Canadian insurance officials issue recommendations regarding self-driving cars

Technology - Self-Driving Cars

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is looking at the future of automated vehicles directly in the face.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (I.B.C.) has issued recommendations regarding self-driving cars and their impact on the industry.

The I.B.C. recently released a position paper in which it addressed the issue of automated vehicles.

The I.B.C.’s paper was titled, “Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility.” This focus on self-driving cars was published during the bureau’s annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium. The paper looked into the auto insurance industry and the impact new vehicle and driving technology is going to have.

The national insurance industry association’s paper makes a number of recommendations which it states were developed by “auto insurance experts” over the next two years. These recommendations also included legal advisor input.

Though the entire paper was focused on self-driving cars, there were three primary recommendations.

The three main recommendations to the auto insurance industry made in the I.B.C. in the paper were:

1. Create a single auto insurance policy providing coverage for automated technology malfunctions and driver negligence to ease liability claims.
2. Develop a legislated data-sharing arrangement among insurance companies, vehicle owners, and auto manufacturers to assist in determining collision causes.
3. Update vehicle safety standards at a federal level to take new technology as well as cyber security standards into account.

“Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads, and the laws that govern insurance and vehicle safety need to be updated to reflect this reality,” said Don Forgeron, I.B.C. CEO and president. “We need changes to the provincial insurance laws across the country to ensure that collision victims continue to be compensated in a timely manner.”

The I.B.C. also pointed out that currently provincial laws and standard auto insurance policies don’t take self-driving cars into account. Those laws and insurance policies are “built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions.” The bureau predicts that as motorists relinquish a growing amount of driving control to automated technology, Technology - Self-Driving Carsthe frequency of collisions will decline. That said, with automated vehicles, the collisions will be deemed product malfunctions, which could be problematic in determining liability for collisions. Current insurance laws don’t apply in this way.

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