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) appears on the implications that self-driving vehicles have on right now’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).
  • Presently, 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 expertise had been deemed accountable for an accident, injured events may 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 day by 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 handle 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 right now’s auto insurance coverage legal guidelines. Subsequent, Ryan mentioned an IBC working paper that outlines a two-part framework for the way insurers, governments and regulators can replace insurance coverage legal guidelines to accommodate self-driving vehicles. And at last, we checked out normal rules 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 inside 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 atmosphere, and see if there are methods of bettering 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 speak about 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’ll be able to truly say that there are six, as a result of there’s degree zero—come from the Society of Automotive Engineers.

  • Stage zero is not any automation. The driving 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 may be in full management in some conditions. It may well monitor the street and site visitors and may also inform the motive force when she or he must take management of the car.
  • Stage 4 is totally self-driving underneath sure circumstances. It might be a sure space, sure climate circumstances or sure roads the place the car can deal with all of the driving capabilities.
  • Stage 5 is full self-driving. The car can do just about all the pieces with out the human needing to take management.

IBC lately printed a paper on what you consult with as automated autos. I’ve additionally heard the trade consult with autonomous autos. Are these primarily the identical factor?

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

That brings us to the insurance coverage trade and a few of the assumptions inside 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 primary 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 folks purchase is all based mostly on this notion that people trigger collisions. And that’s as a result of proper now, people are accountable for over 90 % of collisions. So it is smart that auto insurance coverage legal guidelines—and the protection that comes from them—will all be based mostly 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 trade?

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

  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 can be private or business—though you might purchase elective merchandise for those who had been utilizing your car for business functions typically.

After which the sharing economic system and ride-sharing companies got here, and it began blurring the strains between private and business. Folks had been utilizing their car for ride-sharing functions. The ride-sharing corporations needed to have the ability to provide 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 those who signed up for ride-sharing companies didn’t actually wish to exit and purchase a separate coverage, or perhaps their insurance coverage firm that bought their private coverage didn’t provide 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 had 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 straightforward to determine which insurance coverage firm pays. Was the app on or off? After figuring out that, you might 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 kind of car use in a unique kind 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. Specifically, if there may be an accident, and it was a automobile 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 accountable 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 and so they get sure advantages, and in the event that they want extra and so they weren’t accountable 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 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 precipitated the collision—if it was the expertise at fault—effectively, then you definately’re exterior auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re taking a look at product legal responsibility litigation in opposition to the car producer or expertise supplier. That’s much more advanced and takes loads longer than your typical motorized vehicle collision legal responsibility claims.

In case you have individuals which might be injured in a collision that was brought on by automated car, they’ll get some protection from their very own insurer, but when they want extra they’re going to need to go up in opposition to a car producer expertise supplier. It’s now not a motorized vehicle legal responsibility declare, which signifies that particular person may now be ready loads 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 make it possible for 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 have to replace them. They need to replicate the dangers related to automated autos, so that you don’t have individuals injured having to proceed via pricey, protracted product legal responsibility litigation.

That’s an amazing level, Ryan. Thanks for making the time to talk with me right now.

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 right now’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 opportunity 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 for those who’d wish to be a visitor on the Insurance coverage Influencers podcast.

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