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Tesla launches car insurance business in California

Tesla car in a ashowroom
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