It seems like every day we hear more about the rise of the driverless car and how soon none of us will need to learn to drive at all. They may be cool and futuristic, but we certainly aren’t all going to suddenly own one, which begs the question: how will driverless cars affect the insurance of those of us driving alongside them?
Driverless cars will cause a significant reduction in the amount of crashes caused by human error, which leads to the idea that we’ll have to pay less for our cover. 90% of car accidents are caused by human error; does this mean we’ll have to pay 90% less insurance costs when driverless cars are the norm? In the immediate meantime, insurance premiums are set to steadily decrease with the more driverless cars that gradually take to the road, which is fantastic news for those of us who’re going to be sharing the road with them. This also brings into question the health of the insurance industry itself; if there are so many less accidents and less premiums to pay for, surely it will follow that we’ll have less insurance providers to choose from in the future because of driverless cars.
What if the robot malfunctions and crashes into the human? This throws up another prospect which insurance companies, and human drivers, will have to deal with. Could this cause premiums to rise again due to driverless cars being expensive? It could be argued that the passenger of the car is likely to be charged if the car has an override capability that allows the human to take control in dangerous situations.
Some things never change
Regardless of how much our premiums go down, we’ll still have to pay some costs. We’ll still have to pay cover for things such as theft, fire or damage from flooding, although this will be at a considerably less rate due to the reduced amount of accidents that is forecasted; it’s predicted that by 2020 there will be 10 million driverless cars on the road, so you could see that reduction in insurance costs sooner than you expect.