IIHS: Tesla Model S Has More Insurance Claims, More Costly To Fix Than Other Large Luxury Cars

1 day ago by Eric Loveday 84

Tesla Model S, New Zealand

The Tesla Model S

It’s a pricy car to buy and is costly to fix too.

Tesla Model S After Small Overlap Test

Recently, we reported that AAA was raising insurance rates for the Tesla Model S and X. The insurer stated that both vehicles had a higher than average number of claims and that both the S and X were more costly to repair than most other vehicles.

Now, there’s new information to back up these claims put forth by AAA.

According to the Insurance Institute For HIghway Safety (IIHS), the Model S is costly to repair and has a high claim rate. A new release put out by the IIHS states:

“When it comes to insurance losses, the Tesla Model S is an outlier. The luxury sedan has higher claim frequencies and is costlier to fix than gasoline-powered large luxury cars, and it accumulates more miles on average per day than other battery-powered vehicles, a new HLDI report shows.”

“The Model S is among the nine vehicles HLDI studied in its latest analysis of insurance losses for all-electric models. Analysts compared the loss experience of the Model S, the Nissan Leaf and seven other electric vehicles with losses for similar conventional vehicles under collision and property damage liability coverages and adjusted claim frequencies for mileage, based on data provided by CARFAX.”

So, perhaps AAA was in the right in raising insurance rates?

The IIHS report includes this graphic, which indicates that the Model S has high claim frequency, severity and loses:

Full report from the IIHS below:

Tesla Model S has higher insurance losses than other large luxury cars

When it comes to insurance losses, the Tesla Model S is an outlier. The luxury sedan has higher claim frequencies and is costlier to fix than gasoline-powered large luxury cars, and it accumulates more miles on average per day than other battery-powered vehicles, a new HLDI report shows.

The Model S is among the nine vehicles HLDI studied in its latest analysis of insurance losses for all-electric models. Analysts compared the loss experience of the Model S, the Nissan Leaf and seven other electric vehicles with losses for similar conventional vehicles under collision and property damage liability coverages and adjusted claim frequencies for mileage, based on data provided by CARFAX.

Collision coverage insures against physical damage to a vehicle in a crash if the driver is at fault. Property damage liability coverage insures against physical damage that at-fault drivers cause to other people’s vehicles and property in crashes.

HLDI compared the BMW 1 Series ActiveE, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500 Electric, Ford Focus electric, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive two-door, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive convertible and Toyota RAV4 EV with gasoline-powered versions of the same models. Nissan doesn’t sell a gasoline-powered Leaf, so HLDI compared its losses against the similar Nissan Versa hatchback. Since Tesla only makes electric vehicles, HLDI compared the Model S against losses for conventional large luxury cars.

Under collision and property damage liability coverages, the seven electric vehicles with exact conventional counterparts had lower claim frequencies and higher claim severities than their comparison vehicles. When analysts controlled for mileage in the claim frequency analysis, the differences in the frequency benefits declined but were still significant. The Leaf largely followed the same pattern but had lower claim severities compared with the Versa.

In comparison, the Model S had higher claim frequencies, higher claim severities and higher overall losses than other large luxury cars. Under collision coverage, for example, analysts estimated that the Model S’s mileage-adjusted claim frequency was 37 percent higher than the comparison group, claim severity was 64 percent higher, and overall losses were 124 percent higher.

Electric vehicles as a class aren’t known for their speed, but that’s not the case with the Model S. Tesla calls it “the quickest production car in the world” in promotional literature. Car enthusiast reviews of the Model S seldom fail to mention how fast it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph.

Teslas also are on the road more than comparable large luxury cars. On average, Teslas travel three more miles per day than other large luxury cars, HLDI found. The other electric vehicles in the study logged 11-12 fewer miles per day than their conventional counterparts.

Higher claim severities relate to how pricey it is to repair collision damage relative to average estimates. Electric vehicles in general are more expensive than their gasoline-powered cousins. The average base price of an electric vehicle in HLDI’s analysis is about 79 percent higher than it is for a conventional counterpart. The Leaf’s base price, for example, is 117 percent higher than the Versa, while the Model S’s base price is 33 percent higher than that of a conventional large luxury car.

 

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87 responses to "IIHS: Tesla Model S Has More Insurance Claims, More Costly To Fix Than Other Large Luxury Cars"

  1. fotomoto says:

    So autonomous features don’t necessarily mean lower insurance rates?

    1. Mark.ca says:

      No such thing, these cars are still driven by people.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “So autonomous features don’t necessarily mean lower insurance rates?”

        That has nothing to do with it.

        Cars which are driven more miles per year have higher insurance rates. Cars which are more costly than other cars also have higher insurance rates.

        This entire article appears to be written with the intent of presenting a positive thing — that Tesla’s cars make it easy to drive further in a day than other BEVs — as if it’s a negative thing!

        Notice the bait-and-switch argument: First they compare the Model S to other BEVs, when talking about the MS being driven further per day than other BEVs; then they switch to comparing the Model S to gasmobiles when comparing the cost for repairs… conveniently omitting the fact that BEVs, including the Model S, have a lower frequency of needed repairs than do comparably-priced gasmobiles!

        Give the devil his due: The biases and logical fallacies which form the foundation of this Tesla-bashing article, are fairly subtle and easily overlooked.

    2. Will Davis says:

      No, it’s more to do with the fact these cars are very powerful and thus the room for driver error resulting in a crash is far higher. That, and they tend to appeal to drivers who love to show off their money and status by driving very fast. In short, it appeals to a somewhat arrogant type of driver who has the money and means.

      1. floydboy says:

        Or it appeals to people who are none of those descriptions. Oh, and not so wealthy and powerful people drive fast too.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…they tend to appeal to drivers who love to show off their money and status by driving very fast.”

        Well, the Tesla Model S is a high-performance car, and yes it does therefore appeal to the sort of “speed demon” who likes to drive too fast and recklessly. However, the Model S isn’t a Ferrari nor a Lamborghini; it doesn’t appeal only to those who want to show off and drive recklessly.

        More to the point, we shouldn’t just swallow the cherry-picked facts being spoon-fed to us by the very biased quotes and graphs in this article. A reasonable person would note that the article says that the Model S is driven more miles per year than the other BEVs it’s being compared to, and the Model S is also considerably more expensive than the average price of those other BEVs.

        Those two facts alone are sufficient to explain most if not all of the higher insurance price.

        We also need to ask why those particular BEVs were chosen for comparison, mostly compliance cars, and even including one car that’s not even a production car: The BMW 1 Series ActiveE. More cherry-picking, perhaps?

        So why the subtly fallacious arguments wrongly suggesting the difference is that Tesla cars tend to be more accident-prone?

        What is the real motive of the IIHS in putting out this anti-Tesla “hit piece”?

      3. JustWilliamPDX says:

        Did you intend to broadly stereotype? That was the result regardless.

        As our favorite dual-headed llama correctly notes elsewhere in this thread, more expensive cars driven more miles cost more to insure. It certainly makes more sense than chalking it up to personality stereotypes.

    3. Ryan says:

      Despite the people below attempting to call attention away from the autonomous driving, Tesla, specifically Musk, has made a big deal about the car being ‘safer’ on the road than other cars as a result of those features. They obviously aren’t paying as big of dividends as they claim.

  2. unlucky says:

    Interesting to see AAA come out and be so specific. I guess that’s what you have to do when the head of Tesla feels free to call you a liar in the press.

    Tesla obviously hits a little bit different demographic than the other large luxury sedans. Large luxury sedans generally have a customer base which is spectacularly old. And while the Model S definitely picks up oldsters too it also has a large dallop of younger (30s, 40s) people buying it. They’re going to drive more and a bit more aggressively. Although apparently the driving more is controlled for here.

    Definitely also it is all but mandatory that you drive your Tesla like an idiot for a few weeks when you get it. Tesla advertises how fast it is (who wouldn’t?) and so customers take it upon themselves to find out early on.

    I suppose the cost of fixing it also isn’t helping. Tesla has said they are trying to improve this, but there’s only so much you can do when a car has such a high price (33% more it seems).

    1. Terawatt says:

      Plus the severity (cost) is likely itself partly due to the nature of the incidents. Higher speeds certainly tend to cause greater damage!

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Is any evidence presented here that Tesla cars tend, on average, to get into accidents at higher speeds?

        No? Then that’s just another biased assumption, to add to those in this article.

        I wonder if the people behind this biased study went out of their way to pick low-priced BEVs to compare to the Model S. That would explain the surprisingly large percentage of low-production compliance cars and test-market cars on the list, and even one non-production car.

        1. Asak says:

          It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why a Model S would be more likely to get in a bad crash than a Nissan Leaf. It isn’t bias, it’s common sense.

  3. silversod says:

    If it’s a case of idiot drivers then they should be held responsible for ramping up the insurance premiums, not the good drivers..

  4. Alex says:

    The study is flawed on many counts:

    – It ignores probability of getting into an accident. And that’s exactly where autopilot is playing role. It helps you not to get into an accident in first place.

    – It also ignores probability of getting injured in an accident. And that’s another strongest point of Tesla. It saves lives. And reducies severity of injuries. By far the biggest portion of insurance costs.

    – And even speaking about repairs it mentions luxury cars, but only shows graphs for 9 electric cars. But they are not the same cars. Nissan Leaf or other electric cars doesn’t even come close to Tesla.

    In a nutshell: Nissan Leaf is cheaper to buy and cheaper to fix if you run into accident. (No wonder since Tesla has aluminum body). What it can’t do is to save your life, or even prevent you from an injury.

    The value of such a finding is zero. We knew it already before the study. Just by looking at two cars side by side.

    1. unlucky says:

      It does not ignore probability of getting into an accident. That is part of the claims figures. Fewer accidents means fewer claims.

      These people who do this are actuaries. All they do is look at the numbers and determine the cost to them per car they insure. Then they set the premiums to cover the expected losses.

    2. Dav8or says:

      It’s pretty simple really. They are just looking at real world data, not hypotheticals. Teslas get in accidents and file claims at a higher rate than comparable cars. The costs of those repairs are higher than comparable cars, so now the cost of insurance on a Tesla is now higher.

      The collision avoidance systems really isn’t a factor. If the equipment really works, the amount of accidents and claims should go down. I guess so far that just isn’t the case.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        There is a difference between getting into an accident and filing a claim and causing that accident and reaching the conclusion that safety features don’t work. I was involved in 2 accidents in my driving life and filled 2 claims and each time it was other party fault.

        1. Terawatt says:

          So you are suggesting Teslas get into more accidents caused by the other party.

          I guess what they about the sect is true.

          1. floydboy says:

            From the number of rear enders I’ve read on the forums, they do seem to get hit a lot.

          2. Mark.ca says:

            No twit, I’m saying that looking at the claims alone will not tell you much about who’s at fault.

            1. Mark says:

              However, the adage “if everyone around you is a crazy, you’re the crazy one” rings a bell here.

              If this was a large enough sample (and there are enough of the other cars to provide a valid statistical sample, even if volumes are “low”), then the poor drivers are the Tesla drivers.

              And it’s an expensive car. It will cost more to fix.

            2. Asak says:

              So, Teslas come with some sort of magnet that pulls other cars into them?

      2. Mint says:

        You don’t have the data of what the claim rate would be without Tesla’s collision avoidance systems, and therefore your conclusion is nonsense.

        As mentioned above, Teslas are much quicker than most large luxury sedans, and are driven by a younger demographic.

        You’ll see similar things with M3 drivers compared to overall compact luxury car buyers.

    3. Tom says:

      You are ignorant and wrong. ‘Severity’ includes costs which includes both physical damage to the vehicle as well as injuries. Claim ‘frequency’ is identical to probability. It is a per car probability. Also they clearly stated it is worse than other luxury cars too even though the graph wasn’t included.

      Your opinion is the thing that is worthless. You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts. If you know nothing of actuarial science or insurance then at least stay quiet and not show how ignorant you are.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Wow! You didn’t merely demonstrate your ignorance of logic and statistics, you jammed your foot down your throat while doing it!

        We don’t need to be experts in insurance or actuarial tables to be able to spot biased arguments, cherry-picked data, nor the “bait and switch” tactics used by someone trying to pass off an anti-Tesla “hit piece” as if it’s an insurance study.

        “…at least stay quiet and not show how ignorant you are.”

        If you know nothing of logic, statistics, or how to present data graphically in an unbiased manner, then you should take your own advice.

        “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” — Abraham Lincoln

  5. Four Electrics says:

    This is what happens when you give a human 0-60 times that are too fast for humans to control. Let’s just make cars that go from 0-60 in 0.001 seconds and see where that gets us. It’s always been safety second, sales first at Tesla.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      This report says nothing about safety. It’s collision and property damage only.

      1. thefles says:

        His point is giving regular people a car that does 0-60 in a few seconds is just asking for problems.

    2. Mark.ca says:

      One troll comes up with a stipid argument and look how fast the other trolls pick it up! Who the hell forces you to floor the acceleration? You can drive a Tesla as slow as you want…you would know that if you had one.

      1. theflew says:

        I think all the drag racing videos shows Tesla drivers like showing how fast there cars are. People would flip if the Model 3 had Bolt like performance which is above average.

        1. unlucky says:

          I’ll be shocked if the base model doesn’t have Bolt-like performance.

          Tesla claims it’ll have better range than a Bolt. Same price (actually a bit less) as a Bolt. It’s bigger than a Bolt. And now you want it to have significantly better performance?

          Making a car that is quicker, longer-range, bigger and cheaper is going to be very difficult. Something has to give. Maybe they can just lie about the price as they have done with their other cars? Make claims about a base model that they really never deliver until after a price increase?

          1. floydboy says:

            How would you know what they never will deliver?! Enlighten us o sayer of sooths!

            1. unlucky says:

              Do you know what the word maybe means? If not, look it up.

          2. Adrian the nerd says:

            The Bolt is a 6.3 second 0-60, which is quite quick for a FWD car. Especially given that the weight distribution is better than an ICE car, so they have less weight over the front wheels = less traction to accelerate. I haven’t been a fan of torque steer in even the moderately quick
            FWD cars I’ve driven, so I imagine many folks wouldn’t care about engineering a faster Bolt. Therefore it is my guess that the Bolt is motor limited rather than battery limited, and they could have easily made it faster but there wasn’t much point.

            1. unlucky says:

              What does that have to do with any of this? I’m not saying they can’t make the Model 3 quicker than the Bolt. In fact I’m all but certain there will be a P model which is much quicker than a Bolt.

              My point is to make it quicker means making it less efficient or more expensive or likely both. To expect that Tesla is going to exceed the Bolt in all these dimensions simultaneously doesn’t make any sense. It’s more a question of which tradeoffs they will make.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            unlucky said:

            “Tesla claims it’ll have better range than a Bolt. Same price (actually a bit less) as a Bolt. It’s bigger than a Bolt. And now you want it to have significantly better performance?”

            Yes, absolutely. I fully expect the M3 to have a better 0-60 time than the Bolt. And not merely by a razor-thin margin, either. It is, after all, a Tesla car, and not a Chevy!

            As far as the Model 3 undercutting the Bolt EV’s price, that’s easy to understand: If GM was aiming at eventually producing 400,000 units per year instead of a measly 35,000 or less, then it’s likely Chevy could profitably sell the Bolt EV for less than the M3!

            Thunderbirds are Go!

            1. unlucky says:

              I think you vastly overestimate the amortization difference between 35,000 and 400,000. They already make the car in a plant which also makes other cars. So they don’t even get to improve their amortization on labor or the plant costs.

              It would help them get a better price from suppliers on the parts. But the big hitter is the pack and motors and I’m sure that was already negotiated.

              As to the rest, some will expect that a a Model 3 should somehow be bigger, more efficient, faster, longer-range and cheaper than a Bolt at the same time. That doesn’t mean it makes sense though.

  6. Alex says:

    PS: Repairing a bicycle is even cheaper. And you’ll save tons on insurance since you don’t have to buy insurance in first place.

    1. Mingone says:

      Yea, But you are driving a POS

      1. Alex says:

        Yea, But you are driving a POS.

        I didn’t mean to be that harsh on Nissan Leaf or other electric cars besides Tesla.

        Reality is any insurance company can come up with any cost and pull any stats including wrong or even fake ones.

        Drivers on the other hand are free to chose an insurance company they’ll work with.

        1. sven ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ says:

          The IIHS is not an insurance company.

        2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          > Alex

          An insurance company certainly doesn’t need to show any stats and argue about quote like 16-year olds. They just quote you and you may shop further if you don’t like. Or just tell you go away with no real reason, other than standard legal boilerplate language. Anecdotal reports say that e.g Allstate does not take new customers with Tesla anymore in some markets.
          Ultimately this is just business, and no insurance company will stay in business for long if their probability guesses are wrong. Actuaries don’t even care about reasons why this or that client group has higher or lower claim rates, they just need to find correlations using whatever criteria and adjust rates accordingly.

  7. Mingone says:

    People are Stupid ! Thats nobody’s fault..

  8. Alex says:

    Interesting you’ve brought acceleration here. I’ve seen speed limits on the roads, obviously for safety. But I haven’t seen acceleration limits. Acceleration also doesn’t seem to have impact on NHTSA safety ratings either. And why is that???

    1. theflew says:

      Acceleration doesn’t matter in crash test because it’s only velocity/speed that matters at the point of impact. You can’t accelerate through a fixed object.

      Also it’s very easy to lose control of your car as it accelerates. We’re not talking about a Camry.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Alex>

      Needless show of acceleration or something like that is listed as traffic violation in statutes of many US states. It applies everywhere without extra signs.

  9. Tech01x says:

    This study didn’t control for the cost of the vehicles? The comparable “large luxury” group that IIHS used to compare against the Model S has a 33.3% lower base price. That’s not a comparable set then. And that’s the average, which means they included vehicles with less than a $50,000 base price in the comparable group.

    Is it no wonder that a cheaper by 33.3% group of cars has lower collision damage costs? The overall losses, controlling for mileage was 32.0% higher for the Model S… which is 33.3% more expensive!

    How does this make any sense?

    1. unlucky says:

      They’re not supposed to control for the cost of the vehicle. They set the premiums based upon how much they expect to pay out in claims per year per customer insured. If the car costs more the cost to fix will (generally) be higher and they pay more. So they will charge more.

      AAA raised rates because the amount they were charging in insurance was not expected to cover the costs they would pay out. It makes sense.

  10. Ken says:

    I thought I read somewhere that the cars in the comparison group with Tesla (ICE large luxury cars) were in fact not a good representation or equal of a Model S counterpart. I thought a Tesla rep had said one of the cars was a Subaru or something.

    I agree with Alex that this article seems very biased, and that certain details were chosen because of their intended effect, not because of impartial awareness of facts.

    Also unlucky is correct when you look at the demographics – probably older, more conservative drivers in the traditional luxury ICE vehicles used for the comparison. As for the frequency of claims being higher, I wonder if this has something to do with the median income of the owners of a Model S vs a Cadillac or Mercedes. The people I know personally that have an S are CEOs, Presidents or VPs with A LOT of disposable income. Their image is important, and their love of technology and support of Tesla is very high. If someone side swiped their S in the parking garage, they’d have it fixed like new before driving it again. Not so say that I see a lot of BMWs or Mercedes with dings, scrapes and dents, but I have never seen a Telsa with damage. And I see a lot of them, every day.

    In the end, choose the insurance company you want – one that sees past the oil monopoly and they way things have always been, and ones that focus on the safety advantages (like low mortality rate, low fire incident rate etc) of Teslas.

    1. unlucky says:

      Sees past? There’s nothing to see past. These people might as well be robots. They don’t care if it takes oil or not. It’s just math. If the car has a low mortality rate (does it, I didn’t see any data that says so) then the data would reflect that. And it definitely doesn’t have a low fire incident rate, that was all Musk using bad math (not controlling for age of vehicle).

      And as to whether it was compared to a Subaru, that doesn’t matter either. If they picked a bad comp vehicle it just means their premiums will be wrong until they get in enough data to set them based upon the results from Model S results instead.

      Let’s look at scenario one. Where the comp is a 7 series. Let’s say the expected payout on a 7 series is $1200/year. They might set the premiums same as the 7 series thinking the Model S figures would be average payout of $1200/year. Then later they find the Model S figures are 33% higher, $1500 per year. So they raise the premiums 33%. Final result, premiums set to cover $1500 per year.

      Now, let’s say they thought the comp was a Subaru Impreza. They expect the payout on that would be $600/year. So they set the premiums there. Later they find out that the payout is about $1500 per year, 150% higher. So they raise the premiums 150%. Final result, premiums set to cover $1500 per year.

      It doesn’t make any difference what car they picked as a comp. The figures are now set based upon results from Model S itself.

      People are getting far too wrapped up in this car. They get upset if it is not rated as best in something. In anything. And then invent conspiratorial reasons for it. The problem here is expensive cars are expensive to fix. Especially Teslas which are rare, aluminum and have (until very recently) had very, very few authorized body shops.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Ken> “In the end, choose the insurance company you want – one that sees past the oil monopoly and they way things have always been, and ones that focus on the safety advantages (like low mortality rate, low fire incident rate etc) of Teslas.”

      Insurance companies certainly don’t care about such crazy tin-foil hat conspiracy stuff. They just build statistical models. Each company models differ, so you can certainly shop around, and do the same again next year. But there is no escape from being in high risk client pool. Excessive acceleration, lack of proper AEB on part of the cars, high mortality comparing to IIHS historical statistics, not so great IIHS safety ratings may be pointed as wild speculations why it is one way or another, but insurance companies primarily care just about the end results, i.e. the sums they will need to pay.

      http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/near-miss-two-all-electric-cars-fall-short-of-earning-an-iihs-safety-award
      http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

  11. Joe says:

    Elon musk has to get more collision places to fix and to have more tesla parts readily available

  12. bro1999 says:

    Hello jacked up insurance premiums.

  13. Bill Howland says:

    If Tesla accused AAA of prevaricating, that is unfortunate – other than the detailed refutation is instructive.

    The Nissan Leaf really shines in this study.

  14. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    Breaking: one of the quickest cars in history has a high accident rate. Details on this shocking story at 11.

    1. Asak says:

      Apparently some Tesla fanboys are really shocked by it!

  15. Get Real says:

    Exactly, the proper comparison group should be ultra-high performance cars like Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, AMG Mercedes, M Series BMW etc.

    1. Terawatt says:

      Silly. It’s a family sedan.

      In any event, the price change still leaves Tesla much less expensive to insure than any of those cars. Careful what you wish for.

  16. Michael says:

    I think the only flaw in this article is the “counterpart” vehicles chosen for Tesla. They should cost at least $100000 and do 0-60 around 3s and be big. M6, E63s, RS7, GTR, DB9 are good candidates, not simply “luxury sedans” which include things like 740i or S400 which isn’t powerful enough to create problems.

    Nevertheless, Teslas cost lots of accidents and are expensive to repair, in a subjective way.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      It is not advocacy or fanboy oriented article. It is written from actuary point of view. They don’t need to care why it is so or what comparison to use. They just want to get rates high enough to offset accident costs for the whole group.

  17. Tesla Owner says:

    Funny how the media has spun this. If any of you have a Tesla, you’d see there are ways to avoid the steep insurance premiums (good driving record, multi-car, home ownership, etc). Don’t believe what you read in the news.

    1. floydboy says:

      Get outta here Tesla Owner! You’re NOT about to inject sanity and common sense into this conversation!

    2. unlucky says:

      None of that matters. Of course you pay less if you are a good driver. But with a rise in the expected costs of repair that means even good drivers will pay more. Of course poor drivers will pay even more again on top of that.

      You’re not going to escape higher insurance costs on a Tesla by being a better driver or getting various discounts from the base cost. You will minimize the increase though.

      1. Asak says:

        Actually the most concerning thing about this is what it does to insurance rates on the Model 3, or other EVs.

  18. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…the Tesla Model S… has higher claim frequencies and is costlier to fix than gasoline-powered large luxury cars, and it accumulates more miles on average per day than other battery-powered vehicles, a new HLDI report shows.”

    Clearly a failure of critical thinking.

    If the Model S is on average driven more miles per day than other PEVs (Plug-in EVs), that’s because it has a longer range and therefore is a more practical car. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing!

    And since it’s driven more miles per day, therefore it’s quite natural that there are more accidents and therefore more claims per day.

    They could have just said that Model S driven drive more miles per year on average than other PEV drivers, and left it at that. The rest is obviously a function of mileage; standard car insurance actuarial tables will tell you that higher yearly mileage means a higher accident rate!

    Now, the other issue is cost of repairs. The wording here reads suspiciously like lawyer-speak: “is costlier to fix than gasoline-powered large luxury cars”.

    Contrariwise, there is a pretty clear consensus on the Tesla Motors Club forum that the annual maintenance and repair cost of the Model S is significantly lower than for comparably-priced gasmobiles.

    Can both of these things be true simultaneously? Sure! It’s entirely possible the Model S is more costly to repair, when it does need to be repaired… but that repairs are needed significantly less frequently than for a similarly-priced gasmobile!

    Which raises the question: Just who paid for this biased anti-Tesla “hit piece”, anyway? And what is their hidden agenda?

    1. unlucky says:

      You’re trying to turn math into good versus bad. It isn’t.

      They said that expected claim costs are higher even when adjusted for additional distances driven. They mention that this is the case specifically, your “critical thinking” doesn’t erase it.

      As to the cost of repairs, collision/liability insurance companies don’t care if Tesla comps you a drivetrain instead of charging for it. They care about repairs to damage caused by collisions. In essence they care about body shop costs. And there is nothing on the Tesla Motors Club where people talk about how cheap body shop costs are on their cars.

      There’s no hit piece here. You’re creating a conspiracy that doesn’t exist. The actuarial tables show that per mile driven a Tesla will cost the insurance companies more in claims. So they are raising premiums to cover this. It’s very simple. It’s not good or bad. It’s not a hidden agenda, it’s a very exposed agenda to cover costs. And it’s not a “hit piece”.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        unlucky said:

        “There’s no hit piece here. You’re creating a conspiracy that doesn’t exist.”

        Ah, okay, then it’s just me, I guess.

        And Alex.

        And Tech01x.

        And Ken.

        And Get Real.

        And Michael.

        And “Tesla Owner”.

        …or maybe, just maybe Unlucky, you’re showing your own anti-Tesla bias here. Maybe you don’t notice the very strong anti-Tesla bias shown in this faux study for the same reason that a fish doesn’t know it’s in water.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          You should pick on the real trolls, unlucky is not one of them.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I didn’t call Unlucky a troll, nor do I think he is one. But he is such a strong GM fanboy that it’s warping his perception of facts and reality. He certainly does have a well established pattern of Tesla bashing, as is on display here.

            Clearly Unlucky thinks Tesla is a threat to GM’s position in the market. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t spend so much time writing Tesla bashing posts. And you know what? It’s entirely possible he’s right!

        2. unlucky says:

          You’re so angry you can’t see that the study adjusted for miles driven. Or that it isn’t about breakdowns/maintenance.

          The red mist is clouding your judgement and you’re lashing out at those who aren’t confused and calling them trolls.

          You make yourself look really bad doing this. You may want to consider if you wish to account for your own errors instead of pushing on others further.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “The red mist is clouding your judgement and you’re lashing out at those who aren’t confused and calling them trolls.”

            Looks like you’re projecting your own reaction here onto me, Unlucky.

            A troll is someone who intentionally disrupts meaningful discussion. That doesn’t seem to be your intention. My perception is that your intention is to promote GM, and to attack Tesla because you see the company as a threat to GM and/or its dealerships.

            I haven’t called anyone a “troll” in this comment thread, nor have I implied you are one.

  19. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “And even speaking about repairs it mentions luxury cars, but only shows graphs for 9 electric cars. But they are not the same cars. Nissan Leaf or other electric cars doesn’t even come close to Tesla.”

    Good to see I’m not the only person who noticed the intellectually dishonest bait-and-switch tactics used in this anti-Tesla “hit piece”.

    If InsideEVs is going to showcase this sort of anti-Tesla propaganda, then IMHO the author and/or the editor should include a prominent disclaimer pointing out the very strong bias underlying the comparisons. A casual read of the article could easily miss the fallacies, cherry-picked data, and biases.

  20. James says:

    Yeah anyone who i know and who owns those Teslas was involved in an accident. And Those Tesla drivers are the slowest on the streets.

  21. Jack OMeara says:

    Or just maybe AAA makes a lot of money from every AAA member’s gasoline car their affiliates tow and service–a good guess is that this has been AAA’s “business model” since its inception and maybe, just maybe, AAA’s business model will suffer if we suddenly start driving EVs that rarely need to be towed or serviced.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      AAA has previously been accused of anti-EV bias, by Tesla if no one else. I wasn’t aware of any — not that I know that much about the AAA — but here’s a bit from Wikipedia:

      Daniel Becker, director of Sierra Club’s global warming and energy program, described AAA as “a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling.” He observed that among other lobbying activities, AAA issued a press release critical of the Clean Air Act, stating that it would “threaten the personal mobility of millions of Americans and jeopardize needed funds for new highway construction and safety improvements.”

      I’m not seeing any evidence in the article that specifically indicates an anti-EV bias, but certainly the activism on the part of AAA opposing environmental concerns seems strange.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Automobile_Association#AAA_and_the_environment

  22. Bill Howland says:

    Of various ev owners I’ve come to know, I’ve found Nissan Leaf drivers are the most intelligent. Now apparently its been proven they are also the safest drivers.

  23. Alex says:

    Unlucky

    I know who actuaries are. They are building models. And some of the models are worse than others.

    Some industries use them a lot. Tobacco industry comes to mind here.

    Warren Buffet who probably knows some about car insurance business believes mobile cars will be good for human safety but bad for car insurers.

    Meanwhile NHTSA report from earlier this year found that Tesla’s Autopilot software helped reduce the incidence of accidents by 40%.

    That doesn’t bode well with the claim that the Model S has higher claim frequencies, higher claim severities and higher overall losses than other large luxury cars.

    NHTSA must be just as ignorant.

    Report mentions luxury cars quite often. But only lists: BMW 1 Series ActiveE, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500 Electric, Ford Focus electric, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive two-door, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive convertible and Toyota RAV4 EV.

    Which one of them is luxury?

  24. unlucky says:

    The NHTSA report only shows a reduction in crashes since the introduction of autopilot. And only versus the same models from before introduction of autopilot. It doesn’t say anything about versus other cars.

    And as to the report, just because it speaks of several electric cars doesn’t mean Teslas weren’t compared against other luxury gas cars as mentioned.

    Also, what would it matter what they are compared to? The Tesla figures stand for themselves, as I mentioned above. They could compared it to a Schwinn 20″ bike and it wouldn’t mean the Tesla figures don’t apply to Teslas.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “The NHTSA report only shows a reduction in crashes since the introduction of autopilot. And only versus the same models from before introduction of autopilot. It doesn’t say anything about versus other cars.”

      Quite correct. (Well, almost correct; the difference is Tesla cars with AutoSteer vs. ones without it, not with or without Autopilot.)

      But the comparison of accident rates between Tesla cars with and without AutoSteer makes this a scientifically valid comparison. The cars without AutoSteer form a control group, which is something missing in most real-world comparisons between cars. If it was, for example, a comparison between Tesla cars with AutoSteer and Leaf cars without it, we couldn’t come to any logical conclusions. There are too many differences between the Model S and the Leaf, as well as people who drive them.

      It is of course an over-generalization (as well as the logical fallacy of jumping to a conclusion) to observe that Tesla cars equipped with AutoSteer are safer than ones without it, and conclude that autonomous driving features in general make cars safer to drive. However, this is the same sort of over-generalization that people practice every day, and usually successfully. Not always, but often enough that it’s a proven survival trait for humans to generalize from specific instances to a general case.

      I’m not saying we should uncritically accept this generalization without being skeptical of a conclusion based on such scant evidence. But I am saying that it is evidence, real fact-based evidence, in favor of autonomous vehicles being safer. Not “proof”, just evidence.

      And it’s statistical evidence, not just the anecdotal evidence of the one (or even the three claimed by Tesla bashers, based on lawsuit claims without hard evidence) Tesla driver killed while “driving” a Tesla car controlled by Autopilot+AutoSteer.

    2. Alex says:

      I work with data a lot. Tesla was given 5 star safety rating, prior to autopilot. And then found that Tesla’s Autopilot software helped reduce the incidence of accidents by 40%.

      This report claims “Model S has higher claim frequencies, higher claim severities and higher overall losses than other large luxury cars”.

      It is impossible for both statements to be correct. Owner of one of them is either deriving conclusions by looking at a broken model or is simply lying. If the study was done against other luxury cars I expect to hear what were other luxury cars participating in the sample. Smart for two is not a luxury car.

      Actuaries need to be very explicit and very careful when selecting samples. It Tesla they select were not equipped with autopilot they should say so. If the study is about luxury cars they should say which cars are being included into the study.

      Studying luxury cars but including Leaf and Smart for Two is a gross error to say the least. Studying electric cars and making conclusion about luxury cars is a gross error too. And so is failing to mention what brands are included in your studies.

      Actuaries who make such gross errors should definitely look for another job. Unless they were told so and were paid to create such a confusion of course.

      1. unlucky says:

        It is not impossible for both these statements to be correct.

        You work with data a lot but you can’t see that crash ratings are about how the car performs if it does crash while these other figures are about the likelihood the car gets in a crash?

        One of those data sets does not impact another. A good crash performance does not mean that the car is less likely to get in a crash.

        I appreciate you speaking up. It is very helpful in providing understanding of how you reached your conclusions. Unfortunately the answer is “not well”.

        There is no reason we have to know any comparison car for the purpose of evaluating the Model S figures themselves. The data for the Model S results comes from Model Ses.

        (total paid out in losses on Model S/X) / (total miles driven by insured customers with Model S/X) gives you an expected payout per mile for Model S/X. No need for any other data from Smart, from BMW Active E, from anything. That’s the math insurance companies do and saying it is invalid because they made a graph with a Nissan LEAF on it makes no sense.

  25. BillT says:

    In my opinion for this to be a fair comparison cars of comparable price and construction would need to be compared. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of large luxury cars which use mainly aluminum for construction out there to compare with.
    Audi used aluminum for the A8 a while back but AFAIK they ended that for newer models.
    On the repair cost, hopefully as the use of aluminum increases repair costs will come down. Certainly the Ford F150 should help with that.

  26. Udet says:

    Well, I fully agree with unlucky. It doesn’t matter which premiums Tesla was compared to. The figures are just showing that Teslas are more expensive for the insurance companies than other vehicles. Expensive means, the estimated costs were “overreached”. Therefore the insurance gets more expensive for the Tesla owners. Furthermore the pictures show, the costs increase is more dramatical for Testlas than for others. Nothing nore, no conspiracy, no bias. What some people here are trying to understand is the “why”. But pictures are not intended to show it. My assumption: low density if body shops, lots of expensive electronic parts, lock-ins to the official body shops, lot of plastic and aluminum, very expensive batteries etc. But it is only my private assumption.

  27. Patrick says:

    There are some simple aspects of this that have not been touched on yet that need to be pointed out.

    First, you should not put a EV into a paint booth with the battery in it as paint booths are heated in order to cure the paint. This means that parts of EVs need to be painted off the car when possible or the traction battery needs to be removed which adds major cost to repairs of EV. It is also often recommended that the inverter and wiring harness is removed before an EV is baked in a paint booth. This means fixing a fender bender can go from $1800 on an ICE to $5500 in an EV. I know because my Leaf was rear ended and i had to do this. I suspect that this is a large part of why the claims are higher and why they referred to other EVs.

    Second, not all body shops can work on Teslas. Less people working on them means those who do can charge more. Simple supply and demand. Less competition means higher rates.

    Third, economy of scale means it is cheaper for Mercedes or Audi to build a replacement panel then Tesla. This is most likely true even if both are aluminum.

    There are three ways that would make repairs to Tesla more expensive logically then other large luxury sedans. Of course those are variables that will change over time but the data the actuaries are using is solid data. They are looking at real basic info here. How many crashes and how much does it cost. There is no arguing that data really. If they look at reported crashes and see higher rates of crashes of Teslas then there are higher rates of crashes of Teslas reported. Simple as that folks. Auto Steer/autopilot and all, there are higher rates of crashes of Teslas as a whole. Maybe some of the data comes from before autopilot was available. Maybe the data stops in 2015 even. Still when they say more crashes they mean that their data shows higher rates of crashes of Teslas. The higher cost of fixing the cars is also coming from data and is what it is. Based off reported repairs, it cost more to repair a Tesla then other large luxury sedans.

    With higher reported crashes and higher repair costs the Tesla will cost more to insure. It is as plain as that. Insurance companies see Y% chance of a crash costing on average $X,XXX then they need to charge $A in order to make money. That is all the insurance companies care about. They don’t care about ICE or EV, Tesla or Ram, etc… they care about Y, X, and A. They spend millions and millions determining what those values are and they are more detailed then you are imagining.

    I find it a little unsettling how some people are attacking this. To be honest, the first thing that came to mind when I read through all this was climate change deniers. Some of you are sounding like climate change deniers trying to argue against the data or declaring this a hit piece. Teslas are wonderful cars but they are not perfect nor should they be expected to be perfect. As autonomous driving grows, this problem will go away and we can all be friends again.

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