Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Self-driving vehicles and insurance coverage, with Ryan Stein

What are the assumptions baked into our auto insurance coverage insurance policies, and the way do self-driving vehicles problem them? Ryan Stein from Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC) seems on the implications that self-driving vehicles have on at the moment’s auto insurance coverage legal guidelines.


  • On this episode of the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers Podcast, we converse with Ryan Stein from the Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC).
  • At present, people account for 90 % of car accidents—an assumption that’s baked into auto insurance coverage insurance policies world wide.
  • Our present auto insurance coverage insurance policies aren’t geared up to take care of self-driving vehicles. Notably, if the auto producer or expertise had been deemed answerable for an accident, injured events might find yourself negotiating product legal responsibility insurance coverage, which is extra advanced than auto insurance coverage.
  • Auto insurance coverage insurance policies had been challenged by the sharing economic system, and insurers can be taught from that have to proactively redefine auto insurance coverage for the arrival of self-driving vehicles.

Introducing the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers podcast

Insurance coverage hasn’t modified a lot in 200 years, however all the pieces round it has. The bottom beneath insurers’ toes is shifting every single day, posing challenges—and creating alternatives.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Insurance coverage Influencers podcast from Accenture. In season one, we tackle a few of the huge questions on insurers’ minds. How will synthetic intelligence (AI) change insurance coverage? How can insurers innovate extra successfully? And the way can expertise allow fraud detection?

What self-driving vehicles imply for insurance coverage, with Ryan Stein

Our first visitor is Ryan Stein, the manager director of auto insurance coverage coverage and innovation at Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC). First, we talked to Ryan about self-driving vehicles and why they don’t match into at the moment’s auto insurance coverage legal guidelines. Subsequent, Ryan mentioned an IBC working paper that outlines a two-part framework for a way insurers, governments and regulators can replace insurance coverage legal guidelines to accommodate self-driving vehicles. And eventually, we checked out normal ideas for ensuring that insurance coverage legal guidelines are geared up to maintain up with rising applied sciences.

The next transcript has been edited for size and readability.

Inform me about Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC). What’s its position throughout the insurance coverage business in Canada?

IBC is the nationwide commerce affiliation for Canada’s property and casualty insurance coverage corporations. We work with our members to look at the political and regulatory atmosphere, and see if there are methods of bettering it for the advantage of insurance coverage prospects throughout the nation.

I’m wanting ahead to asking you about autonomous automobiles and what which means for the insurance coverage business. I wish to begin with what folks imply after they speak about autonomous automobiles. I perceive that there are literally 5 designated ranges. May you fill in our listeners who aren’t conversant in them already?

The 5 ranges of car autonomy—you may truly say that there are six, as a result of there’s stage zero—come from the Society of Automotive Engineers.

  • Degree zero isn’t any automation. The driving force is in full management of the automobile always.
  • Degree one has some driver help, like velocity or cruise management.
  • Degree two can take management of each the automobile velocity and lane place in some conditions—for example, on a freeway.
  • Degree three is restricted self-driving, so the automobile will be in full management in some conditions. It may possibly monitor the highway and visitors and also can inform the motive force when she or he should take management of the automobile.
  • Degree 4 is absolutely self-driving below sure circumstances. It may very well be a sure space, sure climate circumstances or sure roads the place the automobile can deal with all of the driving features.
  • Degree 5 is full self-driving. The automobile can do just about all the pieces with out the human needing to take management.

IBC lately revealed a paper on what you consult with as automated automobiles. I’ve additionally heard the business consult with autonomous automobiles. Are these basically the identical factor?

Sure and no. Autonomous just about signifies that the automotive drives itself. I like to make use of the phrase “automated” as a result of you may speak about automobiles that also require people to play some management within the driving operation. They’ve automated features, however they won’t be absolutely autonomous.

That brings us to the insurance coverage business and a few of the assumptions throughout the insurance coverage business that automated automobiles might not match into. What are a few of these underlying assumptions that we’ve constructed into our present fashions of auto insurance coverage?

The primary assumption is that human error is the first reason for collisions. The tort legal guidelines, legal responsibility legal guidelines and the legal responsibility protection that individuals purchase is all primarily based on this notion that people trigger collisions. And that’s as a result of proper now, people are answerable for over 90 % of collisions. So it is sensible that auto insurance coverage legal guidelines—and the protection that comes from them—will all be primarily based on that.

These assumptions about auto insurance coverage have been in place for some time and up to date improvements have challenged them. So, for instance, the sharing economic system, ride-sharing and car-sharing. How had been these a problem to the non-public auto business?

Previous to the sharing economic system, the insurance coverage legal guidelines had been written in a really particular approach. Principally:

  1. An individual owned a automobile.
  2. That automobile was predominantly used for private or industrial functions.
  3. The proprietor of that automobile was the one who purchased the protection.

Every automobile just about had one coverage on it, and that coverage can be private or industrial—though you can purchase non-compulsory merchandise should you had been utilizing your automobile for industrial functions generally.

After which the sharing economic system and ride-sharing providers got here, and it began blurring the strains between private and industrial. Individuals had been utilizing their automobile for ride-sharing functions. The ride-sharing corporations needed to have the ability to supply a second coverage to these automobiles to cowl the ride-sharing, for when the ride-sharing app is on till the ride-sharing app is off. However folks that signed up for ride-sharing providers didn’t actually wish to exit and purchase a separate coverage, or possibly their insurance coverage firm that offered their private coverage didn’t supply this ride-sharing coverage. So for that second coverage to be offered by a distinct entity—the ride-sharing firm, not the person automobile proprietor—you wanted legislative and regulatory modifications.

And now, since you had been going to have two insurance policies on a automobile, you wanted guidelines or processes to handle claims. If a collision occurred with a type of automobiles, it wanted to be simple to determine which insurance coverage firm pays. Was the app on or off? After figuring out that, you can transfer ahead with the claims course of. So it was an instance of insurance coverage legal guidelines needing to be up to date—to accommodate a distinct kind of car use in a distinct kind of enterprise mannequin.

Proper. And it strikes me that there are a number of similarities to what we’re now with automated automobiles. Loads of the dialog has been in regards to the shift from a private auto coverage to considered one of product legal responsibility. Specifically, if there’s an accident, and it was a automotive that may drive itself, was it the motive force or was it the producer? Are you able to speak about a few of the different implications for insurance coverage?

Proper now, people are answerable for greater than 90 % of collisions and all of the auto insurance coverage legal guidelines and protection is predicated on that. So proper now, if there’s a collision, folks go to their very own insurance coverage firm and so they get sure advantages, and in the event that they want extra and so they weren’t answerable for the collision, they’ve a chance to pursue a legal responsibility declare or sue the particular person accountable. With motorized vehicle claims, there are tens of hundreds of them a yr, and you determine, OK, what the trigger and was who at fault? From that, right here’s how a lot will get paid out for the declare.

However in a world the place it wasn’t the person who brought on the collision—if it was the expertise at fault—properly, then you definitely’re outdoors auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re product legal responsibility litigation towards the automobile producer or expertise supplier. That’s much more advanced and takes quite a bit longer than your typical motorized vehicle collision legal responsibility claims.

You probably have folks which might be injured in a collision that was attributable to automated automobile, they’ll get some protection from their very own insurer, but when they want extra they’re going to should go up towards a automobile producer expertise supplier. It’s not a motorized vehicle legal responsibility declare, which signifies that particular person might now be ready quite a bit longer to get compensated.

And from a public coverage perspective: auto insurance coverage is closely regulated, and at IBC we imagine the legal guidelines that underpin it ought to guarantee that people who find themselves injured have entry to truthful and fast compensation. We see automated automobiles difficult the auto insurance coverage legal guidelines which have been in place for many years, and we predict there’s a have to replace them. They need to mirror the dangers related to automated automobiles, so that you don’t have folks injured having to proceed by expensive, protracted product legal responsibility litigation.

That’s an incredible level, Ryan. Thanks for making the time to talk with me at the moment.

It was my pleasure.


On this episode of the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers podcast, we talked about:

  • Six ranges of driving automation, as outlined by the Society of Automotive Engineers
  • The underlying assumptions baked into auto insurance coverage insurance policies and regulation, and the way they had been challenged by the sharing economic system
  • Why at the moment’s insurance coverage business isn’t ready for automated vehicles, and why that ought to concern shoppers

For extra steerage on self-driving vehicles:

Within the subsequent episode, Ryan will share a two-part framework that IBC developed for automated automobiles and the way it addresses the potential for injured events having to barter product legal responsibility insurance coverage. And, we’ll discuss in regards to the challenges and alternatives that self-driving vehicles pose for insurers.

What to do subsequent:

Contact us should you’d prefer to be a visitor on the Insurance coverage Influencers podcast.



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