Autonomous Vehicle Event Seeks to Solve Underwriting Challenges

US insurance group Travelers has said the rise in autonomous vehicles will require the support of the insurance sector and the solutions and a range of new challenges.

The underwriter held an event last week which saw leading experts discuss the evolution of autonomous vehicles and their potential effect on the insurance industry.

The event brought together company executives and transportation experts from the Centre for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the consulting firm Ellis & Associates.

“As a leading auto insurer, we have unique insights to contribute to the framework that will bring autonomous technology to our roads,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President, Personal Insurance at Travelers. “By convening experts who can add their research and perspectives, we will address some of the important questions that need to be answered as the transportation industry evolves.”

Travelers’ has also published a new white paper titled “Insuring Autonomy: How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks offers”. The document the firm delivers its assessment of the existing auto insurance structure, both personal and commercial, in the context of resolving claims and providing fair compensation to accident victims as vehicles become more autonomous.

The white paper also describes how the development and rollout of this technology will help spur innovation, increase public safety, provide peace of mind and protect American drivers and consumers.

“While research suggests the adoption of autonomous driving technology will lead to fewer crashes, collisions that do occur will likely result in costly repairs and raise questions about driver and manufacturer liability, victim compensation and data collection,” explained Mr Klein. “The general risks that come with vehicle ownership — autonomous or not — will remain, including those related to weather and theft. An effective insurance structure will need to remain in place to help consumers and businesses manage those risks.”