What to expect when insuring your Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first foray into the mass market. While it’s cheaper than its other models, it’s still classified as a luxury electric car, so insurance is on the pricey side. The reason is simple: Insurers have to assume more risk than they would for a standard mid-priced sedan.
Since the Model 3 just hit the road at the end of 2017, it’s difficult to pull accurate data on the cost of insuring it. However, the average monthly car insurance premium across all Tesla models is $227 a month, which comes to $2,742 a year.
Of course, the rates vary depending on your provider, driving record, credit history and the level of coverage you choose. Some providers, like AAA, have raised the rates on Tesla cars because of the high costs of insurance claims compared with other cars in the same class.
When calculating your premium, insurers also look at where you live. In states like New Jersey, Michigan and Minnesota, car insurance is notoriously expensive, regardless of what you drive.
How to compare insurance for the Tesla Model 3
When you’re shopping around for an insurer, think about these factors:
- Price. Electric cars are generally more expensive to insure than their gas counterparts.
- Additional coverage You may want more than the minimum state coverage requirement for your Tesla. Since Teslas can be more expensive to repair, you might want to opt for collision coverage. And if you live in a high-crime area or a town where hurricanes or rock slides are a concern, comprehensive coverage could be a good idea.
- Extras. If you want to enhance your policy with extras like accident forgiveness and vanishing deductibles, look for a provider that ticks those boxes.
- Restrictions. Each provider has its own set of limitations. Research these now to avoid any gaps in coverage, denied claims and other surprises later on.
- Manufacturer offer or loyalty discount. Tesla is known to offer showroom discounts, as well as referral discounts that increase with each qualifying referral. Your insurance carrier may offer electric vehicle discounts, too.
- Warranty. The Model 3 is protected by a new vehicle limited warranty for four years or 50,000 miles — whatever comes first. Tesla also covers vehicles with the standard battery for eight years or 100,000 miles, as well as those with the long-range battery for eight years or 120,000 miles. Learn about the warranty to avoid paying for extra coverage you don’t need.
Compare insurance providers that cover Tesla Model 3
What factors affect car insurance for a Tesla Model 3?
The rate you’re offered reflects your driving history, credit, location, and the ins and outs of the car you drive. For a Tesla Model 3, your premium may also be affected by these factors:
- Body type. The Model 3 is a mid-size, luxury, all-electric, four-door sedan. It’s typically pricier to insure than a gas car, but cheaper than other Tesla models.
- Fuel option. The all-electric car has two types of batteries: standard and long range. The long range is the fancier and most popular option, so choosing that may hike the price of your premium slightly.
- Type of car. The Model 3 is classified as a luxury electric car. Insurers compensate for the high cost of repairs by charging expensive premiums.
- Likelihood of theft. Thanks to their sophisticated GPS system, the theft rate for Tesla cars is low. In 2015, just nine Teslas were reported stolen. There is no data for Model 3s yet.
- Cost of repairs. As a luxury electric car, the Model 3 is expensive to fix, and you can’t take it to any old mechanic. It has to be a Tesla-approved body shop. Insurance rates go up for cars that are expensive to repair, so consider including comprehensive coverage and a lower deductible.
- Safety features. The car has impressive safety features, like electronic stability control (ESC) and blind spot sensors. This emphasis on safety may help to cut the cost of insurance.
Providers care about the person driving the car, too. When determining your premium, they consider your driving history, including any violations, accidents and claims. If your driving record is clean or free from major violations in the last three to five years, you may score a better rate. Insurers will also look at your credit history, where you live and who else will be driving the car.
Does the Tesla Model 3 qualify for discounts?
Depending on your provider, the Model 3 might qualify for several discounts. These discounts may help to offset the high cost of electric car insurance and ensure you get the most value for your money.
As you’re researching, ask if these discounts apply:
- New car discount
- Anti-theft discount
- Anti-lock brake discount
Reliability and safety ratings for the Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 hasn’t undergone crash testing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has run a few tests. The car earned a superior rating for its front crash prevention and an A rating for its headlights.
US News also awarded the 2018 Tesla Model 3 a score of 9 out of 10, ranking it #4 in the Luxury Small Cars category. This score reflects reliability data and a range of safety and style features.
As of July 2018, the Model 3 has had no recalls.
The luxury sedan is equipped with sophisticated safety features, including:
- Electronic stability control
- Anti-lock brake system
- Side impact beams
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Blind spot sensor
- Forward and rear collision
- Child locks
- Safety belts and pretensioners
- Multiple cameras
- Eight front and knee airbags
You can choose to add extra safety measures. Since these reduce the risk of injury or damage in an accident, they may lower your premium. Ask your insurer about the discounts you can earn by upgrading the safety and security features.
The Model 3 is incredibly efficient. If you drive around 15,000 miles a year in cities and on highways, you can expect to pay $500 annually to charge the car. To put this into perspective, a 25-mile drive will set you back just 84 cents. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save up to $5,250 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.
As for battery life, the base Model 3 travels around 220 miles on a full charge under ideal conditions. If you opt for the long-range battery, that number increases to 310 miles.
Tesla Model 3 facts
The US government loaned Tesla $465 million in 2009, and the car company paid it back nine years early.
Today, Tesla is closely associated with tech billionaire Elon Musk, but he didn’t actually found the company. Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning did that back in 2003, but Musk is credited with turning Tesla into the giant it is today. He invested $70 million of his own money in the company, yet his annual salary is just $1.
The Tesla Model 3 is a luxury sports car, and those two descriptors don’t make it the most wallet-friendly car on the market. It tends to be on the pricier side to insure, but you may be able to cut down costs with discounts for safety features and defensive driving. Plus, as a bonus, BMW’s warranty and maintenance program is better than the industry standard.
Compare providers and policies to find the best value to cover your Tesla Model 3.
Compare Tesla Model 3 competitors
Want to explore your options? Compare models and makes like the Tesla Model 3 with this car insurance guide.
Frequently asked questions about the Tesla Model 3
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