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Driverless Cars and Auto Insurance

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Written By
Jake Bissaro

Many of the cars we drive today would probably seem like futuristic spaceships to drivers who had the original Model T. But, in recent years, driverless cars have been looking more and more probable, with prototypes already being produced.  Google’s self-driving Prius has made the most noise in the media, but car manufacturers like Nissan, Toyota, and General Motors are reported to be researching the technology. A future full of self-driving cars means big changes in the auto industry, which will also mean some changes to how these vehicles will be insured.

With roads full of self-driving cars, the most significant change for insurers would be the sharp decline in accidents. These cars wouldn’t have to worry about being distracted, and would always be aware of hazards and bad conditions. This presents a doomsday scenario for auto insurers, but since flat lining premiums are probably still decades away, the CEOs of top carriers aren’t shaking in their boots yet. But Google’s progress on the project has created an all-out arms race, and the days where you can catch some more zzz’s on your morning commute may be here faster than they might think.

Volvo, the Swedish automaker known for its safe vehicles, recently predicted that it will be able to eliminate crashes entirely for anyone driving their cars by 2020. If these kinds of bold claims by automakers continue, it will only accelerate the potential problems for insurers. If driverless cars become universal, car insurance could all but go away altogether. The lower premiums won’t be the only advantage for consumers; without accidents, speeding, and distracted driving, there will much less congestion on the roadways.

All this is just further evidence that your agency needs to be on the cutting edge to continue to compete in the online marketplace. If you continue to do things the same old way, you’re likely to be left behind.

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