Is AD the End for Car Insurance?
As mobility is evolving towards vehicle automation, car insurance companies are rethinking their business models. Telematics car insurance for example is not a completely new thing. They are offered by several providers in the USA and UK, there are also similar offerings in Germany. State Farm from the US already predicted the end of the traditional car insurance in 2016. The company wanted to shift its focus towards data analytics. Let’s take it a step further: If autonomous vehicles do not cause accidents anymore, do we still need car insurance at all? As the automotive industry is working on the development of fully automated vehicles the insurance sector has to prepare for a fundamental change.
New Details on the German Draft Law
The German Bundestag is currently discussing a draft law on autonomous driving. Although they have already implemented minor changes, it is clear that the law will be advantageous for the industry and the car manufacturers. The adjustments have no influence on the bill’s tone in favor of the companies. It states that the person is allowed to do other activities but urges to stay aware of any potential dangers around him. From my point of view this is contradictory and will lead to numerous lawsuits that will define the law. Nevertheless the human driver will be the liable party for the time being.
Root Insurance for Tesla
This March the US-company “Root Insurance” announced that it’ll offer rates for autonomous vehicles from now on. The idea is to reward drivers who invest in ADAS. That is why owners of partially automated cars get special discounts on car insurance fees. At the moment the range of automated cars is rather limited, so most Root Insurance customers are Tesla drivers.
In order to get the insurance users have to download an app that collects and analyzes car movement data. For a certain amount of time the user is driving under observation to evaluate his or her driving style. Depending on their style and risk appetite the customers get a personal discount. With a Tesla and the adequate driving style you can ideally save about 40% of the initial insurance fee.
Allianz Insurance for Autonomous Driving
Speaking of Germany Allianz was the first insurance company to take the plunge into new technology. Together with car manufacturer BMW the company wants to initiate a work group to develop insurance details that will be taken up to insure automated BMW models from 2021 on. Another common objective is to develop a tool for data analysis, e.g. when it comes to accidents. USA and China will be attractive markets for data analysis products due to legal regulations. In contrast to Germany there is no owner liability in those countries.
Allianz also signed a deal with Easymile, a French shuttle manufacturer. The startup is producing self-driving shuttles that drive at low speed are already tested worldwide. Within the framework of the cooperation Matthias Wünsche, Member of the Board of Management of Global Automotive at Allianz, said: “Autonomous driving will be a key paradigm shift for automotive insurers and we have the ambition to be at the leading edge of this topic. The partnership with EasyMile is the consequent result of our Automotive Innovation Center translating technological advancements into innovative insurance solutions.” Allianz is preparing for the future – for insurance models regarding autonomous cars. The cooperation with BMW and Easymile are linked with the goal of making the first experiences in that sector.
About the author:
David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de