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How self-driving cars might impact auto insurance

Google has been testing its autonomous vehicles on California roads. While some people believe that the mass adoption of the self-driving car may spell an end to the auto insurance industry, that may not be the case. Even if some manufacturers agree to self-insure their vehicles, it could result in a barrier to entry that smaller businesses may not be able to overcome. It may also create situations where companies refuse to allow a car to venture into an area where accidents or thefts occur at a high rate.

That could restrict where people could travel or when they could drive. In addition, there is still a chance that an autonomous car could get into an accident or that several cars could experience problems at the same time. This is because of the complex software that runs each vehicle. If they were connected to a single grid or network, a software issue with one vehicle could suddenly turn into a much wider problem.

It is not inconceivable that insurance companies could adapt their pricing models as self-driving cars become more prevalent. For example, insurance costs could rise or fall based on historical driving patterns and other odds that a driver could get into an accident. At some point, it may be possible to only require drivers who are likely to get into a crash pay for insurance.

Self-driving cars certainly have the potential to reduce the number of car crashes when they are made widely available, but until such time, there will continue to be far too many collisions caused by negligent drivers. A person who has been injured in such an accident may want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses attributable to the collision.

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