In Texas, the first Tesla drivers can now take out a car insurance policy with an insurance premium based on individual driving behavior. For this purpose, the drivers' driving behavior is evaluated in real time using existing technologies in the Tesla (tracing). The amount to be paid for the insurance in a given month then depends on this assessment.
How the insurance works
Tesla's new insurance product does not take age, gender, previous accidents or the like into account when determining the amount of the insurance premium, as is usually the case, but rather current driving behavior. This results in a new insurance premium every month depending on the driving style.
Tesla primarily performs a safety assessment that negatively evaluates factors such as front collision warnings, heavy braking, turning too quickly, constantly changing distances to the vehicle in front, and forced disengagements of Autopilot. Based on this, the driver is assigned a score as part of real-time monitoring. This is used to determine the amount of the monthly insurance premium.
Unlike other providers who have designed comparable car insurance policies, no additional hardware is required. Only features that are already built in are used to determine the score.
Data protection law view
This type of "Monitoring"is critical from a data protection point of view. On the one hand, personal data can be extracted from the collected data, and on the other hand, it seems questionable that the corresponding features for recording driving behavior are already built into the car before the driver could even decide for or against insurance with Tesla.
This is not the first time that Tesla has used technology that is already installed only at the driver's request. Many technologies concerning location data or camera recordings are optional. However, the use of these technologies and thus the collection of the corresponding data is not excluded by the drivers. After all, the advertised comfort of the vehicle usually depends precisely on consent to the processing of these data.
This car insurance, which is still in the beta phase and is currently only offered in Texas, is also a service that can be added voluntarily. However, in contrast to the consent for the use of data for convenience systems, the corresponding consent for the insurance will have to be regarded as voluntary. Finally, no immediate restriction on the use of the vehicle follows for the driver if he chooses a different insurance.