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Insurance?

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,790
8,781
I never thought of that. What is done if a car is totaled by insurance? Used?

I knew someone who had an old model Porsche Turbo that got totaled. The insurance company gave him the option to receive a "comparable" used one that they found on the market, or some sort of cash equivalent... Up to him. Not sure why they did that.
 
Apr 10, 2009
702
41
I knew someone who had an old model Porsche Turbo that got totaled. The insurance company gave him the option to receive a "comparable" used one that they found on the market, or some sort of cash equivalent... Up to him. Not sure why they did that.
Perhaps the insurance company was able to get the used Porsche at wholesale prices, thus saving themselves a bit of money. From their point of view, it's almost all basically the same as cash equivalent, so I don't see why they'd bother with something other than cash unless they want to keep the customer happy or can actually come away spending less.

The key is that most comprehensive insurance covers the blue book value of your car during the period of coverage. Each year, or period, your premium goes down because the maximum amount they're going to pay out drops as the value of the car drops. If you have a very old car, say, twenty years old, then the blue book value is going to be very small compared to the cost of replacing the car, assuming that it is rare and unique. If you maintain comprehensive on a very old car, and it gets stolen or totaled, then you're going to be in for a huge shock when you look at how little you get. On the other hand, if you have a brand new car, the coverage will probably be almost enough to buy a new car. There are various clauses for replacement cost insurance, but I don't know whether they cover exotic cars - certainly not by default.

I do wonder if you can specifically ask for more coverage than the default. At the very least, you can talk to your insurance adjuster about these various "what if" questions to see. Since each policy and company differ, it's hard to say exactly what would happen in any particular case.

One thing to look out for (in my opinion) is that your VIN records will show that your car was totaled, even if there was no wreck or other structural damage. If enough parts are unscrewed from an old vehicle - enough to match the blue book value of the car - then the insurance company will total that car even if it's perfectly drivable (albeit missing several parts). Sometimes it's better to just talk to your insurance adjuster and accept a smaller check from them just to avoid having your VIN marked as being totaled. That can certainly harm the resale value unless you find a trusting buyer who'll believe that 'totaled' is not the same as "severely damaged."

P.S. If the Tesla Roadster does actually increase in value in the coming years (somewhat doubtful), and particularly if the blue book values honestly reflect this increase in value, I wonder whether that means our premiums will go up to cover the insurance companies having to protect themselves against paying out more each year. At the very least I'd assume that if your premiums are dropping then your coverage is dropping at the same pace, and thus you'll be in a bind if you have to replace. I suppose one part of the answer is to look at the Kelley Blue Book history and see whether any cars actually appreciated in value above their original, new purchase price. If so, what have insurance companies been doing about these kinds of very special cars?
 

Jaff

Active Member
Aug 15, 2010
3,135
318
Grimsby, Canada
My comments do not apply to any other jurisdiction other than Ontario.

Perhaps the insurance company was able to get the used Porsche at wholesale prices, thus saving themselves a bit of money. From their point of view, it's almost all basically the same as cash equivalent, so I don't see why they'd bother with something other than cash unless they want to keep the customer happy or can actually come away spending less.

Correct...an insurance company can elect (if you are in agreement) to replace your car with one of like kind & quality, but would only do so if an acceptable vehicle was available and the cost of acquiring this vehicle did not exceed the cash settlement offer.

The key is that most comprehensive insurance covers the blue book value of your car during the period of coverage. Each year, or period, your premium goes down because the maximum amount they're going to pay out drops as the value of the car drops. If you have a very old car, say, twenty years old, then the blue book value is going to be very small compared to the cost of replacing the car, assuming that it is rare and unique. If you maintain comprehensive on a very old car, and it gets stolen or totaled, then you're going to be in for a huge shock when you look at how little you get. On the other hand, if you have a brand new car, the coverage will probably be almost enough to buy a new car. There are various clauses for replacement cost insurance, but I don't know whether they cover exotic cars - certainly not by default.

In Ontario, we have no true "replacement cost" option for auto insurance. Most companies will sell or include the #43 endorsement (limited waiver of depreciation) which guarantees that your settlement amount will not depreciate from the sale price of the car. It is important to note that the #43 endorsement ONLY applies when you are the first time buyer of the vehicle (a new...not used or a demo) and ONLY if the loss occurs within 30 months of you purchasing the vehicle.

I do wonder if you can specifically ask for more coverage than the default. At the very least, you can talk to your insurance adjuster about these various "what if" questions to see. Since each policy and company differ, it's hard to say exactly what would happen in any particular case.

These specialty endorsements that deviate from ACV indemnity are not rocket science...I'd be shocked if most companies did not offer them...the key is asking your questions of your insurance provider now( not later, after a loss occurs.)

One thing to look out for (in my opinion) is that your VIN records will show that your car was totaled, even if there was no wreck or other structural damage. If enough parts are unscrewed from an old vehicle - enough to match the blue book value of the car - then the insurance company will total that car even if it's perfectly drivable (albeit missing several parts). Sometimes it's better to just talk to your insurance adjuster and accept a smaller check from them just to avoid having your VIN marked as being totaled. That can certainly harm the resale value unless you find a trusting buyer who'll believe that 'totaled' is not the same as "severely damaged."

P.S. If the Tesla Roadster does actually increase in value in the coming years (somewhat doubtful), and particularly if the blue book values honestly reflect this increase in value, I wonder whether that means our premiums will go up to cover the insurance companies having to protect themselves against paying out more each year. At the very least I'd assume that if your premiums are dropping then your coverage is dropping at the same pace, and thus you'll be in a bind if you have to replace. I suppose one part of the answer is to look at the Kelley Blue Book history and see whether any cars actually appreciated in value above their original, new purchase price. If so, what have insurance companies been doing about these kinds of very special cars?

After a vehicle is "outside" of its 30 month, depreciation free period, a request to insure your vehicle to a (qualified) appraised amount that reflects a greater than ACV value, will attract a higher premium (as you are paying to insure your vehicle for a higher than ACV limit).
 
Apr 10, 2009
702
41
Thanks for the information, Jaff.

I just learned that VIN records can be a lot more detailed than just "totaled" or "never totaled" - a local body shop was talking about how the choices they make in repairing a vehicle can show up on a VIN report, including cost to repair and the specific frame members that were bent. I guess I may have been overly cautious to avoid "totaling" my older car when all that was wrong was stolen parts - I suppose the lack of structural damage should have been part of the car facts.

I wonder if insurance premiums for the Roadster are going to remain high as various companies learn about how expensive it is to repair (replace) carbon fiber. The body shop that works on Roadsters here hasn't done any work for less than about $14,000 and one job cost $21,000! That's far beyond a $2,000 fender bender.
 

vfx

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2006
14,790
40
CA CA
My car has custom paint done at the Lotus factory. I would never be able to replace my totaled car with a like kind.
 

VeryOrange

New Member
Sep 29, 2011
2
8
Does anyone have any recommendations for insurance coverage in Boston, MA? I called Geico and Progressive and got outrageous quotes of around 4,000 for 6 months.
 

cinergi

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
2,176
40
MA
Does anyone have any recommendations for insurance coverage in Boston, MA? I called Geico and Progressive and got outrageous quotes of around 4,000 for 6 months.

I'm paying about $2k every 6 months for the Roadster and the Subaru STi. It'll vary by city. I'm using progressive with a "stated amount" policy and a $1,000 deductible.
 

hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,379
1,341
Vermont
I'm in VT less than 1 std-mode charge away from Boston and pay about $875/year from The Hartford. Excellent customer service but I've never made a claim and no traffic violations in 5 yrs. They were about half of the next best quote I got. They said their underwriter data showed the Roadster to be much lower risk than most other 2-seat sports cars.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,347
Ottawa, Canada
I'm in VT less than 1 std-mode charge away from Boston and pay about $875/year from The Hartford. Excellent customer service but I've never made a claim and no traffic violations in 5 yrs. They were about half of the next best quote I got. They said their underwriter data showed the Roadster to be much lower risk than most other 2-seat sports cars.

... hard to hit something you can't catch up to???
 

PopSmith

Saving for a Model 3
Jan 22, 2010
609
4
Utah
... hard to hit something you can't catch up to???

It's also (probably) easier to get out of "close calls" in a Roadster with it's torque curve (or torque flat as I call it :wink:). I hope close calls don't happen often to Roadster owners, though.
 

speedy99

Model 3 (2018, LR)
Aug 15, 2011
56
4
Santa Cruz, California
State Farm in California

Just another data point. I shifted my Car Insurance to State Farm (from Mercury) here in California. State Farm was less than half as much for the Tesla, though a bit more for other cars, but I cam out WAY ahead by moving them all. It definitely pays to shop around. Several of the other names quoted here were a LOT more, or didn't offer Tesla coverage from their web-based quoting (Geico, Progressive).
 

VolkerP

EU Model S P-37
Jul 6, 2011
2,464
27
Germany
Torque shelf? :biggrin:
The term "torque plateau" is already established within the petrol head scene as a very desirable target of ICE design.
Having a "plateau" in opposition of a "torque peak" means more acceleration around optimal RPM, fewer gear changing, etc.
Basically all the things that make Tesla cars move like hell.
 

cinergi

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
2,176
40
MA
I need help finding a reasonable company to insure my Roadster *in Massachusetts* (that's the kicker -- a lot of companies don't provide insurance here).
I've been with Progressive a couple years now and they've increased rates significantly on me twice now -- no fault of my own (I have a clean record). I just got a renewal notice quoting me $3,600 per SIX MONTHS ($7200/year) -- up from $2,100 from previous and up from $1,500 originally. This is to cover a 5-year old Subaru STi and the Roadster (stated amount of $125k). I have a $1,000 deductible and low coverages (most of the cost is coming from comp and collision). I just tried to go to Liberty and they won't insure the car and State Mutual doesn't do new business here.
I'm on the phone with Geico now and they won't insure it (too much risk).
Thoughts? Any MA residents here that can share their insurance strategy?
Thanks!

Edit: Allstate's coming in at $4379/year (assuming they let me actually hit "purchase"). Better, but not awesome.
 
Last edited:

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,417
3,577
NE Tennessee
Insurance Possibility

I cannot say anything about claims, as I have not had any, but Geico is insuring my Roadster for about $600/year in NE Tennessee. I too have a clean record and a $2000 deductable. My "normal" company would not cover the Roadster so they were going to have to go to a different company anyway. I talked to a couple of Geico agents on the phone and they seemed knowlegable, professional and gave the same story. In my few questions they have been prompt customer oriented. If they would cover me in TN I would assume they would cover you in MA.
 

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