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AAA hikes Tesla insurance rates due to higher than average number of claims

Tesla Model S and Model X at a Supercharger station. (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Tesla owners carrying policies through AAA aren't going to like this news: rates are going up. AAA determined the Tesla Model S and Model X are both affected by abnormally high claim rates. In turn, AAA could raise rates up to 30 percent.

Tesla has disputed the analysis by AAA and said the data is flawed, according to Automotive News (subscription required).

"This analysis is severely flawed and is not reflective of reality," Tesla said. "Among other things, it compares Model S and X to cars that are not remotely peers, including even a Volvo station wagon."


AAA compared its data to the Highway Loss Data Institute which also showed frequent and expensive claims for the Model S and Model X. AAA believes the rate hikes are warranted since every vehicle's premium is partially determined by similar sets of data.

"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," Anthony Ptasznik, chief actuary of AAA, said.

AAA found the Model S is involved in 46 percent more claims than average—the claims also cost twice the average to fix. The Model X is involved in 46 percent more claims than average and the all-electric crossover costs 89 percent more to fix than the average claim. Those fancy doors probably aren't helping the situation.


Tesla argues the HLDI data does not house the Model S and Model X in appropriate categories, therefore, the models are being compared unfairly. The automaker said if both models were compared to their respected rivals, the crash data wouldn't be quite so extreme. Furthermore, the Tesla Model S has been called a vehicle with the lowest likelihood of injury, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Other insurance companies have not commented on the matter and did not say if insurance rates would rise in accordance with AAA's findings.

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