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Tesla launches its own insurance in California, more states to come

The automaker claims owners can get rates up to 30% lower than with traditional insurers.

You can just ignore the Tesla Semi in the background -- it's not exactly on sale yet.

Tesla loves in-housing as much of the vehicle experience as possible. It's most notable for taking its own route on sales, which skip over franchised dealerships in favor of a direct-sales model, but now, the California-based automaker has an insurance product to call its own, too.

Tesla announced on Wednesday that it has launched its own insurance program. Given the straightforward name of Tesla Insurance, the automaker claims it's in a good position to offer this because "Tesla knows its vehicles best," according to the blog post announcing the new insurance program.

The automaker claims that Tesla owners can see up to 30% rate reductions compared with third-party insurers, which will come from "pricing policies to reflect Tesla's active safety and advanced driver assistance features," according to the FAQ posted on Tesla's site. Like every other car insurance on offer, rates will be determined through a mix of driving history and other factors, but it apparently does not include driving data taken from owners' vehicles. The automaker did say multiple-Tesla owners may be eligible for a discount.

This new insurance product is available to Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Roadster owners. Current owners can request a quote online through Tesla's website, while prospective owners can get a quote drafted up during the purchase process. Of course, you're still more than welcome to use any insurer you like. Owners of non-Tesla vehicles will need to find separate insurers to cover those products.

It's worth noting that, for now, Tesla Insurance does not cover its vehicles for commercial use, including ride-hailing. However, the automaker said that it intends to roll out a commercial insurance policy later on, which will coincide with Tesla's forthcoming ride-hailing network.

For now, Tesla Insurance is only available in California, but the automaker claims it will expand to "additional US states in the future." As for how long it'll take for that to happen, it's anybody's guess, but I imagine Tesla will have quite a few legal hoops through which to jump in that regard.

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