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Delightful: Lower car insurance rates

Last updated: May 3, 2016

By , Insure.com

Lower insurance rates

Computers are designed to make fewer mistakes than humans. So think about what will happen to your insurance policy when your car - and perhaps all the cars around it - are far less accident-prone.

Hilary N. Rowen, partner at Sedgwick Law LLC, has dealt extensively with the insurance issues around autonomous cars. She says it's unclear exactly how sharply car insurance rates will change during the initial years of autonomous car development - it will take time to fully understand how autonomous cars will affect accidents rates and repair costs, particularly when they're mixed in with human-driven cars - but that the eventual trajectory is likely to please fans of cheap car insurance.

"In the longer term, the prospects for reduction in the incidence of accidents and resulting insurance claim costs are quite good," says Rowen in an email interview.

Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com, adds that autonomous cars could even shift accident responsibility from vehicle owners to other entities once humans are no longer in charge of the wheel.

"When you think about it, it makes little sense to hold a car owner accountable when he had no fault in an accident," says Gusner. "But it then begs the question of who will be accountable for damage: Car manufacturers? Component makers? Someone else? It's something the insurance industry is going to need to figure out. This is likely to change the way accidents affect insurance rates."

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