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Direct Line announces partnership with Tesla

Tesla has become an introducer to Direct Line, in a strategic partnership that will allow the insurer to grow its proposition alongside the development of driverless car technology.

Tesla, a manufacturer of electric cars that is at the forefront of driverless car technology, has made another move into the motor insurance market. Last week it was reported that Tesla has begun to bundle insurance and maintenance costs alongside the final price of driverless cars in Asia. Its latest strategic move is, however, closer to home.

In the UK, Tesla has announced a partnership with Direct Line. In its 2016 results the insurer announced that Tesla has become an introducer-appointed representative, which allows the car manufacturer to refer customers to Direct Line to insure their vehicles.

The collaboration is an opportunity for Direct Line to gain share of the motor insurance market by capitalizing upon Tesla’s customers. It is an opportunity that will only grow over time, given Tesla’s presence in developing electric and driverless car technology. As Tesla becomes a more popular brand from which to purchase a car, Direct Line will underwrite a greater number of policies. The partnership will help Direct Line establish itself as a notable insurer within the driverless car insurance market.

Through the partnership Direct Line will be in a better position to understand the role that advanced technology and driving aids can have in enhancing road safety and insurance propositions. It puts Direct Line in a prime spot for developing motor insurance products, as vehicles become more autonomous.

By partnering with Tesla, Direct Line has shown that it is forward-thinking and innovative. The insurer also announced that it has joined MOVE_UK in partnership with the UK government, technology providers, and car manufacturers to accelerate the development, market readiness, and deployment of automated driving systems.

It is essential that motor insurance providers start to think about the future evolution of the market, given that driverless cars are expected to be on UK roads by 2020. The shift in accident liability from drivers to vehicle manufacturers with the introduction of driverless cars will lead to reform in how the motor insurance industry operates. Collaboration between insurers and car manufacturers is therefore crucial, as they both hold liability.

By Danielle Cripps, General Insurance Analyst

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