
Are high premiums connected to EV technology?
There are so many factors that go into setting a premium that it’s difficult to say with certainty, but there is evidence that the higher cost of Tesla insurance is due the electric vehicle technology.
The website ValuePenguin found that average insurance for the Tesla Model 3 was just $10 more than for the Chervolet Bolt – another EV in broadly the same price range.
But compared to the BMW 330i Gran Turismo — a conventional engine vehicle in the same price range, the Tesla cost almost $120 more to insure.
Is there anything you can do to get premiums down?
If despite Tesla’s safety ratings you’re still paying high premiums, what can you do? The biggest thing you can do to try and offset lower premiums is to shop around for the best rate.
Because insurance companies calculate their rates differently, shopping around will help find the best rate for your specific circumstances.
Tips for saving money on Tesla insurance
Make sure you’re getting every insurance discount you’re entitled to. For example, if you haven’t been in an accident or had any violations for several years, you could be able to have a good driver discount applied to your rate.
If you haven’t done so already, try bunding any other policies you have, such as home insurance with your auto insurance. Insurers will often give you a discount for having multiple policies with them.
Raising your deductible on your collision or comprehensive policy should get your premium down. It will mean you pay more of any claim you make, but if the amount you end up needing to claim is significant the higher deductible could still make sense in the long run.
If you’re looking for a new rate, Cover searches over 30 providers to find you the best rate, and getting a quote using our app couldn’t be simpler.