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 this moment’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 world wide.
  • Our present auto insurance coverage insurance policies aren’t outfitted to take care of self-driving vehicles. Notably, if the auto producer or know-how had been deemed answerable 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 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.

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Insurance coverage hasn’t modified a lot in 200 years, however every part round it has. The bottom beneath insurers’ toes is shifting daily, 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 massive 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 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 this moment’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 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 bettering it for the advantage of insurance coverage prospects throughout the nation.

I’m trying ahead to asking you about autonomous autos and what meaning for the insurance coverage business. I need to begin with what folks imply after 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 auto autonomy—you possibly can really say that there are six, as a result of there’s stage zero—come from the Society of Automotive Engineers.

  • Degree zero isn’t 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—for example, on a freeway.
  • Degree three is proscribed self-driving, so the automobile will be in full management in some conditions. It could actually monitor the highway and visitors and can even inform the motive force when she or he should take management of the automobile.
  • Degree 4 is totally self-driving beneath sure situations. It might be a sure space, sure climate situations 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 part with out the human needing to take management.

IBC not too long ago 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 basically 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 possibly can speak about autos that also require people to play some management within the driving operation. They’ve automated features, however they may not be totally autonomous.

That brings us to the insurance coverage business and a few of the assumptions inside the insurance coverage business that automated autos could 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 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 answerable 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 business?

Previous to the sharing economic system, the insurance coverage legal guidelines had 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 could be private or business—though you possibly can purchase optionally available merchandise when you had been utilizing your automobile for business functions generally.

After which the sharing economic system and ride-sharing providers got here, and it began blurring the strains between private and business. Folks had been utilizing their automobile 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 that signed up for ride-sharing providers didn’t actually need to exit and purchase a separate coverage, or possibly 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 automobile proprietor—you wanted legislative and regulatory adjustments.

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 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 possibly can 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 auto use in a unique kind of enterprise mannequin.

Proper. And it strikes me that there are lots of similarities to what we’re taking a look at now with automated autos. Loads of the dialog has been in regards to the shift from a private auto coverage to one in all product legal responsibility. Specifically, if there’s 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 answerable for greater than 90 % of collisions and all of the auto insurance coverage legal guidelines and protection is predicated on that. So proper now, if there’s a collision, folks go to their very own insurance coverage firm they usually get sure advantages, and in the event that they want extra they usually weren’t answerable for the collision, they’ve a possibility to pursue a legal responsibility declare or sue the individual accountable. With motorcar 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 brought about the collision—if it was the know-how at fault—nicely, you then’re exterior auto insurance coverage litigation. Now you’re taking a look at product legal responsibility litigation towards the automobile producer or know-how supplier. That’s much more complicated and takes rather a lot longer than your typical motorcar collision legal responsibility claims.

You probably have folks which are 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 need to go up towards a automobile producer know-how supplier. It’s now not a motorcar legal responsibility declare, which implies that individual may now be ready rather a lot 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 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 folks injured having to proceed by means of expensive, protracted product legal responsibility litigation.

That’s an awesome level, Ryan. Thanks for making the time to talk with me right this moment.

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 right this moment’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 potential of injured events having to barter product legal responsibility insurance coverage. And, we’ll discuss in regards to the challenges and alternatives that self-driving vehicles pose for insurers.

What to do subsequent:

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

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