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Toyota brings OEM-branded insurance to California

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Toyota is expanding its insurance arm to California, where it says it will offer its “customizable coverage” for the automaker’s line of vehicles, and others.

Toyota Auto Insurance (TAI), the automaker’s branded insurance product, is now offered in nine states. It is planning to grow its presence to Oregon, Georgia and Colorado in the coming months.

The provider is working to set itself apart from other insurers by offering access to genuine OEM parts, coverage for side hustle driving-related jobs, and even protection for pets.

“Toyota Auto Insurance offers customers quality, customizable coverage at affordable rates, and is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle ownership experience, making it easy to obtain and use,” Derrick Justin Brown, a Toyota spokesman, told Repairer Driven News. “That includes combining with Toyota vehicle benefits such as Toyota Care, which includes roadside assistance, so customers won’t pay for something their Toyota already provides. Furthermore, Toyota Auto Insurance is customizable based on how customers use their Toyota vehicle and their lifestyle. Toyota Auto Insurance customers receive premier service and have instant access to customer service resources.”

Brown said TAI provides a self-service claims portal allowing customers to submit their claims electronically and do other activities, such as see their repair status and receive payment. Policyholders also have access to Toyota Certified Collision Centers to handle repairs in the event of a claim, he added.
The insurer uses genuine replacement parts for both Toyotas and other brands when available, Brown said.
“This gives customers peace of mind, knowing their vehicle retains the same high-quality materials as when they purchased the vehicle. All our customers receive best-in-class service and have instant access to customer service resources,” he said.

Toyota is among a number of OEMs to launch their own insurance branches, including Tesla and GM.

Tesla Insurance is growing in popularity. It was first offered in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas and expanded to Oregon, Virginia, and Colorado last year. It’s also offered in Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, and Utah. The OEMs insurance sat at an annual premium run rate of $300 million as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to an executive.

GM has a telematics-based insurance provider called OnStar Insurance.  It offers personalized rates and rewards for safe driving and is available in nearly every state. Launched in 2021, GM said its insurance branch was introduced to “offer a secure, fair, personalized and easy-to-use digital insurance experience for drivers.”

Toyota’s expansion was announced as policyholders grow tired of rising rates and dissatisfied with the level of service received by mainstream insurers.

It’s worth noting, however, that TAI partners with several companies, including Progressive, Nationwide, and Travelers. The OEM said it does so to provide “innovation and value for our customers.”

“As a national independent agency, Toyota Insurance partners with multiple insurance carriers to help vehicle owners with their insurance needs,” Brown said. “Through our affiliate Connected Analytic Services, we also partner with select carriers to enable Toyota owners with connected Toyota vehicles to use their vehicle driving data to potentially obtain discounts on their auto insurance based on their driving behavior.”

TAI was launched in December 2021. At the time Vincent Bray, a vice president with Toyota Financial Services, told RDN that the use of OEM parts was “one of the key benefits of Toyota Auto Insurance and is particularly appealing to customers. When customers contact us, this feature is something we highlight as one of the many great reasons to select this product.”

Toyota’s official position strongly recommends the use of OEM parts and strongly recommends against aftermarket, rebuilt, and salvage parts, “[d]ue to the sensitive nature of safety and performance systems and their effect on vehicle crashworthiness.”

TAI is a product not of the automaker directly but of Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS). It is underwritten in California by 21st Century Casualty Company.


Featured image: the 2023 Toyota bZ4X crossover. (Provided by Toyota)

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