Automobile design will be more significant than driver behaviour in future car insurance, according to Stephan Appt, partner at law firm Pinsent Masons.
An expert in the regulation of connected and autonomous vehicles, Appt said that the shift to ‘car profiling’ could be just a few years away. He said that risk analysis of personal traits and driver behaviour will become redundant as the insurance market evolves.
“Technical features of vehicles will become the most important things for insurers to consider when calculating risk and premiums,” according to Appt.
“This means that the sophistication, reliability and security of driverless car systems will become the most important considerations as autonomous driving takes off.”
He cites a recent Standard & Poor’s report which predicts that crash impact insurance technology will improve outcomes and cause a decline in the frequency and severity of claims. This will reduce the cost of claims to motor insurers and result in falling premiums.
“As the size of the market shrinks over the next 15-20 years, we expect many insurers to seek further diversification in retail lines or move away from their traditional customer base,” the report adds.
Appt said: “In that environment we might expect there to be less insurers active in the car insurance market. It might prompt consolidation as insurers look for economies of scale and for growth opportunities.”