Aug 29, 2019

Tesla launches car insurance business in California

Ben Geman, author of Generate

A Tesla showroom. Photo: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla yesterday rolled out an insurance line for vehicles in California and plans to eventually expand it to other states.

Why it matters: The electric automaker said it's "designed to provide Tesla owners with up to 20% lower rates, and in some cases as much as 30%," adding that it "reflects the benefits of Tesla's active safety and advanced driver assistance features that come standard on all new Tesla vehicles."

The big picture: Bloomberg reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has "bristled for years at some Tesla customers' complaints that they're paying high insurance rates."

  • "Costlier coverage undercuts the case the company frequently makes that its cars are the safest in the industry and its driver-assistance system Autopilot helps drivers avoid crashes."

What they're saying: Jalopnik's Aaron Gordon writes that it's a "risky bet" in light of Tesla's wobbly finances.

  • "Given that auto insurance is a low-margin business, offering discounts as steep as 20 percent, to say nothing of 30 percent, is a big bet that their data isn't just a little bit better, but a lot better."

Go deeper: What Tesla knows about you

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

4 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.