Change is a constant in this life. It's impossible to avoid change. It's inevitable. Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars are coming to a city near you. And soon! Business Insider has reported that 10 million cars with self-driving features will hit the road by 2020.
Many have touted this upcoming advance as an opportunity to keep our roads safer. Others are not so sure about this futuristic change to how we drive. The idea of a malfunctioning computer leading to a horrific car crash still petrifies many – as it should.
Insurance Changes Coming
Uber and Lyft have changed the game when it comes to getting a taxi. The services have grown in popularity as of late, and lawmakers have taken notice. Florida legislators recently proposed new insurance requirements for any driver working with an app-based transportation company.
The proposal was created to ensure victims of accidents get the compensation they deserve. The party at fault would also receive protection from complete financial ruin due to an accident. The solution is relatively straightforward for all involved.
Insurance solutions are rarely cut and dry when computer malfunctions come into play. Generally, in a crash of two traditional cars, the driver at fault will cover the property damage and bodily harm to the victim through his or her personal auto policy. With a self-driving car, this process could get murky.
The Liability Issue
Liability coverage typically takes up a large chunk of your auto insurance bill. The damage to your vehicle is usually tiny compared to the potential costs of hospital bills and legal fees.
With a self-driving car, the liability is removed from the equation. The driver cannot be held responsible, so the cost of personal auto insurance policies for self-driving cars should be significantly lower than for traditional vehicles. Yet, someone has to carry the bill for the liability.
Most assume the burden of liability for a car crash caused by a malfunctioning computer in a self-driving car would fall to the manufacturer. In such a scenario, the manufacturer would probably divert liability risks and costs to the consumer by raising the price of the self-driving cars.
Self-driving cars could ruin the car driving experience. Car drivers electing to manually drive their cars could be perceived as having a 'higher risk' of loss in a world where the majority of cars are self-driven.
Car Insurance In the Future
Auto insurance is on the brink of significant changes as cars begin to self-drive. It doesn't matter if you buy such a model or not. Many predict that self-driving cars will make the roads significantly safer. If this does occur, experts say insurance companies could lower their car insurance premiums for all drivers.
Insurance companies are required to submit a proposal if they want to raise their rates. They must justify the rate change with legitimate reasons, like shelling out more benefits and as a result, suffering more losses. If the roads were safer, there would seemingly be less justification for raising rates.
Auto Insurance Will Always Be Here
No matter what happens in the future, car insurance is here to stay. As Americans value their cars and often invest significant amounts of money into them, there will always be a need to protect that investment.
Whether driving a traditional car or a self-driving one in the future, individuals will still benefit from comparing quotes when trying to save money. With or without liability insurance, we all still want the best value for our dollar.
For more information regarding auto insurance contact, Skyline Risk Management, Inc. (718) 267-6600 to speak with an insurance professional who can address your concerns.