Ever since Tesla announced its insurance platform, many Tesla owners in California have made the switch, many of whom have been saving quite a bit of money compared to their previous policies. One Tesla owner, James Locke, recently switched from State Farm to Tesla for both of his family’s vehicles — a Model S and a Model 3. He shared his joy on Twitter when the numbers came in. With State Farm, he was paying $551.21 a month for both vehicles. With Tesla, that number dropped drastically to $193.25 a month, which is a savings of 64.9% a month.
Just switched our Model S to @Tesla Insurance. Our rate with State Farm was $551.21/mo both 3 & S. With Tesla insurance we are now paying $193.25. 🤯Identical insurance coverage!
That is a savings per month of 64.9%! This is cheaper than we paid in Canada!@elonmusk Thank you!
— James Locke (@arctechinc) August 21, 2020
For many, the idea of switching providers of any sort — whether insurance, utility, or even doctor — is dreadful. You drown in paperwork and then when you think it’s all over there’s another form to fill out.
Many companies train their employees, especially in billing and customer service, to do whatever it takes to keep them from switching. So, I wanted to see just how hard it was for James to switch to Tesla, and how it was for him making that switch and what his thoughts were on these topics overall.
His answers provide valuable information for others who may be considering Tesla Insurance who haven’t made the switch yet or who are waiting for Tesla to become available in their state. For James, his story is unique. He actually moved from Canada to California and had to do things that, if you are living in America, you won’t have to do.
Check out the interview below for many interesting details.
JC: When you first bought your Teslas and before Tesla had its insurance available, how hard was it to find an insurance package that met your needs and was in your budget?
JL: To start off, we purchased our 2017 Model S 100D and 2018 Performance Model 3 in Canada. We were used to working with Canadian insurance companies and always dreamed of being able to get Tesla Insurance one day as they expanded globally.
In December of 2019, a career opportunity presented itself to my wife and we moved our family to Los Angeles and our dreams were able to become a reality much quicker than we ever thought. We did two things to bring more business to Tesla on the closure of our home purchase here in LA.
- We purchased a Tesla solar and Powerwall system.
- We opened contact with Tesla to get insurance for our vehicles.
Step 1 was easy and took a couple of minutes on Tesla’s website to order our solar panels and Powerwalls. They were installed in May 2020 and PTO was achieved in July. Step 2 was a little more complex.
As we were Canadians with a Canadian account and vehicles, it wasn’t as simple as going online to order. That never worked even after moving our profiles to our new US address. We had to work with Tesla support via an owners club to get attention to the issue with Canadians moving to California. We ended up doing it over the phone. The first thing we found out is we couldn’t sign up for Tesla insurance until we had our cars plated and registered in California. So we started off by reaching out to another insurance company, State Farm.
Some time ago my wife and I lived in New Mexico and had experience with State Farm, so went with a company we knew. They were also handling our home and earthquake insurance, so made sense to use them short term for auto. I can admit we got some serious sticker shock with our insurance rates from State Farm for two EVs with clean driving records and over 20 years of driving history for each my wife and me.
Apparently, insurance is a little more expensive here in LA. 😉 It wasn’t quite what we were expecting for our budget, but knew it was short term, as we intended to move to Tesla insurance once we could. We were also able to insure the cars with our Canadian plates while we imported them with State Farm. This rate didn’t change once we got our California plates, so it wasn’t higher because of that, which was interesting. We started the import process and went and lined up at the DMV, a couple of times, to import both cars. This is when COVID19 hit, so things got delayed. A LOT. Long story short, we finally got both cars with California plates just last week.
JC: How hard was making the switch from State Farm to Tesla? Did State Farm give you any hassles for canceling your policy? And how was the signup process for Tesla’s insurance?
JL: This ties into what we mentioned above but because we couldn’t use the quick online ordering process as Canadians who moved to California we used phone calls to get quotes and sign up. We got the Model 3 moved over and immediately could see cost savings just with the one car before group discounts.
Of course, as soon as we canceled the State Farm policy on the 3, our Model S went up in price with State Farm, so we patiently waited for the CA DMV to finish the process of importing our S. We just got our Model S plates and registration in the mail last week, so Friday I called and added the S to the insurance policy with Tesla via the phone. It was a quick and painless process, provided the VIN, said would like the same coverages as the Model 3, and it was done.
Luckily, I can load the Tesla insurance page on my account in a roundabout way, so I can see my policy and download the insurance cards and documents as needed. The new car showed up within seconds of the policy being put in force. Printed the cards and put in the Model S and that was that. Fired off an email to State Farm to cancel the Model S policy.
I will admit I was shocked when I heard the price. At first I thought the agent on the phone with Tesla was saying the Model S was another $200+ per month, but that was already lower than we were paying with State Farm. Then when I read the paperwork, the $200+ per month was for both cars. Mind blown. We are paying less for insurance now than we paid in Canada before we moved. That is amazing considering the higher risk of driving on California roads. Both my wife and I are so impressed and happy with our move to Tesla for our auto insurance needs.
JC: Do you have any thoughts as to how Tesla can improve its insurance? (Feedback is always important.)
JL: I would really like Tesla to improve their software to be more flexible for those that move around the country and between countries. I was actually quite surprised how difficult it appears to be to move our Canadian accounts to the US and allow us to see and access the same features on the webpage as other Californians.
The phone support was fast and minimal hold times, so all in all wasn’t that bad. Was nice to talk to someone on the phone and get details and make sure all the options we were choosing made sense given we are new to California. I am very happy to be realizing so many savings with Tesla and providing the new business to Tesla to help accelerate the change. We are a family that believes in Tesla and all the hard work and dedication to make our world a better place and realize the best course of action we can take is by making changes in our own lives.
Voting with our hard-earned dollars. So, moving to 100% electric vehicles, Tesla vehicles, moving to Tesla solar and Powerwalls to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel-based energy, and moving to Tesla insurance to support Tesla’s mission of bringing new and innovative ways to the insurance industry. We could have looked around at other companies for all these items, but we have never believed so much in one company as we have with Tesla. We want to provide them as much support as we can, both with our money and our spare time volunteering with local Owners Clubs and helping others make the move to electric vehicles.
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