Posted May 03, 2019 05:04:03Driverless cars will be cheaper than insurance policies, according to a new report from Australia’s AARP.
Key points:The AARP’s report finds that a car can be a liability, with insurance companies seeing the cost of a collision as a liabilityThe AAP has warned that the benefits of driverless cars outweigh the risksSome insurers have warned that driverless car technology will drive up car insurance rates, while others are not yet ready to support driverless technologyIt is “very, very difficult” to find a policy in Australia to cover a driverless vehicle, says the AARP, and “there are very few people” with insurance.
“It’s very, very hard to find insurance for driverless vehicles,” AARP president John D’Ambrosio told ABC News Breakfast.
“There are only a handful of policies in Australia that cover driverless.”
The Aarp’s research found that drivers with liability insurance pay more than $11,000 more per year than those with no coverage.
The research found drivers with no liability insurance paid $8,400 more than those who had coverage, with driverless insurance costing drivers an extra $890 per year.
“Driverless insurance is a very, really hard issue for the insurance industry,” AAP general manager of research and analysis Mark McVicar said.
“They’re not going to see that change overnight.”
Driverless car crash death ratesThe study found the rate of driver-side crashes involving a driver who was not driving was double that of those who were.
“We’re now seeing driverless crash rates double in the last few years, and that’s the result of driver error, driver distraction and the lack of insurance,” Mr McVicsar said, adding the crash rate was a key reason people opted not to insure themselves.
The report found that the majority of accidents involving drivers without insurance involved someone in their 20s or 30s, and about a third of these accidents were fatal.
The study also found that driver distraction in a driver’s car was responsible for about 70 per cent of driver crashes.
Mr McVICAR said the cost to insurance companies of driver safety improvements was much higher than the cost savings to drivers.
“In the future, the drivers insurance companies will be looking at these trends and deciding whether to cover driver safety or not,” Mr Mccurric said.
But the Aarp is not alone in warning of the dangers of driver distraction.
The National Automobile Association has warned the use of driver assistance systems will “lead to a huge increase in crashes, injuries and deaths”.
“There’s a very high potential for a collision to result in serious injury or death,” it said.
While insurance companies are not ready to offer driverless coverage, the AAP says it is considering it.
“What we do know is that there are drivers that have driver-assist systems and we would encourage them to have those devices in their vehicle, particularly if it’s a new vehicle,” Mr D’Ancona said.”[But] I don’t think they’re there yet, so I’m not going into it at this point.”
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