Autonomous vehicles and the insurance industry
Insurers confront the "when" and "how" of self-driving cars
As consumers increasingly embrace the future of mobility, auto insurers should position themselves to take the driver's seat—or they could lose the race.
With sensor-loaded cars poised to reduce accidents by 90 percent, and ride-sharing/ride-hailing trends pointing toward decreased vehicle ownership, the auto insurance industry could be challenged to compensate for the apparent inevitability of falling premium rates and perhaps a substantial volume of business.
The transitional timeframes wherein AVs could share the road with human-driven vehicles, and the longer term, when self-driving cars may dominate, will likely force a fundamental shift in insurers' product mix, as they would for underwriting, pricing, and business models.
These changes could prompt the following actions:
- Recognize that rate of change by geography and age may vary
- Develop more technical underwriting capabilities
- Prepare for incremental changes to cost structures
- Navigate with insufficient or incomplete data, and exploit emerging sources
- Establish advanced analytics capabilities
- Plan for product and business-line shifts—including offering driverless car insurance
- Retrain claims adjusters to interpret intricacies of shared driving
- Recognize the threat of non-traditional competitors
Insurers will likely need to quickly find their footing through the transitioning mobility ecosystem. It is likely that only those insurers with a flexible business model and diverse product mix may thrive going forward, as technological and societal trends take hold at an uneven pace in the autonomous vehicles and insurance industries.