Carsharing, electric drives, assistance systems and autonomous driving – a lot is changing when it comes to mobility. These megatrends do not only affect auto manufacturers and suppliers, but auto insurers as well. So far, they have mainly used conventional factors to calculate their policies. This includes personal customer data, loss-free years, mileage, and type of car.
Christoph Lauterwasser, director of the Allianz Center for Technology, expects profound change. “We will have more and more influence of technology on auto insurance over the next ten years,” he told Allianz Auto Day last week.
With telematics policies, a number of providers have already taken the first step towards data-driven and technology-driven auto insurance. With these tariffs, devices or applications measure the driving style, the amount of the insurance premium depends on it. It won’t stop there. “With the autonomous driving and driver assistance systems, we will also have a considerable influence on insurance because certain types of damage can be reduced significantly”, expects Lauterwasser.
True autonomous driving, in which the occupants of the vehicle are just passengers, is still a long way off. Assisted driving, that is to say the accompaniment of the driver by assistance systems, has already arrived on the mass market. Automated driving is an intermediate step. Here the vehicle takes control in a defined operating area. The driver can temporarily turn away from the traffic situation, but must be able to regain control immediately if necessary.
The German legislator has already set the framework for autonomous driving this year with the Autonomous Driving Act. While the driver is still responsible for automated driving, so-called “technical supervision” monitors the vehicle for autonomous driving. It can deactivate the vehicle from the outside and allow driving maneuvers in difficult situations – for example, if a traffic light is permanently red due to a technical fault and thus permanently prevents the car from continuing on its road.
In the future, not only the driver and his car will need insurance protection, but also technical support. Allianz doesn’t think that’s a problem. “We will also offer ‘novice autonomous drivers’ and ‘technical supervision’ insurance cover and will insure them in motor vehicle liability”, announced Klaus-Peter Röhler, director of Allianz Germany. Just as conventional novice drivers are uncertain at first and gain experience, the technology used in the context of autonomous driving will also become better, safer and more reliable over time, he expects.
Allianz advocates that findings and conclusions from manufacturers, suppliers, technology companies and insurers on the topic of autonomous driving be collected internationally and shared on an independent platform – both vehicle and vehicle data. system as well as accident data.
No new technology is perfect, which is why there will be accidents in the future, especially when conventional and autonomous vehicles interact, the alliance expects. Public confidence in automated and autonomous systems is only guaranteed if the causes of accidents and “near misses” can be properly clarified.
According to the insurer’s ideas, an independent European-wide trustee should manage car and accident data in order to protect personal data. He must verify whether there is a legitimate interest in investigating the accident and whether the data necessary for this purpose are available to the respective parties.
The suggestions are not altruistic. The data recorded and transmitted by cars will soon be the key to auto insurance. Insurers have worried about the availability of such data for years. They fear the automakers will erode them here and become themselves heavily dependent on the information the manufacturers share with them – and the price it will cost them.
Insurers are also considering the technical implementation of autonomous driving, in particular with a view to cross-border traffic. Allianz, the second largest automobile insurer in this country behind HUK-Coburg, is in favor of a coordinated approach at European level. “We need to make our roads across Europe suitable for autonomous driving,” Röhler demands. “Because when they cross a border, these cars not only have to recognize signs and markings and comply with traffic laws, but it also has to be clear who is responsible in the event of an accident. “