Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Do Self-Driving Cars Spell Doom for Auto Insurers?

Do Self-Driving Cars Spell Doom for Auto Insurers?
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The self-driving car seems like a terrible driver’s dream: no steering wheel to control, no trouble parallel parking, no concerns about having a couple of beers on the way home from work. But the removal of fallible human drivers might create havoc for auto insurers.

Human error accounts for 90 percent of road accidents, according to the International Organization for Road Accident Prevention, and our collective failure rate helps the auto insurance industry rake in a cool $157 billion in premiums each year. So if self-driving cars eliminate all those driver mistakes, the business of insuring vehicles will necessarily change as well.