Electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla appears to be readying itself to begin insuring British drivers through the launch of its own London-based insurer.
Elon Musk’s automotive company is seeking to open a UK branch of its Malta-based insurance business, filings to Companies House show.
Tesla is also hiring a lawyer to work in its “full-stack in house in insurer” in the firm’s London HQ, a job advert posted on the car makers website shows.
The news, first reported by the Insurance Post, comes after Tesla first launched its own insurance offering to California drivers in 2019.
Tesla’s in-house insurer only offers coverage to those who drive the carmaker’s vehicles, with a view to providing cheaper premiums than other insurers.
The auto manufacturer uses data from the cars themselves to model driving behaviour in order to offer lower premiums.
Tesla chief Musk, who bought Twitter last year, has previously argued the carmaker’s “information advantage” over traditional insurers allows it to undercut its rivals.
The introduction of self-driving vehicles also has the potential to lower insurance costs in cutting the frequency of crashes by taking driver error out of the equation, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows.
Nonetheless, Tesla cars are currently amongst the expensive vehicles to insure due to the high costs of repairing and replacing parts on the Texan firm’s electric vehicle.
The push towards a UK launch comes after Tesla began expanding its insurance business throughout the US to provide coverage in 12 states including Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, and Illinois.
The EV giant later began offering insurance coverage to customers in Europe through the launch of its Maltese subsidiary, Tesla Insurance Europe, in 2020.
In a 2020 earnings call, Musk previously said he plans to build a “major insurance company,” according to CNBC, as he called on “high energy actuaries” to join Tesla’s insurance arm.
“If you want to change things and you’re annoyed by how slow the industry is, this is the place to be,” Musk said. “We want revolutionary actuaries.”
Tesla was approached by City A.M. for comment.