The inclusion of self-driving cars on the roadways is raising some interesting questions about how insurance claims are going to be handled if the car is involved in an accident. The answer to this question isn't really simple because there isn't any real precedent for what is going to happen.
Many insurers agree that there is going to be a question of liability that arises in these cases. One factor that will likely come up is whether the crash was something that the manufacturer could have prevented or if the crash was unavoidable. That question might be the one that helps to determine if manufacturers are going to have to come out of pocket for damages related to a crash.
Another question that might come up is what part the human in the vehicle had on the crash. If there was a co-pilot, could that co-pilot have done anything to prevent the crash? This question might be the one that is raised to determine if the person in the vehicle has a liability in the crash. Still, it is imperative that victims receive compensation so these conundrums might prove to be difficult for courts and juries to solve.
Drivers who are considering these self-driving cars as an option should find out what their insurance company says about the vehicle. These vehicle owners, as well as anyone who is on the road with self-driving cars, should remember that liability in car accidents is a huge issue if there is a crash. Adequate insurance coverage can help to protect the vehicle's owner, but it also protects the victims who are injured in crashes.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Who will be liable in a self-driving car crash?," Bob Weber, March 11, 2017