World’s richest man Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has slammed a recent insurance claim by a Missouri woman who contracted a sexually transmitted disease in a car against GEICO as “crazy” and called for legal action against law firms that pursue “insane” cases.
Read more: GEICO facing multimillion payout to woman who got HPV after sex in car
Musk said on Twitter on Friday: “Crazy damages claims like this are a big part of why car insurance costs so much.”
“It should be possible to sue law firms for pursuing insane damages claims,” Musk said in a follow up tweet.
GEICO faces a potential $5.2 million payout to the woman, who claimed she was unknowingly infected with sexually transmitted HPV (human papillomavirus) while having sexual intercourse with a policyholder in his automobile, following a Missouri Court of Appeal ruling.
The carrier has filed a federal lawsuit, which it has said will establish whether “there is coverage in this matter”, in response to the case.
In its recent failed appeal, the insurance business had alleged collusion and fraud, that arbitration proceedings had violated its rights to due process, and that an initial ruling was unenforceable.
The claimant, who alleged she was unaware that the man had the sexually transmitted infection at the time of intercourse, originally sought $1 million from GEICO over the hazardous liaison. The arbitrator instead gave the green light for her to be awarded the multi-million-dollar sum, according to reports.
Musk, whose $44 billion Twitter deal has hit headlines in recent weeks, labelled the car insurance industry “incredibly inefficient” while addressing a Miami summit last month.
The mega-billionaire’s comments come as Tesla looks to expand its own insurance offering, currently available in eight US states. The CEO said in a 2020 earnings call that he could eventually see auto insurance making up 30% to 40% of Tesla’s car business.
The firm will look to roll its insurance cover out across the US, Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn has said. Speaking on an earnings call earlier this year, Kirkhorn said he wanted to see 80% of Tesla’s customer base able to access its insurance products.