Australian Auto Insurers Start Planning for Cars Without Drivers

By | 28 March, 2015

Insurance Vendors RACQ and Suncorp See Lower Rates in the Driverless Future

Maybe your next car can be a conventional model, but if you’re looking to save money on your car insurance and you live in Australia, you should consider a self-driving auto for your next-next vehicle.

That seems to be a reasonable conclusion from recent statements by Aussie insurers RACQ and Suncorp, as recently quoted by Jacinda Tutty in Brisbane’s Courier Mail.

Self-Driving Tech Means Fewer Accidents

The author quotes RACQ executive Greg Booker on the huge changes he sees in the next half-decade:

“As we move to autonomous vehicles, the collisions below 20km/hr will almost cease to exist which has a significant impact from an insurance perspective.

“Cars will be communicating with each other, there will be an avoidance of issues, it’s a complete paradigm shift, a major game changer.

“It’s something we’re working on understanding and repositioning our business model to support.”

Lower Risk = Lower Premiums

According to Tutty, “premiums could take a battering” for these multi-billion dollar companies as accident-avoiding SDVs start to become integrated into the transportation network in 2020. And of course lower premiums for the insurers should translate into savings for car owners, in addition to the many benefits predicted for the new technology.

Not Your Dad’s Insurance Business

Contrary to what many view as a staid and conservative industry, SunCorp Manager of Corporate Affairs Reuben Aitchison adds that insurers must stay current and keep up with the latest trends and changes in the SDV world:

“The development and roll out of vehicle to vehicle communication and autonomous driving technologies may present threats to companies and industries that are not watching, learning and investing in this space.

 

“But they will also open up new product and service opportunities for those with their eye on the ball.”

But no need to short-sell your insurance stock just yet. Aitchison is confident of a bright future for auto insurers:

“Customers will still want to protect their second most valuable asset from natural hazards … the carnage caused by November’s hailstorm to tens of thousands of cars is testament to that.”

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