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News   November 26, 2018   by Adam Malik

Insurance industry pushes for action ahead of autonomous vehicles


Rather than waiting until after the fact, the insurance industry has some thoughts on what should happen with autonomous vehicles as they get closer to reality.

The national body representing insurers outlined three recommendations in a position on autonomous vehicles.

Insurance Bureau of Canada released Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility and its recommendations were developed auto insurance experts, who received input from a panel of legal advisors, over two years.

The three recommendations it gave would update both provincial insurance laws and federal vehicle safety standards:

  • Establish a single insurance policy that covers driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions to facilitate liability claims;
  • Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement between vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision; and
  • Update the federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cybersecurity standards.

“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, president and chief executive offer of IBC. “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 group – which represents Canadian private home, auto and business insurers – noted that auto insurance policy and supporting laws differ between provinces and none are designed for autonomous vehicles.

“Currently, they are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions. As humans cede control of driving to automated technology, there will likely be fewer collisions but the collisions that do occur will be caused increasingly by-product malfunction,” it said.

Since major automaker are expected to have autonomous vehicles ready for purchase in the next few years, the IBC wants governments to update laws so they are in place when these vehicles hit the roads.

“The current laws will create uncertainty and confusion for some people injured in collisions that involve automated vehicles, possibly delaying treatment for their injuries and claims payouts,” IBC said.