Elon Musk promised cheaper, better, even “revolutionary” auto insurance after Tesla started losing sales because of high premiums. But understaffing left some customers waiting weeks or months for compensation as they continued making payments on crashed cars.
In February, Mark Bova purchased a used 2018 Tesla Model S. Before leaving the dealer, he bought insurance from Tesla itself, finding the initial $93 monthly premium “really reasonable.”
Sixteen days later, as he drove along the Capital Beltway to his Maryland home, he engaged Autopilot, Tesla’s automated driving system. The car started beeping and lurched left — striking a median and flipping. He escaped through a window as the car filled with smoke. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital with back injuries that later required surgery.
“I’m a former Green Beret,” Bova said, referring to the U.S. Army Special Forces. “That was probably the second-most traumatic thing I've gone through other than being in combat.”