What the rise of autonomous vehicles means for insurance claims

What the rise of autonomous vehicles means for insurance claims

Peter Schifrin, president of independent bodyshop Schifrin, Gagnon & Dickey, Inc. in California, discusses the latest developments with autonomous vehicles and their potential impact on claims.


John Czuba: Welcome to “Best’s Insurance Law Podcast”, the broadcast on current and important legal issues affecting the insurance industry. I’m John Czuba, Editor-in-Chief of Best’s Professional Insurance Resources.

We are pleased to welcome Peter Schifrin, chairman of Schifrin, Gagnon & Dickey, a California company that provides quality claims, investigations and TPA claims administration services. Peter is also the current president of the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters.

Peter, we are very happy to have you with us today.

Peter Schifrin: Great to be with you.

John: Today’s discussion is the rise of autonomous vehicles and its potential impact on insurance claims. Peter, what’s the timing expectation? How are things in California?

Peter: We are certainly at the forefront when it comes to autonomous vehicles on the road. We have many users. If you look at what the expected rollout is like, we have a lot of vehicles that are in that phase two, with a lot of sensors and a lot of assistance and some autonomous driving.

John: What is the expected or expected impact in terms of adjusting claims?

Peter: There are a few problems. The hope is that when the vehicles are fully autonomous, there will be a

dramatic drop in bodily injury as everyone expects the vehicles to be better drivers than people.

Funnily enough, what we’re seeing so far is that in an accident, these vehicles are very expensive to repair because they have so much technology in them that even a small fender bender becomes a very large amount of material damage. claim. Although the number of accidents is falling, claim costs can actually rise.

John: Are there new areas that might open up as a result? As an example you mentioned different types of claims. I know that computer technologies were mentioned as a possible target for liability purposes.

Peter: Yes. It is interesting. The lawyers should always have someone to sue after an accident. It may be that instead of suing the driver, they are suing the manufacturer of the vehicle, and all the companies that were involved in the creation of that vehicle or all of the parts in that vehicle, because those are the people who could actually be held liable. to wear.

John: What’s the latest on technologies, not just for auto claims, but claims in general on the West Coast?

Peter: As I mentioned before, I recently read that the phase three vehicles that will drive you around for the most part, with a few exceptions, are about three years away from being put on the road.

I recently listened to a podcast where a woman said she still thought we were 30 to 50 years away from full autonomy because of the technology, and because of how many non-autonomous vehicles would still be on the road, and figuring out how to make them off the road. I think you will see improvements in vehicle safety all the time, which will hopefully translate into fewer accidents.

John: What about the outlook for the future, Peter? It looks like it will be a bit further than originally expected.

Peter: Yes. For the most part, the challenge may not be the technology that improves so much that the car can drive itself and you don’t even need a steering wheel, but that there are so many vehicles on the road that won’t be autonomous.

How do you tell someone, “You can no longer drive your 2006 Camry. We want that off the road so we have full autonomy”? Yes, it seems we are at least a generation away from what everyone else say.

John: Peter, thank you so much for joining us today. Peter: It’s my pleasure.

John: You just listened to Peter Schifrin, president of the company Schifrin, Gagnon & Dickeyin California. Special thanks to today’s producer, Frank Vowinkel. Thank you all for participating in “Best’s Insurance Law Podcast.”

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I’m John Czuba, and now this message.