Tesla offering insurance online, but details hazy

(Bloomberg) --Tesla Inc. began offering auto insurance to its vehicle owners in California, touting rates as much as 30% lower without offering much detail.

The electric-car maker is offering online quotes through its website and plans to expand the service throughout the U.S. While Tesla said in a blog post that it will be able to lower costs because the company “knows its vehicles best,” the carmaker won’t use or record vehicle data when pricing insurance, according to its website.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has bristled for years at some Tesla customers’ complaints that they’re paying high insurance rates. Costlier coverage undercuts the case the company frequently makes that its cars are the safest in the industry and its driver-assistance system Autopilot helps drivers avoid crashes.

Attendees try out a Tesla Inc. Model X electric vehicle during the press day of the Seoul Motor Show in Goyang, South Korea, on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The biannual auto show will be held at the Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex) until April 7. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The availability of the new service isn’t clear. A single sentence currently appears on the Tesla Insurance website: “Algorithm update in progress.”

Tesla’s insurance product will only cover the company’s vehicles and doesn’t extend to commercial use such as ride-sharing for now. The carmaker says it plans to offer commercial insurance in the future to support its own sharing network.