First driverless insurance policy launched

Adrian Flux has launched, what it believes to be, the first personal driverless car insurance policy.

After months of careful consideration and development, the launch is a bid by Flux to support the UK in being at the forefront of self-driving technology. It’s hoped the new policy will encourage debate and discussion around the issue of liability and autonomous technology, as well as provide another step forward as the UK prepares for the driverless revolution.

The policy is designed for consumers who may already have driverless features in their existing cars, such as self-parking, or who may be thinking of buying a new car with driverless or autopilot features.

Gerry Bucke, general manager for Adrian Flux, said, ‘As the UK continues to invest in driverless research in preparation for the growing market for autonomous vehicles in the near future, we wanted to help provide confidence and clarity around the ongoing debate of ‘who is liable?’

‘We understand this driverless policy to be the first of its kind in the UK – and possibly the world. It’s a fantastic starting point for the insurance industry and the policy, like any other, will be updated as both the liability debate and driverless technology evolve.’

The Modern Transport Bill announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech will extend compulsory cover to accidents where the car itself, rather than the driver, is at fault – something the insurance industry welcomed. A week later, the UK’s road minister, Andrew Jones outlined the insurance industry will adapt to the introduction of driverless cars and the question of liability by saying, ‘…in the event of a serious collision in driverless mode, it would be the vehicle at fault, instead of the human driver.’

The new driverless policy has additional features over a standard car insurance policy. Customers will be covered for loss or damage in the following scenarios:

  • If updates or security patches for things like firewalls, operating systems, electronic mapping and journey planning systems haven’t been successfully installed in the vehicle within 24 hours of the owner being notified by the manufacturer or software provider, subject to an increased policy excess
  • If there are satellite failure / outages that affect the navigation systems, or if the manufacturer’s operating system or authorised software fails
  • Where there is loss or damage caused by failing, when able, to use manual override to avoid a collision or accident in the event of operating system, navigation system or mechanical failure.
  • For loss or damage if your car gets hacked or an attempted hack results in loss or damage.