Tesla Insurance Launches in Minnesota, Increases Rates for Some

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla Insurance continues to expand
Tesla Insurance continues to expand

Tesla insurance had been available in 11 states, but today Tesla has added another state to the list.

Tesla Insurance is now officially available in Minnesota, making it the 12th state in the U.S. to support Tesla's insurance initiative.

Tesla needs to apply and receive approval in each state so it's a slow and long process, but Tesla has been making good progress since it first added California in 2019.

Rate Increase for Some

Although Tesla Insurance usually offers lower rates, two states are about to see a significant rate increase. According to Coverager, a go-to source for insurance information, Tesla General Insurance, the carmaker's subsidiary insurance carrier, is requesting a 30% rate increase in Maryland and a 24.5% rate increase in Oregon. Tesla's insurance initially pegged rates at 30% less, meaning this move could remove the discount for safe drivers.

However, that might not be the case. Insurance premiums in those states have been on a steady rise. Tesla addressed the reasons behind the increases, "Based on competitor rate activity and the inflationary environment that has persisted since our initial submission, we are proposing to target a higher rate level than originally submitted. The revised target rate level is still well within competitor rate levels that have been on-leveled to their most recent indicated rate."

There are 1,508 policyholders in Maryland who got access to Tesla insurance in July. In addition, 937 drivers have gotten a policy with Tesla since it started in that state in April. Tesla Insurance is also available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia and now Minnesota.

Florida

The news comes while plans to expand Tesla insurance to Florida continue to be delayed. Originally, Tesla owners were told the company's insurance would be available on October 20, 2022. But, according to a letter posted on Reddit, the state was looking for more information from the company just before the launch. Tesla responded on November 10, and it seems the rates the company first believed it would be able to offer must increase for reasons similar to Oregon and Maryland. Tesla has just released an updated telematics model for some states, including Florida. That is the Safety Score tool.

It's the safety score that makes Tesla insurance unique. While companies charge higher premiums for luxury cars, Tesla has kept rates low by monitoring the driver's safety score. The program is looking for Forward Collision Warnings, Hard Braking, Aggressive Turning, Unsafe Following, Forced Autopilot Disengagement and now Late Night Driving. It combines the factors to provide an overall safety score, which reflects how much the Tesla driver is paying for insurance.

It's believed that even with the increases, Tesla will still be the most affordable provider as competition is raising rates. The real question may be which state will see similar hikes and when.

Why Tesla Doesn't Need a Public Relations Department

By Kevin Armstrong
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Tesla

Tesla is a regular in the news cycle; if it's not about the vehicle, it's about the CEO. It's no secret Tesla stock is down, and investors who are long on the stock have lost a considerable amount over the past month. One of those investors is Gary Black, the Future Fund managing partner, who said in August that Tesla is the fund's largest position. Black is calling on Tesla to hire a public relations department to inform the media and the public of the positives around the brand.

Oddly enough, at the shareholders' event in August, Black said, "the thing we worry about most is not PR; it's succession." Now it seems that is what Black is worried about. He recently tweeted: People can't complain about the media if TSLA refuses to correct articles that are wrong, or worse, won't maintain relationships with TSLA beat reporters and editors so they can get TSLA's POV out when needed. Strong PR will be needed to sell FSD safety. Think long-term.

Black's stance may be understandable to some, especially those who have watched their trading account shrink, but it's implausible because Tesla doesn't need a PR department.

Musk and the Mainstream Media Don't Mix

Musk is currently using his new company to hold mainstream media accountable. In case you missed it, he's releasing the Twitter Files, a detailed report backed up with real emails to show suppression of true stories.

The Tesla CEO also regularly calls out media outlets for false stories, misleading headlines and biased reporting. Musk will not hire a team to try to steer newsrooms, something he has so little respect for, and it's unlikely legacy media outlets will listen.

Media Biased Against Tesla

Bad news generates more views and clicks and keeps the advertisers paying. Even when the news isn't bad, take, for example, a recent Reliability Report by Consumer Reports. Most, if not all, mainstream media declared Tesla as the terrible one, even though Tesla moved up four spots from the previous year. It was hard to find a mention of the manufacturers that scored less. Those included Chevrolet, GMC, Volkswagen, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz. Yes, the expensive luxury brand was dead last in reliability. That is a story.

Reporters also picked up that electric vehicles scored low for reliability. Consumer Reports said it was because EVs are new on the market. However, scoring even lower were full-sized pickups. Those have been on the market for quite a bit longer.

Tesla, which also has not spent a dime on advertising, disbanded its public relations department in 2020. That's unheard of by a company its size, especially in the automotive sector. However, Tesla and Elon have something much better — you are reading it right now. Not a Tesla App is one of several blog sites that publish news about Tesla daily. Many of these websites have writers who own Teslas. The stories are much more accurate, positive and just plain better than anything readers will find in the mainstream. Who says bias must be negative?

Word of Mouth Advertising

Now add hundreds, maybe even thousands of loyal enthusiasts who defend and promote Tesla on social media platforms. Next, throw into the mix the hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners who quite often are spokespeople for the company whenever they get out of the car. I've been sure to add 10 minutes of travel time to my drives because I'm likely to get asked some questions at the grocery store or car wash.

This kind of advertising money cannot buy, and it's the kind of positive publicity media will not share. So while Black's concerns are legitimate, a PR department is not the solution. Instead, Tesla needs to keep doing what it's been doing and let the product, its fans and the Tesla-inspired websites do the rest.

More About Tesla’s WiFi Garage Door Support, Its Cost and Features

By Nuno Cristovao
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
MyQ

Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.

Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.

Vehicles Supported

MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.

Cost

Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.

The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.

Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.

However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.

Integration

The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.

On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.

On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.

You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.

If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.

The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.

The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.

MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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