Insurers predict huge crash drop-off due to self-driving cars

While many of us are intrigued by the potential safety effects self-driving cars could bring to American society, not everyone is excited.

Insurance companies make a lot of money selling car insurance policies: The Los Angeles Times reports that auto insurance premiums generate about $200 billion in revenue for the insurance industry every year. And as the number of crashes nationwide have risen in recent years, so too has the cost of insurance. Clearly, auto insurance is a major source of profits for America’s insurance companies.

But as automated vehicles, such as the one Google is working on here in California, become a reality, car crashes could become very rare. And that would have some serious implications for the insurance industry.

For one thing, what will an insurance policy for a self-driving vehicle look like? Will the driver or the manufacturer be responsible for a wreck? More importantly, if automated vehicles cause crashes to plummet 80 percent over time, as insurer KPMG predicts, that will probably cause the price of auto insurance to drop sharply as well.

From the public’s perspective, self-driving cars could virtually eliminate a major safety hazard. More than 90 percent of crashes in the U.S. are due to driver error, according to the Times. If this technology eventually replaces all the traditional autos, things like impaired driving, distracted driving and road rage will vanish.

Until then, a bad driver could still hit you and cause you serious harm. If this has already happened to you, a personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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