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How Will Driverless Cars Change the Insurance Landscape?

Today, when you get behind the wheel, drivers assume a certain level of accountability. You know that it’s important to obey local traffic laws and regulations to protect yourself and others on the road. And, you likely take responsibility for your financial considerations, too. By taking out an automobile insurance policy, you’re safeguarding your personal investment and protecting yourself from potential legal liabilities as well.

Though, how will your personal and legal responsibilities shift in an era of self-driving cars?

Some insurance industry professionals are already starting to think through the implications of the shift to driverless cars in the not-too-distant future. If a self-driving car causes the accident, who should bear that liability?

While automobile manufacturers are still in the early phases of research and development, we are still several years away from autonomous vehicles being the new norm. Though, here are a few ways in which this shift may impact the automobile insurance industry.

(1) Will automobile manufacturers start sharing the legal and financial liability?

If the technology powering a driverless car causes the vehicle to get into an accident, how does that impact the car owner’s liability? Will policies need to evolve in the future to share some level of responsibility between the car owner and the car manufacturer?

(2) How will data collection change?

In the event of an automobile collision, many pieces of information are collected to accurately file an insurance claim. This includes basic information such as the status of the weather at that time, visibility and road conditions. Though, will driverless cars be able to capture and record additional information such as the exact distance between other cars and the behavior of other vehicles on the road?

(3) Will states enact new laws and regulations as a result?

Across the U.S., states have a variety of statutes in place that help regulate the nature of automobile insurance policies – what they cover and how they are enforced. Though, once driverless cars become more common on the roads, regulatory agencies will need to adapt.

Knoxville’s Independent Insurance Agency Since 1946

The John Bailey Company has been offering comprehensive auto insurance since 1946. We can help protect your investment with a wide range of services including liability coverage, uninsured motorist and collision coverage. If you’ve recently purchased a new car and want to better understand how we can help, please contact us at (865) 524.0785.


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