The insurance from Tesla, the Bova case and the complaints


In February, Mark Bova bought a used 2018 Tesla Model S. Before leaving the dealership, he purchased insurance from Tesla, with a monthly premium of $93.

Sixteen days later, as he drove along the Capital Beltway to his home in Maryland, he had activated Tesla’s automated driving system. The car suddenly turned left, hit an obstacle and overturned. He escaped through a window as the car filled with smoke. An ambulance rushed him to hospital with back injuries that later required surgery. “I’m ex-military,” Bova said, referring to the U.S. Army Special Forces. “That was probably the second most traumatic thing I’ve been through outside of combat.”

His ordeal is not over. Tesla Insurance, launched in 2019 by the electric car company, has promised policyholders “much better” service than competitors, Tesla chief Elon Musk said in April 2022. Musk also said he aimed to offer collision repairs “same day”. But Bova says he’s been fighting his insurance since the accident.

He said he has been waiting seven months for compensation related to the vehicle, but has yet to be reimbursed for about $50,000 in medical expenses. This required a call to the automaker’s product liability department because the accident involved autopilot he was told. He waited on hold for hours and hung up four times, he said. When someone finally answered, the clerk promised to call him back in two weeks. Four months later, she’s still waiting.

Tesla and Musk did not respond to detailed questions from Reuters for this report.

Bova is not the only customer angered by Tesla Insurance, according to dozens of complaints on social media and online postings, including on a Better Business Bureau website, and Reuters interviews with policyholders. While some customers in online posts praised the insurance company’s low premiums, others, like Bova, complained of waiting weeks or months for payments and repairs and being unreachable by employees.

Tesla officials said they started the insurance company to solve a problem: Prospective customers walk away from car sales after receiving high insurance quotes. Despite promising to revolutionize auto insurance, Tesla has at times run the business on a shoestring budget, with about a dozen employees who were quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of claims, according to sources familiar with how the insurance company operates.

Source: Insurancejournal and Reuters

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