Do I Need Special Auto Insurance for a Self-Driving Vehicle?

Safety is a large focus for automobile innovators. Regardless of make and model, safety specifications are one of the most touted marketing points of all new car generations. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, crash avoidance technology and automated features are becoming the norm instead of the exception. While self-driving vehicles may not be widely accepted yet, forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warnings, and similar components are the predecessors to what eventually will be self-driving options in high-end and mid-priced cars.

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The impact these will have on auto insurance claims is unknown, but it seems safe to say that this is a question best addressed with the help of a Nevada Insurance Enrollment auto insurance agent. In theory, self-driven vehicles with automated safety features should help reduce traffic accidents, in turn reducing auto insurance rates. However, the liability may shift from the driver to the car manufacturer, and that is where things get a bit hazy in the world of auto insurance.

Risks of Self-Driving Cars and How It Impacts Auto Insurance

While it seems like self-driving cars should lower accident risks, the slow adoption of self-driving cars and adaptation of general society to them presents an entirely different set of risks. It is this new set of risks that auto insurance companies are most wary about.

In terms of technology, self-driving cars will have their own unique technology risks: cyber-security and software reliability. While it is not likely that automated cars will be the target of hacking, this can happen which increases the risks of uncontrollable accidents. Additionally, software programs can always run into problems, and automated systems can fail in which case a driver who is unprepared to transition to driving from a hands-off position can cause an accident.

As is the case with most technology, complete reliance can sometimes have crippling effects when the technology fails. Just ask any business who loses their credit card system processing terminals for the day. Auto insurance companies are carefully analyzing these risks along with other variables that can compromise the safety of a self-driving vehicle such as inclement weather, changed infrastructure, and flawed GPS systems.

Anyone who has driven extensively with the use of a GPS knows sometimes it’s not safe to take the ‘left turn’ the GPS demands. How can the A.I. of a car correctly determine when to ignore its own GPS? Frequent construction and lane changes only make this concern even more prominent.

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Auto Insurance Companies Will Adapt

Whether they are wary or not, auto insurance companies will be forced to adapt to the creation of autonomous cars. While the question of who should carry the auto insurance liability coverage (the car owner or car manufacturer), at some level, coverage will always be required. Physical auto insurance coverage such as physical damage due to a crash or losses caused by natural disasters or theft are not likely to be affected, but comprehensive coverage could be cheaper if the lower accident rate helps offset repair costs. Of course, insurance is also state-regulated, so eventually Nevada law regarding self-driving vehicles will play a role in auto insurance costs for self-driving vehicles.

Nevada Insurance Enrollment Can Guide You

Nevada was the first state to allow the use of self-driving vehicles in the US. This has allowed auto insurance companies in the state more time than others to develop their response. Nevada Insurance Enrollment has helped many drivers navigate and secure the best auto insurance plans for their autonomous vehicles. If you currently own, or recently purchased a self-driving car, give us a call today and our auto insurance agents can help you navigate through your options for auto insurance.

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