The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is tackling automated vehicles and how they will affect the insurance industry in its latest position paper.
The paper, “Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility,” was published during IBC’s annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium.
IBC makes a number of recommendations in the paper – recommendations that were developed over the past two years by “auto insurance experts,” with input from a panel of legal advisors.
The three main recommendations are:
- Establish a single insurance policy covering driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions to facilitate liability claims.
- Create a legislated data-sharing arrangement between auto manufacturers, vehicle owners, and insurers to help determine the cause of a collision.
- Update federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cyber security standards.
“Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads, and the laws that govern insurance and vehicle safety need to be updated to reflect this reality,” commented IBC president and CEO Don Forgeron. “We need changes to the provincial insurance laws across the country to ensure that collision victims continue to be compensated in a timely manner.”
IBC also noted that, at present, at province has a prescribed auto insurance policy and supporting laws that do not accommodate automated vehicles – they are “built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions.”
The bureau projects that as drivers give more control to automated tech, there will likely be fewer collisions. But since these collisions will be considered product malfunctions, there could be confusion among all those involved in an accident about where liability for the accident lies – and current insurance laws cannot help in that department.
These confusing cases could potentially delay treatment for accident victims, IBC warned.
“IBC is asking governments across the country to update relevant laws, to ensure we are ready when automated vehicles hit the roads,” the bureau concluded in its position paper.