The Future of Insurance: Automated Vehicles

With automated vehicles coming to Canada’s roads in a few years there is a need to update the provincial insurance laws to ensure that people injured in collisions involving these vehicles can be compensated in a fair and timely manner. There is also a need to update the federal vehicle safety standards to reflect the greater reliance on technology in operating these vehicles.

Currently, auto insurance policies prescribed in provincial laws are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of motor vehicle collisions. But, as humans cede control of driving to automated technology, collisions will be caused increasingly by product malfunction.

This shift in responsibility for collisions from humans to automated technology means many injured people will have to proceed through product liability litigation to get compensated. Product liability litigation is more complex and takes years longer to resolve than traditional motor vehicle liability claims. The longer wait will delay compensation for many people who use automated vehicles or who are injured in a collision involving an automated vehicle.

Changes are needed to Canada’s auto insurance policies and supporting legislation to ensure that people injured in collisions involving automated vehicles get compensated fairly and quickly.

IBC has released a paper “Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility” that outlines three recommendations for preparing Canadians for the arrival of automated vehicles.

The three recommendations:

  1. Establish a single insurance policy covering driver negligence and the automated technology to facilitate liability claims.

  2. Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement with vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision.

  3. Update the federal vehicle safety standards with technology and cyber security standards.


Recommendations for preparing for automated vehicles: