Tesla brings on former GEICO executive to slash insurance costs




Tesla brings on former GEICO executive to slash insurance costs | Insurance Business America















New face to boost insurance partnerships and reduce premiums


Motor & Fleet

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Tesla has brought on board a 20-year veteran executive from GEICO to attempt to tackle the high insurance premiums associated with its electric vehicles.

While Tesla has successfully reduced the prices of its vehicles over the past five years, ancillary costs like interest payments and insurance have remained steep. Lowering these expenses, Tesla believes, will boost demand for its cars.

Initially, Tesla launched insurance products in collaboration with established insurers. In 2019, the company introduced its own insurance offering in California, although it did not initially incorporate real-time driving data or Tesla’s safety score, which was the ultimate objective.

Before expanding its insurance to other regions, Tesla focused on developing its safety score system. This system uses real-time driving data from Tesla vehicles to assess drivers’ behavior based on metrics such as “Forward Collision Warnings,” hard braking, aggressive turning, unsafe following distances, and forced Autopilot disengagements.

By October 2021, Tesla rolled out a new insurance product in Texas, utilizing the safety score, and has since expanded it to numerous states. The product has stirred some controversy, as the reliance on real-time data for pricing, contrasted with the playful performance of Tesla vehicles, doesn’t suit every driver.

GEICO veteran joins Tesla

Now, Allen Laben, a 20-year veteran from GEICO, has joined Tesla in what appears to be a bid to deal with the premium costs associated with its cars. Laben previously served as the ‘director of claims specialty operations’ at GEICO and has held various executive and managerial roles throughout his tenure.

Laben confirmed on LinkedIn that he had taken on the role of ‘head of insurance partnerships’ at Tesla. He posted on LinkedIn:

My goal is to make Tesla vehicles easy and economical to insure. By partnering with insurance companies, teams across Tesla, and collision shops in the USA and Canada, we’ll lower the total cost of Tesla ownership and accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

This indicates that Tesla will continue to work with other insurance companies for the time being (like its current fronting arrangement with State National), rather than solely relying on its own insurance products.

Laben at GEICO

  • Director of Claims Specialty Operations (Jan 2022 – Dec 2023)

    • Led a team of 700+ adjusters and 12 managers handling over 1M annual claims across the USA.
    • Oversaw a $2.3B portfolio, achieving significant cost savings.
    • Improved customer service, claim handling time, and loss cost management.
    • Implemented innovative fraud detection tools.
    • Reduced associate turnover by fostering a supportive work environment.
    • Developed compliance controls and shared best practices with senior directors.

  • Director of Liability Claims (Nov 2017 – Dec 2021)

    • Managed a team of 500+ in California, overseeing a $1.7B portfolio.
    • Led major operational changes in claims handling, improving processes and reducing redundancy.
    • Enhanced compliance management and developed a leadership curriculum.
    • Mentored future leaders, building a diverse talent pool.

  • Director of Claims Applications, Processes, and Systems (Jan 2016 – Oct 2017)

    • Created and led a department responsible for transformational product changes.
    • Aligned stakeholders for system-driven workflows, improving accuracy and speed.
    • Implemented fast-track medical bill handling and customer self-service functions.
    • Maintained vendor relationships and provided updates to C-level officers.

  • Director of Reengineering (Jan 2015 – Dec 2016)

    • Supported claims contact centers, casualty, and auto damage claims products.
    • Reduced loss costs through process reengineering and app development.
    • Delivered automated dispatch solutions for emergency road service.
    • Presented organizational initiatives to large audiences.

  • Liability Process Coordinator (Dec 2012 – Dec 2014)

    • Directed claims modernization efforts, saving over $89M annually.
    • Created balanced scorecards and KPIs.
    • Led teams in transitioning to paperless handling and electronic payments.

  • Manager of Mid-Atlantic Liability Claims (Apr 2008 – Dec 2012)

    • Managed departments with over 400+ staff, achieving top KPI results.
    • Reduced processing time by 36% and cut costs by 31%.
    • Developed innovative performance monitoring metrics.
    • Improved employee engagement and reduced turnover.

  • Emerging Leader (Jun 2004 – Mar 2008)

    • Rotated through core business areas, earning top 10% rank as an agent/adjuster.
    • Presented Lean Six Sigma solutions to senior officers.
    • Promoted to Claims Manager for outstanding performance.

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