Is the insurance industry ready for driverless cars?

Cassiday Shades's Jim Foster and three other insurance industry leaders respond to this month's question.

By Bevrlee J. Lips

“Driverless cars and trucks, which are currently in prototype form, will be the future of transportation. I expect that the insurance industry will be called on to defend the integration of sophisticated technology, including collision avoidance systems, GPS, and sensors.”

JIM FOSTER, Partner, Cassiday Schade LLP. CLM Member since 2009.


“What concerns me most about driverless cars is the potential disruption of the auto liability insurance market. Without drivers,
any claim for an accident likely defaults to the vehicle’s
manufacturer or software provider, creating new opportunities
for product liability carriers.”

SAM FRIEDMAN, Insurance Research Leader, Deloitte Center for Financial Services. CLM Fellow since 2011.


“Driverless vehicles will create significant challenges for insurers and courts alike. How can we apply the traditional negligence standard, which asks what a reasonable person would have done, to a crash involving a driverless vehicle? Can a car act reasonably?”

PRYCE G. TUCKER, Partner, Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP. CLM Member since 2012.


“We are seeing carriers taking steps to prepare themselves for the complexities of insuring driverless vehicles, and I am confident that by the time consumers can purchase driverless vehicles, carriers will be ready to insure them.”

CHRIS TIDBALL, Senior Director, Mitchell International. CLM Fellow since 2013.


212 Million

Number of licensed drivers in the U.S.

Source: Statista


Number of years before self-driving cars become a market option for consumers.

Source: Boston Consulting Group


Miles per week Google cars drive in autonomous mode on public streets.

Source: Google

$10 Million

Cost to build M City, a mini town created to replicate road chaos and test autonomous cars. 

Source: Bloomberg Business

$42 Billion

Projected market opportunity for self-driving vehicle features by 2025.

Source: Boston Consulting

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.

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