The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) and the Insurance Institute of Ontario announced on Tuesday that they will be hosting a live webcast on the insurance implications of automated vehicles on Feb. 16.
The webcast, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST, will feature four panellists’ perspectives on the changing landscape and how automated vehicles will impact the insurance industry, IBAO said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
Panellists include Paul Kovacs, author of Automated Vehicles: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada and founder and executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction; Bill Warden, national director of product management with Economical Insurance; Ron Shaw, retired chief administrative officer for the City of Stratford in Ontario; and Rick Orr, owner of Orr Insurance & Investment Group in Stratford.
“Ontario was the first province to approve testing of driverless cars,” Orr said in the release. “Automated vehicles are coming to Stratford roads and will be operating in other cities across the province as part of the Ministry of Transportation’s pilot project. Stratford was selected for our city-wide Wi-Fi, meaning automated cars can operate under a single network to control testing and compare data. It’s an exciting time.”
In addition to sharing details on current regulatory conditions, the pilot project in Stratford and insurance considerations including impacts on rating and claims handling, panellists will also discuss the need to educate consumers and the impact on the insurance industry.
“While government will play a leading role in public awareness, insurance brokers will add important perspective,” added IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “There will be a shift from focusing on drivers to focusing on passengers. This has already started with the influx of ridesharing but will quickly expand as driverless cars become more and more of a reality on Ontario roads. As an industry, we must prepare for this shift.”
He added that now is a critical time to become engaged in the discussion surrounding driverless cars. “Automated vehicles have become a very real product with real implications for drivers, passengers and policies. This webcast will provide brokers with a solid understanding of timelines and potential consumer implications, today and in the future,” he said.
“As automation in cars on our roads increases, it poses many questions for the insurance industry,” said Peter Hohman, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute of Canada. “How will autonomous vehicles impact auto insurance and driver liability? How will coverage be impacted? How can we champion the remarkable potential to reduce traffic accidents? As an industry, we must fully understand the implications and prepare to respond.”