During its annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released a position paper, Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility.
The paper contains three recommendations that update both provincial insurance laws and federal vehicle safety standards:
- Establish a single insurance policy that covers driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions to facilitate liability claims;
- Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement between vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision; and
- Update the federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cyber security standards.
“Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads, and the laws that govern insurance and vehicle safety need to be updated to reflect this reality,” said Don Forgeron, president and CEO, IBC. “We need changes to the provincial insurance laws across the country to ensure that collision victims continue to be compensated in a timely manner.”
Each province has a prescribed auto insurance policy and supporting laws that are not yet designed for automated vehicles. Currently, they are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions. As humans cede control of driving to automated technology, there will likely be fewer collisions but the collisions that do occur will be caused increasingly by product malfunction. The current laws will create uncertainty and confusion for some people injured in collisions that involve automated vehicles, possibly delaying treatment for their injuries and claims payouts.