Self-driving automobiles and insurance coverage, with Ryan Stein

What are the assumptions baked into our auto insurance coverage insurance policies, and the way do self-driving automobiles problem them? Ryan Stein from Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC) appears to be like on the implications that self-driving automobiles 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).
  • Presently, people account for 90 p.c of auto accidents—an assumption that’s baked into auto insurance coverage insurance policies around the globe.
  • Our present auto insurance coverage insurance policies aren’t outfitted to take care of self-driving automobiles. Notably, if the auto producer or know-how had been deemed answerable for an accident, injured events might find yourself negotiating product legal responsibility insurance coverage, which is extra complicated than auto insurance coverage.
  • Auto insurance coverage insurance policies had been challenged by the sharing economic system, and insurers can study from that have to proactively redefine auto insurance coverage for the arrival of self-driving automobiles.

Introducing the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers podcast

Insurance coverage hasn’t modified a lot in 200 years, however all the things round it has. The bottom beneath insurers’ toes is shifting each 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 deal with a number 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 know-how allow fraud detection?

What self-driving automobiles 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 automobiles 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 automobiles. And eventually, we checked out basic rules for ensuring that insurance coverage legal guidelines are outfitted 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 function inside 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 enhancing it for the advantage of insurance coverage prospects throughout the nation.

I’m wanting ahead to asking you about autonomous autos and what meaning for the insurance coverage business. I need to begin with what individuals imply once they discuss autonomous autos. I perceive that there are literally 5 designated ranges. May you fill in our listeners who aren’t aware of them already?

The 5 ranges of auto 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 isn’t any automation. The motive force is in full management of the automobile always.
  • Stage one has some driver help, like pace or cruise management.
  • Stage two can take management of each the automobile pace and lane place in some conditions—as an illustration, on a freeway.
  • Stage three is restricted self-driving, so the automobile could be in full management in some conditions. It may possibly monitor the highway and site visitors and may also inform the motive force when she or he should take management of the automobile.
  • Stage 4 is totally self-driving below sure circumstances. It might be a sure space, sure climate circumstances or sure roads the place the automobile can deal with all of the driving capabilities.
  • Stage 5 is full self-driving. The automobile can do just about all the things with out the human needing to take management.

IBC lately printed a paper on what you seek advice from as automated autos. I’ve additionally heard the business seek advice from autonomous autos. Are these primarily 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’ll be able to discuss autos that also require people to play some management within the driving operation. They’ve automated capabilities, however they may not be totally autonomous.

That brings us to the insurance coverage business and a number of the assumptions inside the insurance coverage business 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 reason behind collisions. The tort legal guidelines, legal responsibility legal guidelines and the legal responsibility protection that individuals purchase is all based mostly on this notion that people trigger collisions. And that’s as a result of proper now, people are answerable for over 90 p.c of collisions. So it is sensible 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 business?

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 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 could be private or industrial—though you might purchase non-compulsory merchandise in case you had been utilizing your automobile for industrial functions typically.

After which the sharing economic system and ride-sharing providers got here, and it began blurring the traces 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 autos 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 need 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 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 kind 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 distinct sort of auto use in a distinct sort of enterprise mannequin.

Proper. And it strikes me that there are loads of similarities to what we’re taking a look at now with automated autos. Numerous the dialog has been concerning the shift from a private auto coverage to one in all 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 discuss a number of the different implications for insurance coverage?

Proper now, people are answerable for greater than 90 p.c 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 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 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 person who brought about the collision—if it was the know-how at fault—nicely, you then’re outdoors auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re taking a look at product legal responsibility litigation in opposition to the automobile producer or know-how supplier. That’s much more complicated and takes quite a bit longer than your typical motorized vehicle collision legal responsibility claims.

When you’ve got individuals 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 in opposition to a automobile producer know-how supplier. It’s not a motorized vehicle legal responsibility declare, which implies 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 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 expect there’s a must replace them. They need to replicate 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 amazing 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 had been challenged by the sharing economic system
  • Why at present’s insurance coverage business isn’t ready for automated automobiles, and why that ought to concern shoppers

For extra steerage on self-driving automobiles:

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 speak concerning the challenges and alternatives that self-driving automobiles pose for insurers.

What to do subsequent:

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

Leave a Reply