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) seems on the implications that self-driving vehicles have on at present’s auto insurance coverage legal guidelines.


  • On this episode of the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers Podcast, we converse with Ryan Stein from the Insurance coverage Bureau of Canada (IBC).
  • At present, people account for 90 % of auto 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 outfitted to cope with self-driving vehicles. Notably, if the auto producer or know-how have been deemed chargeable for an accident, injured events may find yourself negotiating product legal responsibility insurance coverage, which is extra complicated than auto insurance coverage.
  • Auto insurance coverage insurance policies have 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 vehicles.

Introducing the Accenture Insurance coverage Influencers podcast

Insurance coverage hasn’t modified a lot in 200 years, however every thing round it has. The bottom beneath insurers’ ft is shifting on daily basis, 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 vehicles 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 vehicles 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 vehicles. And at last, we checked out common ideas 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 position throughout 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 setting, and see if there are methods of enhancing 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 business. I wish to begin with what individuals imply after they discuss 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 auto autonomy—you possibly can truly say that there are six, as a result of there’s degree zero—come from the Society of Automotive Engineers.

  • Degree zero is not any automation. The driving force is in full management of the automobile always.
  • Degree one has some driver help, like pace or cruise management.
  • Degree two can take management of each the automobile pace and lane place in some conditions—as an illustration, on a freeway.
  • Degree three is restricted self-driving, so the automobile may be in full management in some conditions. It could actually monitor the street and visitors and can even inform the driving force when she or he must take management of the automobile.
  • Degree 4 is absolutely self-driving beneath 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 features.
  • Degree 5 is full self-driving. The automobile can do just about every thing with out the human needing to take management.

IBC not too long ago printed a paper on what you check with as automated autos. I’ve additionally heard the business check with autonomous autos. Are these primarily the identical factor?

Sure and no. Autonomous just about signifies that the automotive drives itself. I like to make use of the phrase “automated” as a result of you possibly can discuss autos that also require people to play some management within the driving operation. They’ve automated features, however they may not be absolutely autonomous.

That brings us to the insurance coverage business and a number of the assumptions throughout 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 principle 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 chargeable 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 have been these a problem to the non-public auto business?

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

  1. An individual owned a automobile.
  2. That automobile was predominantly used for private or business 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 can be private or business—though you would purchase non-obligatory merchandise for those who have been utilizing your automobile 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 have been utilizing their automobile for ride-sharing functions. The ride-sharing corporations wished 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 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 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 adjustments.

And now, since you have been going to have two insurance policies on a automobile, 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 would 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 a whole lot of similarities to what we’re now with automated autos. Plenty of the dialog has been in regards to the shift from a private auto coverage to one in every of product legal responsibility. Particularly, if there may be an accident, and it was a automotive that may drive itself, was it the driving force or was it the producer? Are you able to discuss a number of the different implications for insurance coverage?

Proper now, people are chargeable 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 chargeable 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 yr, 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 prompted the collision—if it was the know-how at fault—nicely, then you definitely’re outdoors auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re product legal responsibility litigation towards the automobile producer or know-how supplier. That’s much more complicated and takes lots longer than your typical motorized vehicle collision legal responsibility claims.

When you have individuals which can be injured in a collision that was brought on by automated automobile, they’ll get some protection from their very own insurer, but when they want extra they’re going to must go up towards a automobile producer know-how supplier. It’s now not a motorized vehicle legal responsibility declare, which signifies that particular person may now be ready lots 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 be sure that people who find themselves injured have entry to honest and fast compensation. We see automated autos difficult the auto insurance coverage legal guidelines which have been in place for many years, and we expect there’s a have to replace them. They need to mirror 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 a terrific 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 regulation, and the way they have been challenged by the sharing economic system
  • Why at present’s insurance coverage business 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 speak in regards to the challenges and alternatives that self-driving vehicles pose for insurers.

What to do subsequent:

Contact us for those who’d prefer to be a visitor on the Insurance coverage Influencers podcast.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here