Government set to unveil dual insurance cover for driverless vehicles

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The Government is set to introduce dual insurance cover for driverless vehicle owners in order to avoid confusion over whether victims of a collision need to claim against autonomous cars or their drivers.

With driverless cars set to appear on the UK’s roads by 2020, The Daily Telegraph has reported that The Department for Transport will soon unveil plans for two-in-one motor insurance policies for autonomous vehicles. These will cover the policyholder when they are travelling in driverless mode and when they are actually driving their vehicle.

Under the plans claims made against cars which crash while in driverless mode will be paid out by insurance companies. Insurers will then recover costs from the party responsible for the incident, which may be the manufacturer. The Department for Transport said that the two-in-one policies would help claimants get quick and easy access to compensation.

Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser for motor and liability at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said that the Government had adopted its own plans for driverless vehicle insurance.

“The insurance industry is 100 per cent committed to supporting the development of automated vehicles, which have the potential to dramatically improve road safety and revolutionise our transport systems,” he said.

“We want to keep insurance as straightforward as possible, which is why insurers proposed the simple approach which the Government is now taking forward.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, Edmund King, president of the AA’s insurance firm, said that the plans would put the onus on the driver to ensure that they are fully covered.

“There has been much debate about the whether the driver, manufacturer or indeed highway authority would be liable in a driverless collision,” he said.

“This model will ensure that in the event of a collision, the not-at-fault party will be properly compensated in the way that motor insurance works now.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk