Insurance for Self-Driving Cars


June 6th, 2018

You’ve probably seen or heard about self-driving cars, which communicate with each other and allow users to read a book or even nap while the car does all the work. Fully automated, self-driving cars are no longer just science fiction — they’re already starting to appear on the roads and will become the new standard within the next few decades.

Right now, you still need insurance, so you’ll want to contact Gunn-Mowery for multiple quotes that allow you to compare policies at different price points. However, you may also wonder about insurance for self-driving cars. Will you need protection for self-driving vehicles in the future? Will autonomous cars drive your insurance costs up or down?

 

The Insurance Question

The current insurance system is based on the driver. Your record of driving and claims, as well as the risks you pose as a driver based on statistics, will determine the insurance premiums you pay.

With self-driving cars, insurance will likely change so the manufacturer of the vehicle will be liable, making them the ones who need coverage. In an accident involving a driverless car, the fault cannot be the driver, since the driver is not operating the vehicle. The liability will likely rest with the maker of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the software or car components since the crash will not be caused by human error, but by mechanical failure.

Car accidents will also change with autonomous automobiles. Since driverless vehicles will be able to use sensors to evaluate where nearby obstacles are and communicate with cars and roads, they are less likely to be in accidents. Self-driving vehicles will eliminate accidents caused by human errors such as distraction, poor driving skills, poor visibility, drunk driving and other factors.

 

How Will the Industry Change?

As a result of the seismic shifts in insurance for the driverless car, the insurance industry will change in a few major ways:

  • Insurance Premiums Will Drop: With the driverless car, insurance will become less expensive because there will be fewer car accidents. As collisions caused by human error are eliminated, the cost of insuring a car will decline.
  • Car Makers Will Take on Liability: When something goes wrong with a driverless car, it will be the car makers who may be held responsible. It is possible that the cost of insuring car makers will be reflected in the price of autonomous cars. Since car manufacturers will be able to gather a great deal of data about drivers from their vehicles, they may also start to take a more prominent role in insurance. That could mean setting up their own insurance companies or selling the data to offset liability risks.
  • Some Smaller Companies May Collapse: As accidents become rarer and the shift for liability moves from drivers to car makers, many drivers may end up getting rid of car insurance, and this form of coverage may even no longer be legally mandated. Some insurance companies may struggle or disappear as a result.

 

How Can I Get the Right Rates Now?

Even if you’re not driving an autonomous Tesla yet, insurance may still be on your mind. To get quotes and speak to someone who can help you find the right insurance at the right price, contact Gunn-Mowery. The Upside of Insurance with our team is that we do the work and compare quotes and coverage to bring you the best options.