September 19, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 25 days ago

Tesla's Model 3 earns insurance industry's top safety rating

FILE PHOTO: Philip Floyd, senior engineering technician for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), demonstrates a front crash prevention test on a 2018 Tesla Model 3 at the IIHS-HLDI Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, U.S., July 22, 2019. Picture taken July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Voisard/File Photo

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc’s Model 3 electric sedan has earned the top safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), becoming the first Tesla to do so.

The IIHS has given the Model 3 its highest rating, top safety pick+. It said the Model 3 earned good ratings across the board for crashworthiness.

The car’s structure held up well in the driver-side small overlap front test, IIHS said.

Last month, Tesla said it was launching an insurance service designed to give drivers in California, its biggest market, lower rates because of safety features on its electric vehicles.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has been one of the strongest proponents of the idea that car insurance rates should plummet as driver-assist and self-driving technology become standard.

The company’s cars generally rank among the most expensive vehicles to insure due to their high repair costs for components and sensor equipment, according to safety researchers and insurance providers.

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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