How to Insure the Remarkable: The Complete Guide to Car Insurance for Autonomous Vehicles

Basil Mahadeo
4 min readSep 22, 2021

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Self-driving vehicles, also called autonomous cars or driverless cars, are vehicles capable of sensing their exact location at any given moment, which helps them move safely with minimal or no input or human effort.

Any new technological advancement comes with both pros and cons, and driverless car technology is no exception. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages to self-driving cars.

Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles

Greater Independence: Driverless cars have the potential to enable people with mobility issues to become more self-reliant.

Saving Money: An automated driving system can help save money by reducing or eliminating the cost of vehicle repair, crashes, and lost work time.

Reduction in Harmful Emissions: Driverless cars have fewer accidents than manned vehicles. Fewer accidents mean reduced traffic congestion and eventually fewer emissions released to the environment.

Drawbacks of Autonomous Vehicles

Vulnerable to Hacking: Driverless cars use a computer system that can be accessed remotely by unauthorized users. This makes these vehicles vulnerable to manipulation.

Unable to Distinguish Objects: Most driverless cars currently have trouble recognizing some things around them. They also have difficulty distinguishing between objects and people and animals.

Self-Driving Vehicle Coverage: Self-driving vehicle policies provide insurance coverage for driverless cars. At this time, insurance for Self-Driving vehicle is extremely expensive. However, since self-driving vehicles have the potential to offer more advanced protection features than any other type of vehicle, in the future the premiums on an electric car insurance policy are likely to be lower than that of regular cars.

Insurance Policies for Self-Driving Cars

At this time, the majority of driverless cars are being tested by ridesharing companies such as Uber and Waymo. It is anticipated that a substantial trend will be away from individual car ownership. Insurance policies for driverless cars come in several categories, including:

Technological Error and Omission and Cyber Liability: Before new vehicles are released to the market, the companies that produce their components take out insurance in the event that their technology fails. When a newly released driverless vehicle operates on the roads, it may cause physical injuries and property damage if its system malfunctions.

Technological error and omission coverage and cyber liability coverage protects the makers of driverless cars in case their new releases cause damage or injuries while on the road due to technological failure. Owners of these vehicles may want to consider similar coverage.

Physical Damage Coverage: If you have a driverless car, this type of coverage will cover costs to repair or replace your vehicle in the event of an accident.

Auto Liability Insurance: This type of coverage covers the cost of property damage or the medical treatment of third parties who have been involved in a collision with a driverless car.

Is It Necessary to Have Special Insurance Coverage for Your Driverless Car?

Regardless of where you are, before you register your brand new car, you’ll be required to produce the relevant documents that show you have insured your vehicle. This also applies to driverless cars.

Therefore, you must have coverage for your new driverless car before you go ahead with registering it to be approved safe for driving on the busy highways. However, you must note that there are several types of policies with varying roles. Therefore, it is vital to shop around before insuring your driverless car to secure the best coverage appropriate for your needs.

Understanding Your Policy

An auto coverage policy is a written contract between the owner of a car and the insurer. Regardless of the auto coverage you select; you’ll be required to pay a premium and abide by the rules put in place by your insurer.

In return, the insurer pays for any covered losses you experience. When you receive the policy document from your auto insurer, it is essential to read it carefully. Some of the components of a policy document include:

Insurance Declarations Page: This is the first page on that policy package you get from your auto insurer. It states who and what is insured and the duration the policy will last.

Definitions: This is the second page of your policy document and explains most of the industry-specific words present in the package you receive from your insurer. ‘Deductible’ and ‘motor vehicle’ are standard terms defined in a vehicle policy.

Coverages: This part explains the specific policy and lists what is covered, including physical damage and loss, and when you qualify for compensation.

Limits and Conditions: This page describes how much is to be paid by the insurer in the event of damages or losses. The section also explains your responsibilities and those of the insurer.

Duties After an Accident: This section guides you on what to do if you experience an incident covered by your policy. It includes the best time to inform your insurer after an incident and measures to safeguard your vehicle from more damage.

The Most Important Insurance Policy for Driverless Car Owners

Suppose you intend to invest in a driverless car or already own one. In addition to having the minimum policy that makes it legal to drive, you should also consider comprehensive vehicle coverage. This type of policy covers both damages to your vehicle and third-party liability, and is therefore an ideal choice.

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Basil Mahadeo

Basil Dahana Ram Mahadeo is a Director of GBTI for the past twenty-two (22) years.