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Automated Cars Impact Insurance Profits
Auto insurers have been on the forefront of pushing for safer cars. Features like seatbelts, air bags, anti-lock brakes and more became standard on cars because they reduced injuries and accidents, reducing insurance company payouts. But technology is moving way behind those basic features, increasing safety and lowering insurance company revenues.
Backup sensors, backup cameras and lane change sensors are all driver-assist technologies leading the cars down the path towards automated driving. Some cars can already parallel park themselves. While the driver is still in control of the gas pedal, the car’s sensors find the parking spot and turn the wheel to get the car in place. Other cars automatically brake if the sensors indicate a potential collision. As these enhanced safety features become standard on more makes and models, they will also impact insurers. Increased safety reduces accidents and injuries which means reduced premiums for drivers and revenues for insurance companies.
Beyond self-parking and automatic braking, fully automated cars are now being tested on the road. Once they become cleared for use, the driverless cars will completely change the auto insurance industry. Self-driving cars do not get distracted by cell phones or drive aggressively. Driverless cars do not speed. Removing the human error factor will reduce many accidents, injuries and traffic fatalities putting tremendous downward pressure on insurance premiums.
Many auto insurers recognize this coming revolution and are exploring alternate business models in response. Accidents will still happen, even if they occur at a reduced rate. Who is liable if an automated car is in an accident? The answer to this liability question could help auto insurers gain revenue. While car owners’ rates will be low, automakers will have to increase insurance coverage as more driving responsibility is shifted to the car.
Increased car automation will potential affect how auto insurers handle accident claims. This can be especially true when one car in an accident has more of the automated safety features than the other. Automated features are not infallible but sometimes the auto insurance company may not see it that way. As insurers react to changes in car technology, accident victims need to be sure and consult an experienced car accident attorney.
Automated cars are already affecting insurers’ profits and how they respond to accidents. Auto insurers are looking at places to expand market share and cut expenses even as increased car safety causes drivers’ premiums to fall. If you’ve been in an accident, product your rights and follow this link to find an experienced car accident lawyer in Jacksonville.
Eric writes often about the legal field. You can find his thoughts at about the law blog on Wordpress.
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