After an accident, a Tesla owner in Phoenix, Arizona, was refused insurance coverage. In a sudden series of events that the Tesla owner had to avoid, the car behind him hit him. The accident was partially due to another accident that police had responded to. A police officer witnessed the Tesla rear-ender and took a report. In this case, the person who caused the accident has it covered by their insurance policy.
“She bumped us,” the Tesla owner told Wham Baam Teslacam. “We have State Farm insurance and she had Geico insurance. A (previous) accident was right there so there was an officer that witnessed the accident. And she came over, took the report, and made sure we were okay.”
Why won’t Geico Insurance cover Tesla vehicles?
Tesla Model S charges | Getty
Tesla has its approved body repair network, which the owner searched through. “I went through Tesla, and there are seven body shops here in Arizona that are authorized Tesla body shops outside of the Tesla locations,” he said. “So I went over there and they gave me the estimate.”
He says that the amount came to $2,000 to repair the damage. The body shop owner inquired about coverage, asking if the Tesla owner had Geico insurance. “I said no, that I have State Farm, but Geico will be picking up the tab on this one,” the body shop was told. The shop owner said, ‘Well if you want to file it through State Farm, we’ll repair your car. But if you file it through Geico, we won’t, because Geico won’t pay our rates.”
What Geico says is that there is a large difference between what it determines the labor and parts will cost, versus the estimates. “I asked him what my choices were and he said, ‘You can use State Farm, you can pay cash, or you can find another repair center. But all of us who are authorized Tesla repair centers in the Valley have banded together and none of us will take Geico insurance.’”
Is the Tesla owner suing Geico Insurance?
2022 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla
Comforting words, for sure-not. Since the production of the Wham Baam video, there has been progress. According to Teslarati, the Tesla owner took it upon himself to try to work with Geico and its insurance adjusters. They told the owner to file the claim with State Farm, and there won’t be a deductible.
Then, State Farm will contact Geico, which will forward the deductible. That should cover all of the parts and repair costs. Geico explained that the process is subrogation. That means the owner and his insurance company won’t have to pay for damages that are not their fault.
What does Subrogate mean?
Geico Insurance app on phone | Getty
“They are going to subrogate the payments that come out of our pockets during the process,” the owner said. “If (Geico) goes through State Farm, which they have to pay back, then they have to pay the rates the shop charges because that’s what State Farm is going to charge them. And if not, I guess I could go through as an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist at State Farm, but then that’s a ding on me.”
This is all good, but there is a wrinkle to this. In the Phoenix area, all of the Tesla-certified body shops are booked through mid-December. As this happened in August, that means the owner will be unable to drive his car for four months.