photo of Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S

With our launch of the UK’s first personal driverless car insurance policy,

…the discussion around who or what is liable in the event of a collision will, we hope, take a new and interesting step forward. We’ve designed this policy for people who may have driverless or autonomous features in their existing car, or who may be thinking of buying a new car with driverless or autopilot features such as Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3.

In most respects it resembles a typical car insurance policy – it covers all the usual things – but has some extra points relating to driverless technology.

You’re covered for loss or damage if:

  1. Updates or security patches for things like the driverless operating system, firewalls, electronic mapping and journey planning systems haven’t been successfully installed in the vehicle within 24 hours of the owner being notified by the manufacturer or software provider – subject to an additional policy excess;
  2. There are satellite failure/outages that affect the navigation systems, or if the manufacturer’s operating system fails or other authorised software fails;
  3. Caused by failing when able to use manual override to avoid a collision or accident in the event of operating system, navigation system or mechanical failure;
  4. Your car gets hacked or an attempted hack results in loss or damage.
Adrian Flux is the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance broker, covering everything from classic and vintage cars, right through to heavily modified sports cars. So it makes sense that they are going after a nich play like this, especially with all the Teslas taking to the road.
The article includes more detail, particularly on liability. I think it’s pretty fascinating to see what the underwriting team has identified as risks they can include. I also find the exclusion for failure to update software on a timely basis interesting. Seems likely that other manufacturers will adopt Tesla’s remote automatic upgrade practice – especially if this is an exclusion.
Still the key here is:
“The way we’ve designed our driverless car policy means that the driver will always need to be able to take control of the car at any point in their journey. So a driver couldn’t turn on the autopilot and have a nap at the wheel.”




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