Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Totalled Tesla Model Y Performance: First-party claim or third-party claim?


My 2022 Tesla Model Y Performance was involved in an accident on 11/8/22. Another car crashed into my car from the front while it was stopped at a left turn lane waiting for the red light. I notified my insurance adjuster, and based on the dashcam footage, he deemed that the other driver was at fault.

Two other cars were also damaged:

  1. the at-fault driver side-swiped a car in front and damaged its side mirror
  2. my car was pushed back from the impact and hit another vehicle that was stopped behind me, which damaged its front bumper and grill
I live in California and have American Family Insurance, and the at-fault party has Farmers insurance.

After the initial conversation with my adjuster, he recommended that we file a first-party claim and use our own collision coverage for the following reasons:

  1. Expedite the process, since there are multiple cars involved and the at-fault party's insurance might take a long time to investigate
  2. Unsure if the at-fault party has enough insurance coverage
I expressed that we are sure the other party is 100% at fault, and I would prefer to file a third-party claim.

Two days after the accident, my adjuster emailed the adjuster at Famers insurance to let them know we are considering going through Farmer's insurance for damages and rental car. They responded by saying it is not advised, since multiple vehicles are involved and liability is yet to be established.

My insurance eventually helped me tow my car to a Tesla-approved body shop on 11/15/22. As of today, 11/29/22, I have held off on a rental car since I was not sure if the car is repairable, which may take a few months. Since my own policy only covers 30 days of rental at $40/day, I figured it would be better to go through the at-fault party's insurance to ensure better rental coverage.

Earlier today, the body shop informed me that the car is over the threshold to be repaired and needs to be totalled.

Should I file a first-party claim through my own insurance, or file a third-party claim?

Any advice would be appreciated, TIA!
NO, don't do this. Using your own insurance you will not be able:
- to sue the other party for medical expenses or pain and suffering
- to get extra rental car coverage
- to get diminished value payment

Insurance of course recommend what best for them !!!

Trying saving time is not a something to consider as priority.
As soon as you sign the papers with you insurance, they will start forgetting you.
You will have to constantly contact them to get any additional information.

Try getting the most of your insurance is certainly what you should consider
as insurance always try to cut corners especially if you try getting a new car
replacement instead of the depreciated value of your totaled car.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SpicyPaneer

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.