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Test drive insurance waiver - am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by sp4rk, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Went to test drive Model S.

    Presented at the last second with a Test Drive Agreement which my friend, who was also going to drive, and I, did not understand.

    We bailed, very disappointed.

    I then sent it to my insurance agent who told me in no uncertain terms NOT to sign it.

    He'd never heard of such a thing ... that a dealer has to have insurance by law (IL) ... and that I would personally pick the liability up!

    It would have put the respective driver on the hook, "CASH", for any and all damages to the car while under my "control" to the amount of the "dealers" insurance limit.

    Was also told several thousands have also signed it. Have they? Why would they?

    They wasted both our time driving a total of 3 hours round trip when such a legal document should be attached to the Test Drive confirmation email.

    So I cannot test drive a Model S, without assuming this, so, unless they can come back with some explanation that my attorney and insurance agent OK's, as they say on Shark Tank, "I'm out."

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    My insurer covers me when I drive another vehicle. I also take responsibility (using my own insurance) when I rent a car. How is this different? (I signed, didn't see this as a big deal.)
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Neither did I, but I also didn't go over it with a fine-toothed comb.
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    You seem a bit paranoid about Tesla, sp4rk. Maybe this isn't the car or the car company for you?
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    In my experience it's not unusual when test driving high performance cars. Your own insurance should be covering you and if it's not then you are personally responsible.

    (Caveat: I have no idea whether individual state requirements exist).
     
  6. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Do you really expect a car company to let a stranger off the sidewalk to drive an expensive high performance vehicle without taking personal responsibility for it? They have no idea if you can drive, regardless of whether you have a driver's license or not. What if you got in it and thought you'd just go joy ride for awhile, floored it, and ram it into a tree. "Oh, here's your keyfob Tesla, sorry I lost control around that last bend. Nice car up until that point."

    I second the paronoia. Hope you at least took the scenic route to and from the store and the weather was enjoyable.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    One guy did crash a Model S into another Model S at the Fremont Get Amped tour. Did Tesla even bother charging him some money for the repairs?
     
  8. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    As I recall Tesla took care of the repairs and told the driver not to worry about it.
     
  9. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Yes! That is exactly what dealer insurance is for!

    I was not a stranger. They had my drivers licence and had they asked I would be perfectly happy with them checking with my insurance agent to see my driving record.
    I have test driven cars of this value before and NEVER been asked to sign a waiver. Never. Nor has my insurance agent ever heard of it before.

    It is not paranoia to not want to subject oneself to unnecessary risk ... I have been an insurance broker and underwriter and understand risk.
    To protect one from just this sort of thing. And your insulting comment about the weather. Keep it to yourself.
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Completely different experiences, then. When I've taken cars out for a test drive, I've had dealers make a copy of my license and insurance card. When I rent a car and decline the rental company insurance, I acknowledge responsibility. And when Tesla asked me to take that same responsibility, knowing my insurer covers when driving other vehicles, I was more than willing to sign.

    I find it odd that your insurer was shocked over this. In my experience, it's pretty standard. Does your insurance not cover you when driving other vehicles? Do you always opt for the rental company insurance when renting?
     
  11. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Let me make this perfectly clear now that you took a pot shot ...

    I have always had the utmost respect for Tesla, Elon and EV's in general.

    I support them 1000%. And would love to "consummate" my deposit.

    But I am not an idiot either ... and there's no paranoia. I am just being sensible. Why would I ... why would anyone ... subject themselves to a risk like this during a test drive?

    Had I bought one of their cars, it would be INSURED; it's legally required and dumb not to!

    There is no reason for Tesla not to provide this.

    If they cannot provide an insured test drive, one cannot test it and so no sale will occur. Very sad.

    And their loss.
     
  12. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    Actually, there was no insult intended in my weather comment. Since you'd travelled such a distance, I'd sincerely hoped you'd had a pleasant drive at the least. Apology accepted.
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I thought the did that so they could hound me later.
     
  14. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Possible. Was it a female salesperson?
     
  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    No pot shot. Seriously, over 5,000 people all signed it, enjoyed their test drive, and had no issues. One guy even had an accident, and Tesla took care of it (granted it was minor). I saw your posts in the service thread and they also had plenty of legal concerns.

    Do you really think Tesla is going to force you to pay cash out of your own pocket for the repairs? What kind of PR do you think that would cause?

    I was serious. If you're really that concerned, then don't get a Tesla. But I think you'd really be doing yourself a disservice.

    I guess the 5,000+ rest of us are stupid...I'd rather be stupid and driving down the street in my Model S, though. Why not just call up Tesla, ask to speak with the legal department, or request written clarification of their policy? If you really respected Tesla or genuinely wanted to drive the Model S, that would be far more productive than discussing concerns about a test drive document on this forum.

    Actually, it might be your loss, no?
     
  16. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    #16 sp4rk, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    I have brought this up with Tesla.

    I have asked Tesla to provide a means for a test drive sans this. ASAP. They are checking with upstairs.

    Do I really think? That's what it says on paper! It's not what I think that matters, it's what I (and 5,000 others) have signed off on.

    Failing that, I also reached out here to see if someone else had a valid way "around" it. So I could proceed.

    I'm seriously bummed out about this and extremely disappointed but will not expose myself to such risk, plain and simple.
     
  17. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Certainly a valid concern for you, and it will be interesting to hear what they say.

    As others have said....your insurance does not cover you when driving other cars?

    - - - Updated - - -

    By the way, you may already know this but when the term "cash" is used in a legal document it doesn't necessarily literally mean cash...it is just used to avoid attempts at payment via things like gift cards, services, bartering, etc.
     
  18. William13

    William13 Member

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    Sp4rk, you are missing two things:

    1 driving the best sedan.
    2 proper collision and liability insurance.

    As several people have said your insurance should cover your drive. I have had this conversation with State Farm and several agents over the years. My insurance covers my acts in other cars. It does not cover me in a new car (additional car) until I pay them. It covers me for up to three days if I trade cars until I notify them. It covers me in rental cars. It covers me driving a friend's car. It covers me driving a dealer car.

    I think the issue is with either your insurance coverage or agent.

    Good luck with figuring out how to accomplish this test drive. I understand your anxiety. Buy the car without a test drive like most of us Signitures did.
     
  19. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I'd recommend talking to someone who does understand it, preferably not someone whose job is to sell you more insurance.

    Well it's not a mass conspiracy, I promise you :wink:. But seriously, even though you haven't come across this before you can know that thousands of others have.

    Fair point. Although also if it bothered you so much that you couldn't drive, it would also have been possible to ask for a test ride and have Tesla drive.

    Others here have shared their experience, and thousands more have shared their experience through their action in signing the TDA. There isn't a way "around" unless Tesla is willing to go take the risk.

    Unless your insurance are being extreme cheapskates they should be covering you to drive other cars on a temporary basis for things like rentals and test drives. If you're not covered for that, I'd advise you to find a new insurance agent.
     
  20. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    @ sp4rk It's pretty standard to acknowledge responsibility when test driving. Provided you carry more than liability insurance, rental and test drive vehicles are covered with beyond the cost of your deductible by most insurance agencies. Some dealerships require written acknowledgement, some simply infer it after verification of your coverage. You have accepted this "risk" with every vehicle you have ever rented in the last 20 years (or paid handsomely out of pocket for coverage), and the risk is no more, no less than renting a car, albeit now with a proctored drive. If you are surprised by the lack of shock and dismay from this forum, it's because no one is truly surprised or put off by this detail. This same waiver was signed by all who participated in the Get Amped tour, only one accident recorded in over 5000 test drives. Failure of components or vehicle faults would not be subject to the waiver, only negligence on your part. Accidents involving 3rd parties would simply be subject to the same rules and risks you experience every time you drive your own vehicle on the road. I'm hoping you decide that this is truly a non-issue, take the test drive (both you and your friend), and walk away extremely impressed with the experience.

    Prior to making any decision, however, I would suggest you review your coverage to verify that your insurance company does indeed cover rental and test drive vehicles. It should be explicitly written in your insurance contract. Your agent's reaction suggests that you are not, in which case, it wouldn't be advisable to do the test drive for any vehicle make or model.
     

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