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TMCNet:  Travelers Outlines Framework for Autonomous Vehicle Insurance

[July 10, 2018]

Travelers Outlines Framework for Autonomous Vehicle Insurance

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today released a white paper, "Insuring Autonomy (News - Alert): How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks," at the 2018 Automated Vehicles Symposium. The white paper presents Travelers' assessment of the existing auto insurance structure, both personal and commercial, in the context of resolving claims and providing fair compensation to accident victims as vehicles become more autonomous.

"With the increasing adoption of semi-autonomous vehicles and the potential for fully autonomous vehicles, several policy-related questions and challenges are beginning to emerge," said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President, Personal Insurance at Travelers. "It's important that the insurance industry play a central role in policymaking discussions to develop a uniform legal and regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. Ensuring that a clear risk transfer mechanism is in place will help facilitate the development of autonomous vehicles and the improved safety we expect they will bring to our roads."

While research suggests the adoption of autonomous driving technology will lead to fewer accidents, collisions that do occur will likely result in costlier repairs and raise difficult questions relating to driver and manufacturer liability, victim compensation and data collection. The general risks that come with vehicle ownership, autonomous or not, will remain, including risks related to wether and theft.

Among other things, the white paper offers the following recommendations to facilitate an effective auto insurance system:

  • Develop a model state law relating to autonomous vehicle insurance that builds on the current state-based regulatory and oversight structure.
  • Require vehicle owners - including personal, ride-sharing and company-owned vehicles - to purchase and maintain adequate insurance.
  • Provide for sufficient coverage to account for the more expensive technology used in autonomous vehicles.
  • Establish strong cybersecurity requirements for autonomous vehicles, including appropriate data-sharing protocols.
  • Utilize insurers' extensive consumer communication programs to help educate customers and the public on autonomous vehicle safety.
  • Ensure representation of the insurance industry in policymaking and stakeholder forums.

Klein concluded, "Travelers has been a longtime leader and innovator in both personal and commercial auto insurance and would support the creation of a coalition of non-government stakeholders to make recommendations on insurance-related autonomous vehicle issues."

To download a copy of the white paper, please visit the Travelers Institute website.

About the Travelers Institute
TheĀ Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers' senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers' underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators.

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $29 billion in 2017. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.


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