One of the first decisions you are met with when buying a Tesla is what insurance you should buy into. It isn’t an easy task since most insurance companies inflate the cost of insurance for these vehicles due to cost and the fact that insurance companies have one goal over any: to make a profit. Then you find out that Tesla has its own insurance in multiple states and that price seems so verey tempting as it seeks to underbid most if not all of the other companies.
But is it worth it? There has got to be a catch, right? There sure is and it’s called a “safety score”. You are constantly monitored by Tesla for your driving habits. Judging you based on various analytics, such as aggressive turning or braking. The better the score, the lower the price for the following month. If you have used any other tracking option to gain a discount with other companies, this should sound familiar (and it is).
You have to drive like an old fart that has nowhere to go and no reason to get there on time. Which is actually pretty easy to do in a Tesla since as long as you brake via the regenerative braking and not the actual brakes themselves, you’ll never get dinged. Of course, if someone cuts in front of you without warning and is going slower than you forcing you to hit the brakes to lower your speed quickly, you’ll likely get dinged for that. Not that you aren’t driving safely by responding quickly and proudly to the situation. It’s still your fault (per Insurance companies), so deal with it, right?
That’s what it feels like at times, but that is just the start of it. Tesla also judges you based on how closely you follow other cars past 50MPH. This would actually be a great statistic to judge someone’s driving by. However, in this case, you don’t just have to keep a safe distance. You have to be way back behind someone. Like 7+ car lengths. Good luck doing that in a major city like Los Angeles or even here in Las Vegas. Where everyone thinks a single car’s length between you and the car in front of you is the perfect spot to fit three other cars (and without any warning). See how these stats suddenly pile up on you at times?
You also get a major ding if you ever get kicked out of using FSD (Full Self-Driving). Which, for the most part, is hard to do if you are using it properly. Most important, you have to keep your hand(s) on the wheel at all times or it will warn you. Wait to long as you’ll get kicked out. That really isn’t a bad statistic either. Except that it can be notorious for not sensing you if you have both hands on the wheel. So it is best to only have one hand to offset the weight with and trade back and forth so it isn’t too tiring. Really though, this is a good thing to judge someone on (especially, as they get better with their detection).
The worst of it though, is the “Forward Collision Warning” that goes off if it thinks something has happened in front of you that could potential result in a frontal collision if you aren’t paying attention. It sounds like it makes sense, except that it goes off regardless of if you are paying attention of not. Not only that, but it makes many mistakes. What adds even more to it being the worst is that this too is a major ding on your score. And it will happen frequently and you will have to pay for it and it will drive you mad.
Among those I work with here, there are three Tesla owners, two of which left Tesla’s insurance for another company. The third is considering it. I have been keeping a close ear to everything they have been saying and have even driven a few of the cars myself to see what the experience is like (both the vehicles and the things Tesla score watches). I have also been diving deep into forum discussions, subreddits, and more. Just to see what everyone else is saying to see if there are different trending opinions.
But, all three of the owners here have agreed without hesitation that the Frontal Collision Warning (which I will refer to from here on out as FCW) is the number one thing that drove their decisions (or the consideration) to leave. This also seems to be the number one complaint anywhere else.