One of the things I love about the insurance industry is that it is constantly changing. While that may create headaches for some of our eaders, as an editor covering the business of insurance, it provides
a myriad of topics to constantly watch. From cyber threats to fraud, Worker’s
Comp, subrogation, fracking, wildfires, and flooding to earthquakes and luxury
yachts, the topics are endless and fascinating.
Nowhere is this truer than in the field of auto claims. Technology is changing
how vehicles operate (human drivers are on their way to becoming optional),
cameras and sensors are preventing accidents, and insurance can be purchased
online, while claims can be filed from an insured’s cell phone. All of these factors
will have a definite impact on the world of auto insurance.
Just as technology has permeated every other aspect of insurance, it is
changing how cars are driven, how they will be insured and who will be liable if
there is a crash.
With the advent of autonomous cars, product liability takes on new
prominence with some manufacturers saying they will accept liability if their
vehicles malfunction. Does this mean that a driver who is watching his phone
while behind the wheel will not be liable in the event of an accident because
his autonomous car failed to yield the right of way and he was oblivious to the
oncoming car? New car technology is operating under the old rules of auto
insurance. Like the legal system and state legislatures, the insurance industry
will have to adapt and update its policies and procedures to address the
And as vehicles become more advanced with their cameras and the
proliferation of automotive technology such as windshields that have rain
sensors and automatically turn on the headlights and wipers, the claims
involving these vehicles will become more complex and involve new methods for
adjusting them. Repairs will also require additional steps to ensure all computers
have been reset and the technology is operating correctly.
Our cover story this month addresses many of these issues — the challenges
and changes the industry faces and suggestions on how to effectively
manage these new risks. There will also be more information on some of these
issues at the America’s Claims Event in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 22-24,
where we’ll discuss accident reconstruction, telematics, and exposures with
autonomous vehicles. Check out the full agenda and register online at
www.americasclaimsevent.com. Our loyal readers get a special discount,
so use the CLAIMS1 code when you register.
Hope to see you there!
Patricia L. Harman, Editor-in-Chief