Ford has teamed up with Nationwide to insure its own cars.
Taking a play out of Tesla's playbook, Ford and Lincoln are entering the car insurance market, offering coverage to their own new vehicle customers and leveraging real-time vehicle data in the hopes of undercutting the rest of the market.
Granted, Ford isn't going it alone; the automaker has partnered with Nationwide to create its new Ford Insure and Lincoln Motor Company Insure products. As in Tesla's model, the idea is to use each vehicle's embedded modem to transmit usage data - crucial stats like distance driven, time spent idling, time spent driving late at night, and instances of hard braking and acceleration - to provide the most detailed information possible so that drivers' risk levels can be calculated more accurately.
That's not a revolutionary idea; insurers have for years offered programs that gather vehicle usage data to more accurately approximate driver risk and, potentially, help customers save by extending discounts for "safe" driving habits. The difference is that as the OEM, Ford presumably has real-time access to much more data, and since they're using the vehicle's embedded modem, there's no plug-in device for the driver to install.
Ford Insure and Lincoln Motor Company Insure were designed "with a focus on the customer - making it as easy as possible to insure [a] new vehicle and offer the advantages of usage-based insurance," says Ford Credit's CEO, Marion Harris. The automaker claims savings of up to 40 percent, and obtaining coverage is as easy as filling out a form on the FordPass or Lincoln Way app.
Both products are already available across most of the continental United States, including Washington D.C., with the exception of nine states: Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The products still haven't reached Alaska or Hawaii yet, either, although Ford said in a release that additional states will be added to the list soon.
Bear in mind: Ford's new Nationwide-powered insurance coverage isn't available on every single new car model. So far, Ford can cover the 2020 Ford EcoSport, Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-Series Super Duty, Fusion, Mustang, Ranger, and Transit Connect. On the Lincoln side, the 2020 Aviator, Corsair, MKZ, Nautilus, and Navigator are eligible for coverage. The forthcoming all-new 2021 F-150 will be eligible from the get-go.