Regulator takes proactive stance to the arrival of driverless cars

Motor insurance guidelines for autonomous vehicles are already being planned more than a decade before their expected arrival

Regulator takes proactive stance to the arrival of driverless cars

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Insurance Commission (IC), the Philippines’ insurance regulator, is looking to draft regulations regarding motor insurance for autonomous vehicles, prior to their arrival to the country’s shores.
“The Commission understands that when the time comes, the regulatory frameworks would have to be set in place in order to address the various concerns that will arise with the advent of driverless vehicles,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said in an e-mail statement.
“But with the help of the private sector, which includes insurance companies and stakeholders from the motor vehicle industry, we can formulate a comprehensive framework regulating driverless vehicles in the Philippine jurisdiction in the future,” the statement added.

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Driverless vehicles are not yet available in the Philippines, nor have tests been conducted in the country. However, global automakers Tesla and Ford have estimated that autonomous vehicles could be on US roads in five years, making it only a matter of time until they cross over to the Philippines.
Aside from Google and Tesla conducting tests in the US, Japan’s Nissan has also tested the LEAF self-driving electric car in Tokyo.
In his reaction to the IC’s move, Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) Chairman Augusto Hidalgo told BusinessWorld: “We welcome regulation which clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the various parties including insurers with respect to emerging technologies and we strongly support Commissioner Funa’s initiatives.”
Hidalgo also added that he expects driverless cars to reach Philippine roads by 2030.
Like many other markets, motor insurance is the backbone of the country’s non-life insurance sector, making up almost 51% of total written non-life premiums. In 2016, non-life insurers’ net premium income rose by 16.24% year-on-year, reaching PHP41.6 billion (US$829.3 million).

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