Driverless cars have become a reality, but are they covered under your car insurance

Driverless cars have become a reality, but are they covered under your car insurance  25th January 2023

Futuristic innovations are taking the world by storm, and the automobile industry is no exception. The most recent trend that has caught an upswing among car enthusiasts is self-driving or autonomous cars. While progress has been slow, it is still exciting to imagine a world where driving is hands-free.

While the concept is likely to do away the requirements of the drivers, what about the need to buy new car insurance? Will the revolutionary technology make insurance obsolete, or will auto-insurance companies alter their products as per the evolving market needs? Read on to learn all about the impact of driverless cars and their impact on the insurance industry.

What exactly is a driverless car?

It is an autonomous vehicle, meaning it can move from one location to another without help from a human driver. Self-driving vehicles, or driverless cars, manifest the machine-driven future we've envisioned. It is believed that they will make our lives easier and more productive.

But are they covered under your car insurance?

A top American consulting firm predicted that vehicle collisions would drop dramatically by the middle of this century. The insurance market is expected to be negatively impacted. Since claims related to autonomous cars are expected to decrease, insurance rates will go down. However, you will still need liability insurance because autonomous vehicles can also be driven by hand.

Apart from this, the insurance industry may also see a significant drop in business as the demand for theft protection coverage falls. Cars will be equipped with a 'kill-switch,' which prevents anyone but the owner from starting the engine, and a modern GPS tracking system may make it fully theft-proof. Car owners may feel safer without theft insurance, so the insurance premiums will also decrease as a result.

However, this is also another side of it!

Some experts think introducing self-driving cars will not affect the car insurance business much just because these cars have better safety features. These days, there is already a wide range of vehicles that feature a variety of cutting-edge technologies thanks to the rapid evolution of the car industry in recent decades. However, that has not resulted in noticeable shifts in insurance premium costs. Various collision-avoidance features are available in modern cars, despite which the number of reported accidents has remained relatively high.

How will insurance companies adjust to new conditions?

Although it is currently challenging to predict how driverless cars will affect car insurance businesses, it is likely to assume that the transition will be slow enough to allow the insurance industry adequate time to adapt. There are three main areas where insurance companies can improve in the future, according to certain reports.

1. Heightened cyber security risk:
Driverless cars will observe an increase in the use of hardware and software in cars, posing a cyber security risk. There may also be an increase in the likelihood of cybercrimes such as theft, ransomware, hacking, and the improper use of data about cars. In the not-too-distant future, car insurers will be able to start offering coverage in this area.

2. Technological concerns:
There is a significant risk of catastrophic loss due to software faults, memory overflow, and algorithmic flaws in automotive-related sensors and processors. Insurers will typically cover these types of losses with additional features.

3. Infrastructure insurance:
Factors such as cloud server systems, signals, and other safeguards that will be set up for the protection of vehicles and drivers will give a substantial yearly revenue potential in premiums. The need for public infrastructure insurance and security is bound to increase.

In conclusion, the automotive and car insurance industries are changing tremendously, and this transition will likely to drive the automated future. Until we have more information about innovations, it is ideal to buy new car insurance in case you don't have one to safeguard your current asset.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.