Most businesses unprepared for driverless cars

A survey from a global reinsurance powerhouse has shown that the majority of businesses are not ready for driverless cars

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

A survey conducted by Munich Re has shown that most businesses are unprepared for driverless cars.

Conducted at the 2016 Risk and Insurance Management Society Conference (RIMS), the survey found that 65% of risk managers believe their companies have done nothing to prepare for the emergence of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

Mike Scrudato, senior vice president, mobility domain at Munich Re US, told Insurance Business that the insurance industry still has a ways to go before it is ready for the emergence of driverless technology.

“We believe liability will shift, exposures will be more complex and coverage issues will take time to emerge,” Scrudato said.

“Insurers need to understand the issues, be prepared to adjust, and develop innovative solutions for the risks AVs will present.”

Scrudato noted that the development and rollout of autonomous vehicles has great potential to increase road safety but insurers need to respond quickly to evolving risks.

“AVs provide an opportunity to significantly increase safety and reduce losses related to vehicle crashes.  

“The challenge is for insurers to respond quickly with new products that address the unique risks AVs  will present.”

One aspect of driverless technology that surveyed risk managers were quick to point out was security as 55% feel cyber security is the greatest insurance concern associated with autonomous vehicles.

“We feel there are increasing cyber risks as vehicles become more autonomous and more connected,” Scrudato said.

“Cyber is not a forgotten aspect of this exposure, but one of the many aspects of the liability that will evolve over time.”

Allocation of liability when autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles shared the road was listed by 27% as the top concern, whilst 7% listed economic disruption and safety.

Scrudato stressed that the time to act is now as the reality of driverless cars draws closer.

“We feel it is a matter of when, not if, autonomous vehicles will be a reality,” Scrudato continued.

“There are partially autonomous vehicles on the road today, and car makers are taking every opportunity to invest in this technology.”

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