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To save money at the gas pump, many Americans are trading in their gas-powered cars for electric vehicles, like Teslas. In fact, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric vehicle in 2018 and 2019. However, Tesla owners typically spend more on car insurance due to the higher price of parts and repairs.

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Compared to the 2021 national average cost of car insurance, which is $1,674 per year for full coverage, the cost of Tesla insurance is typically much higher. If you’re thinking about buying a Tesla, understanding average insurance rates can be beneficial. It may also help you decide which model makes the most sense for your budget.

Models included in this review:

  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model X

How much does it cost to insure a Tesla?

The average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 per year, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. However, several factors go into determining your individual car insurance premium. In addition to factors such as your location and driving history, providers use the make and model of your vehicle as a rating factor. The type of vehicle you drive affects your premium because different models have different crash statistics, price of parts and safety features. These factors affect rates in the following ways.

  • Crash rate stats per make/model – Teslas have much lower crash rates than other vehicles. As of the second quarter of 2021, Tesla reported only one accident for every 4.41 million miles driven in which drivers were using Tesla’s Autopilot technology, and one accident for every 1.2 million miles driven for drivers who were not using Autopilot. In contrast, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the U.S. average is one accident per 484,000 miles. Lower crash rates may result in lower car insurance rates.
  • Price of parts – Teslas come with high-tech parts that can be costly to repair after an accident, which may contribute to high insurance costs. For example, one Tesla owner was quoted $8,500 to replace the brakes on his 2012 Model S in Canada. Another Tesla owner said that it cost him more than $90 to replace the cabin air filter on his Model 3 SR+.
  • Safety features – Teslas come equipped with top of the line safety features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot collision warning and lane departure avoidance. Several car insurance providers offer discounts if your vehicle comes with certain safety features, since these systems may help mitigate accidents.

Car insurance for a Tesla: by model

Since Teslas are expensive, luxury vehicles, it is expensive to insure them, on average. The following average rates may be useful for comparison. However, keep in mind that your specific characteristics influence the price you pay for insurance, so your individual premiums will likely be different than the ones listed below.

Car insurance for Tesla Model 3

Teslas are expensive, luxury vehicles, and as a result, Tesla Model 3 drivers pay an average of $609 more than the national average for full coverage insurance. However, the Model 3 is the cheapest Tesla model, and has the cheapest average insurance rates of any Tesla model on our list.

Tesla Model 3 car insurance Average annual premium
Minimum coverage $513
Full coverage $2,283

Car insurance for Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is the most expensive Tesla to insure on our list, despite receiving a safety grade of “superior” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). High insurance rates are likely due to the vehicle’s high-tech parts, which are typically costly to repair.

Tesla Model S car insurance Average annual premium
Minimum coverage $525
Full coverage $3,802

Car insurance for Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X has the most expensive base price of any Tesla Model. However, the average cost of full coverage auto insurance for Tesla Model X is lower than the Model S average, which may be due to the fact that the Model X is an SUV and is less likely to be used for speed than the Model S.

Tesla Model X car insurance Average annual premium
Minimum coverage $537
Full coverage $3,324

Cheapest car insurance companies for Teslas

Although insurance rates for Teslas are generally high, several car insurance companies offer low rates to Tesla drivers. Through an objective process, our team identified the cheapest car insurance carriers out of the largest providers by market share. To make sure we’re identifying companies with great service, we identified these companies by analyzing only the best car insurance companies on the market. While the following companies offer low average rates to Tesla drivers, keep in mind that your premiums will differ based on your individual characteristics.

Average annual premium for full coverage by model

Car insurance company Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model S Tesla Model X
Amica $1,435 $2,646 $2,016
Erie $1,592 $1,901 $2,303
Geico $3,199 $3,378 $3,557
State Farm $1,622 $2,761 $2,124
USAA $1,303 $2,248 $2,190

Tesla features that impact insurance costs

Some car insurance companies may offer discounted rates for certain Tesla safety features. However, many of Tesla’s high-tech features may increase insurance rates since they’re costly to repair. The following features may have an impact on your Tesla insurance rates.

  • Keycard access: You can unlock your car with a card or via your Tesla app. Although this technology is convenient, fixing it may be pricey and could increase your car insurance rates.
  • Sentry Mode: This feature activates cameras that start recording if someone stands next to your vehicle for too long. Sentry Mode’s cameras may help deter thieves, but they may be costly to repair and may increase your insurance costs.
  • Bioweapon Defense Mode: A HEPA filtration system filters toxins out of the car, which could help keep you safe during wildfires or other unsafe air conditions. However, this technology may be expensive to repair and could drive up Tesla insurance rates.
  • Automatic emergency braking: This feature can detect any objects in front of the vehicle and brake to avoid an accident. By helping to mitigate accidents, this feature may lower car insurance rates.
  • Lane departure avoidance: This feature applies corrective steering if the vehicle is veering outside the lane. This technology may help mitigate accidents and could lead to lower car insurance premiums.

What is Tesla Insurance?

Tesla has started offering its own Tesla Insurance for drivers who want to purchase their car insurance through its company instead of an insurance carrier. Unlike a traditional car insurance policy, Tesla Insurance does not look at individual factors like credit, age, gender and marital status, and also doesn’t consider previous accidents or violations. Instead, the premium is based on coverage selections and personal details like your home address, mileage, and how you’re graded based on Tesla’s Safety Score.

This Safety Score is based on real-time driving habits and behaviors, including five Safety Factors measured by the Tesla vehicle while driving. The Safety Score is scored on a 100-point scale, with safer driving resulting in higher scores. A unique feature of Tesla Insurance is that the premium may change every 30 days based on the previous month’s driving performance, so it’s important to understand that you aren’t locked into a rate the way you would be with a typical car insurance policy that has a six-month or one-year term. Interested Tesla owners can start a quote directly in their Tesla mobile app.

Tesla Insurance is currently available in nine states, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. Tesla drivers in California can also purchase Tesla Insurance, but the real-time driving Safety Score feature is not available.

Other car insurance coverage for Teslas

Teslas need to be insured like regular gas-powered vehicles. Even if your Tesla has self-driving capabilities, you are still legally required to meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements. Most states require drivers to carry personal liability insurance, but if you live in a no-fault state, you will also most likely have to purchase personal liability protection (PIP).

In addition to liability insurance, Tesla owners can benefit from certain optional coverage types. For example, having roadside assistance can come in handy if your vehicle runs out of charge and you get stranded, or if you get a flat tire. If you lease or finance your Tesla, your lessor may recommend you consider gap insurance, which can help repay your loan if your new car gets totaled.

Another optional policy to consider is accident forgiveness, which may keep your Tesla insurance rate from increasing after your first accident. This coverage may be especially useful because Tesla owners already pay high insurance premiums. If your Tesla insurance rate increases after an accident, traffic violation or another incident, keep in mind that you can always consider switching carriers if you find a lower price.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.