AAA Raising Insurance Premiums for Tesla Owners

The American Automobile Association has said that it is raising premiums on Tesla vehicles by up to 30 percent. Tesla, naturally, isn’t happy with the move.

AAA Chief Actuary Anthony Ptasznik said that they noticed some anomalies in Tesla claims to date, so they took a look at some other data sources. Data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, a research organization that gathers and publishes data on vehicle insurance claims, backed up AAA’s findings. Ptasznik said that “looking at a much broader set of countrywide data, we saw the same patterns observed in our own data, and that gave us the confidence to change rates.”

SEE MORE: Tesla Updates Model S Summon Function to Improve Safety

The report covered 2014-2016 model years. In the large luxury SUV class, where the Model X is grouped, claim frequency is the same as the average for all vehicles, and the cost is 43 percent above average. Model X owners file 41 percent more claims than average, and they cost 89 percent more. The Model S, in the large luxury vehicle class, saw 46 percent more claims than average, with claims costing more than double average (the rest of the class is 13 percent more claims and 50 percent higher cost). That’s a big jump for insurers.

Russ Rader, a spokesman for HLDI’s parent group the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offered an overarching comment.

“Teslas get into a lot of crashes and are costly to repair afterward, consumers will pay for that when they go to insure one,” he said.

Tesla disagrees with the claims. In a statement to Automotive News, Tesla said that its cars were being incorrectly grouped because they had a higher rate of acceleration than their peers. The statement called it “false and misleading.” They also added that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing shows the Model S holds the lowest likelihood of injury, and said that “we expect Model X to receive the best score for any SUV ever tested.”

Tesla is working with insurance companies as part of their Insure My Tesla program to ensure lower rates for their customers. The automaker says that in addition to the crash testing scores, “leading insurers also appreciate the added safety benefit of Autopilot.”

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