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Tesla insurance product to be fronted by Markel’s State National

29th April 2019 - Author: Steve Evans

According to a more than 4,000-page filing with the California Department of Insurance, Tesla’s soon to be launched insurance program for its drivers is set to be fronted by Markel Corporation subsidiary State National Insurance Company, Inc.

Tesla superchargerAs we explained last week, it’s been reported that Tesla, the Elon Musk-led automotive and energy company, is on the verge of launching its own insurance product for Tesla drivers.

Musk had said that the insurance product could launch in a matter of weeks and now state rate filings seen by Reinsurance News show that State National is set to be the program fronting company assisting Tesla with its foray into auto insurance.

The Tesla Private Passenger Auto program will see State National managing a program offering private insurance policies for “autos with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in the State of California” the filings show.

One of the features of the awaited Tesla insurance cover is the possibility that it will include discounts for drivers using auto-pilot, or autonomous vehicle features.

The filings state that, “Vehicles equipped with an autonomous feature option will be eligible for credits based on the level of autonomy of the vehicle.”

So, the more advanced the Tesla technology and software, the greater the potential for insurance discounts it seems.

State National further explains the program’s use of Tesla technology to provide benefits back to the insurance consumer, “The purpose of the product is to use Tesla’s proprietary technology to lower costs and improve the customer experience by embedded technology to support the underwriting, rating, claims, repair, and product manufacturing network, including direct data feeds with customer permission, when required, that eliminate frictional costs and inefficiencies inherent in traditional insurance processes.”

Saying that through the use of technology and the insights it delivers, State National, “passes the savings yielded directly to the customer while simultaneously improving the customer service experience.”

The program is going to be marketed to consumers through a digital InsurTech platform from Tesla Insurance Services, with consensual sharing of vehicle and consumer data enabling policyholders to achieve lower car insurance costs under the program.

State National says in the filing that it recognises the advanced technology from Tesla could reduce accident and collision frequency or severity, helping to also keep the costs of insurance lower.

The Tesla insurance program is to be run separately from other auto programs under the State National banner, the company said.

As State National provides program fronting services to this new Tesla Private Passenger Auto insurance program, it is assumed the firm will be using reinsurance to pass on the majority of the risk to other parties, as it tends to only retain minimal risks from the programs.

The reinsurance treaty details are not available in the filings, so at this time we do not know who is taking on the bulk of the risk by reinsuring the program for Tesla.

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