New Tech Could Drive Up Insurance Premiums

Sat 26th Mar 2022

There is confusion and uncertainty in the motor insurance industry as to how new automated driving technology will impact premiums.

With all new vehicles sold from July this year having to incorporate speed-limiting technology, insurers are asking who bears the responsibility for an accident when a vehicle is in automated mode, with some manufacturers agreeing that the car provider takes liability.

The concerns have led to some analysts suggesting that premiums could become more expensive due to the administration time required to understand who was at fault for an accident.

“You would expect all [features such as collision avoidance, parking sensors, and onboard cameras] to have a positive impact on premiums, due to the way in which you would hope they can reduce incidents and lower claims frequencies,” GoCompare’s motoring expert Ryan Fulthorpe told the Daily Express.

“What we don’t know is if and how insurers ingest and then utilise their data. It also depends on how the above are declared to the insurer.”

Brands such as Ford, Jaguar, Honda and Renault have already began incorporating ‘Intelligent Speed Assist’ systems into their cars, however these can be overridden by the driver. Other driver assists systems will be legislated by the UK government later this year, including the ability for drivers to take their hands and eyes off the wheel and let the car do the driving at low speeds.

“If car manufacturers take responsibility for the incident of autonomous vehicles and therefore remove the need for an insurer to get involved, that likely will have a positive impact on claim processing times as you are likely to have fewer claims to look at,” Fulthorpe said. “However, if there is any contention around who’s at fault or who is liable, claim times will likely increase.

“[But] if the risk is with the car provider, then that will have an impact on insurance premiums.”