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AV? We’ll see…: CCIR report shows AVs on the horizon, insurance industry without a plan

Toronto, Ontario – As the automotive industry continues its journey toward fully-autonomous driving, a recent report from the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) shed some light on the somewhat murky state of the insurance industry’s preparedness for this evolution.

Drawing responses from industry stakeholders across Canada, CCIR’s report, entitled “Connected and Automated Vehicles and Their Impact on the Automobile Insurance Market”, aims to gauge perspectives on five specific themes.

The survey was meant to compile opinions regarding the timeline of AV development; the impact it will have on the insurance landscape; whether the insurance industry is prepared for AVs; upon whom do the responsibilities of AV driving fall; and what insurance model should Canada adopt to account for AVs.

Stakeholders predict that fully-autonomous vehicles are just around the corner, as 60 percent of respondents said that they expect to see AVs on Canadians roads within the next ten years, or even sooner. Conversely, the minority portion of respondents don’t see full-autonomy being achieved in any less than 15 years.

Interestingly, 90 percent of respondents said that they predict AVs to have a “very significant” impact on the insurance industry, but when asked to what degree do AVs pose a risk to the industry, 70 percent responded that they were unsure.

Elaborating more on the uncertainty of AVs in the insurance industry, opinions were split when asked whether organizations felt they were prepared for autonomous driving with one half claiming to be “somewhat prepared”, while the other is under the assumption that they are “likely not prepared”, again showing little consensus on what to expect when these vehicles start coming to market.

What can be agreed upon, however, is that 94 percent of respondents said that manufacturers and software providers should be obligated to share data with insurers when an AV is involved in an accident.

When it comes to the model to be implemented for AV insurance, uncertainty again reigns supreme as opinions were split three ways when asked about IBC’s proposal of a single insurance policy for AVs. A majority reported that they were unsure of the proposal, followed by a significant portion reporting in favour of the proposal.

The full report can be found here.

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