The multi-billion pound motor insurance industry faces a period of radical restructuring as a result of the advent of autonomously driven cars.
The number of crashes could drop by 80 per cent by 2035 and insurance premiums must plummet, a high-level panel discussion organised by Volvo Cars and Thatcham Research was told yesterday.
Research by Swiss Re and HERE released earlier this month calculated that autonomous drive technologies could wipe USD20bn off insurance premiums globally by 2020 alone. At present, motor insurance generates 42 per cent of all non-life gross premiums, the largest single slice of global premiums.
Volvo Cars believes that the insurance industry will have no choice but to react to these seismic challenges to its existing business model.
“The medium-to-long-term impact on the insurance industry is likely to be significant. But let’s not forget the real reason for this – fewer accidents, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities. Autonomous drive technology is the single most important advance in automotive safety to be seen in recent years,” Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, told a seminar in London entitled ‘A Future with Autonomous Driving Cars – Implications for the Insurance Industry’.
There is a danger car makers are sleep walking into a new era of vehicle theft, says Tracker.
It says a surge in stolen vehicles even equipped with the latest immobilisers suggests teams of dedicated criminals are outsmarting the majority of systems and a new wave of anti-theft prevention measures must now be introduced or the industry will be playing catch up and the owners will be losing out.