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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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 to be on the implications that self-driving vehicles have on at present’s auto insurance coverage legal guidelines.


  • On this episode of the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers Podcast, we communicate 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 all over the world.
  • Our present auto insurance coverage insurance policies aren’t geared up to take care of self-driving vehicles. Notably, if the auto producer or know-how have been deemed liable 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 have been challenged by the sharing financial 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 the whole lot round it has. The bottom beneath insurers’ ft is shifting on daily basis, posing challenges—and creating alternatives.

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

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

Our first visitor is Ryan Stein, the chief 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 present’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 trade 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 surroundings, and see if there are methods of enhancing it for the good thing about insurance coverage clients throughout the nation.

I’m trying ahead to asking you about autonomous autos and what meaning for the insurance coverage trade. I wish to begin with what individuals imply once they discuss autonomous autos. I perceive that there are literally 5 designated ranges. Might you fill in our listeners who aren’t conversant in them already?

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

  • Stage zero is not any automation. The motive force is in full management of the car always.
  • Stage one has some driver help, like pace or cruise management.
  • Stage two can take management of each the car pace and lane place in some conditions—for example, on a freeway.
  • Stage three is restricted self-driving, so the car will be in full management in some conditions. It could monitor the street and site visitors and also can inform the driving force when she or he must take management of the car.
  • Stage 4 is totally self-driving underneath sure situations. It may very well be a sure space, sure climate situations or sure roads the place the car can deal with all of the driving features.
  • Stage 5 is full self-driving. The car can do just about the whole lot with out the human needing to take management.

IBC not too long ago printed a paper on what you confer with as automated autos. I’ve additionally heard the trade confer with autonomous autos. Are these basically the identical factor?

Sure and no. Autonomous just about implies that the automobile drives itself. I like to make use of the phrase “automated” as a result of you may discuss autos that also require people to play some management within the driving operation. They’ve automated features, however they may not be totally autonomous.

That brings us to the insurance coverage trade and a few of the assumptions throughout the insurance coverage trade that automated autos 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 principle assumption is that human error is the first explanation 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 liable 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 financial system, ride-sharing and car-sharing. How have been these a problem to the private auto trade?

Previous to the sharing financial system, the insurance coverage legal guidelines have been written in a really particular approach. Mainly:

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

Every car just about had one coverage on it, and that coverage could be private or business—though you would purchase non-compulsory merchandise when you have been utilizing your car for business functions generally.

After which the sharing financial system and ride-sharing providers got here, and it began blurring the traces between private and business. Folks have been utilizing their car for ride-sharing functions. The ride-sharing corporations wished to have the ability to supply a second coverage to these autos to cowl the ride-sharing, for when the ride-sharing app is on till the ride-sharing app is off. However people who signed up for ride-sharing providers didn’t actually wish to exit and purchase a separate coverage, or perhaps their insurance coverage firm that offered their private coverage didn’t supply this ride-sharing coverage. So for that second coverage to be supplied by a unique entity—the ride-sharing firm, not the person car proprietor—you wanted legislative and regulatory modifications.

And now, since you have been going to have two insurance policies on a car, you wanted guidelines or processes to handle claims. If a collision occurred with a type of autos, it wanted to be simple to determine which insurance coverage firm pays. Was the app on or off? After figuring out that, you would 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 unique sort of car use in a unique sort of enterprise mannequin.

Proper. And it strikes me that there are numerous similarities to what we’re taking a look at now with automated autos. A number of the dialog has been concerning the shift from a private auto coverage to one among product legal responsibility. Particularly, if there may be an accident, and it was a automobile that may drive itself, was it the driving force or was it the producer? Are you able to discuss a few of the different implications for insurance coverage?

Proper now, people are liable for greater than 90 % of collisions and all of the auto insurance coverage legal guidelines and protection relies on that. So proper now, if there’s a collision, individuals go to their very own insurance coverage firm they usually get sure advantages, and in the event that they want extra they usually weren’t liable for the collision, they’ve a possibility to pursue a legal responsibility declare or sue the individual accountable. With motorcar claims, there are tens of 1000’s of them a 12 months, 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 individual that prompted the collision—if it was the know-how at fault—properly, then you definately’re outdoors auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re taking a look at product legal responsibility litigation in opposition to the car producer or know-how supplier. That’s much more advanced and takes lots longer than your typical motorcar collision legal responsibility claims.

In case you have individuals which might be injured in a collision that was attributable to automated car, they’ll get some protection from their very own insurer, but when they want extra they’re going to must go up in opposition to a car producer know-how supplier. It’s not a motorcar legal responsibility declare, which implies that individual might now be ready lots longer to get compensated.

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

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

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 legislation, and the way they have been challenged by the sharing financial system
  • Why at present’s insurance coverage trade isn’t ready for automated vehicles, and why that ought to concern customers

For extra steering on self-driving vehicles:

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

What to do subsequent:

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

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