Insurance Requirements When Buying a Smart Car by Barry Rabkin

20/05/2015 22:31

Let's jump ahead to a time when increasingly more people decide to buy a smart car. If I was the buyer there are certain insurance coverages I would want to buy and certain insurance coverages I would expect someone else (i.e. vehicle manufacturer, software developer, telecommunications provider, parts manufacturer, and my insurance agent) to have purchased.

By the way, even if I purchase the bundle of insurance over the Web or through the telephone, the person selling it to me must still be a trained and licensed agent meeting all the regulatory requirements to sell me the insurance bundle for my automobile and for the jurisdiction in which I live.

Insurance coverage I expect to purchase

I expect that it would be wise to continue to purchase insurance coverage for collision, bodily injury, property damage, and under/uninsured motorists (depending on the State my vehicle is garaged in - and is the same State as the one I live in, of course.)

I'd continue to opt-out of any insurance premium discounts that come with safe driving behavior.... I don't purchase high-performance vehicles to drive at a double-nickel speed.

I'd also carefully consider getting the vehicle and parts warranties that are part of the purchase or lease of the vehicle (which in an IoT world may very well look-and-behave a lot more like true insurance coverage).

Depending on the insurance coverages that the plethora of manufacturers, software providers, and telecommunication firms have purchased to protect themselves (i.e. quality, availability, dependability of the capabilities baked into my vehicle that they built or are responsible for), I very well might want to purchase Kidnap & Ransom insurance. A smart car is a hackable car and the vehicle could be taken to a remote location with me in it and without my permission.

Insurance coverage I expect companies involved in any manner with my vehicle to have

I would expect at least one of the companies that have added capabilities to my vehicle - either as the car is being built or at the dealer's location - or sold me the vehicle insurance to have:

  • Product liability / Management liability insurance - for the vehicle, yes but also for every piece of software or telecommunications capabilities the vehicle comes with or that I purchase after I get the vehicle from the dealership. I would expect at least 6 '9's availability of every piece of software the vehicle uses or that I use to interact with the vehicle.
  • Cyber insurance - hopefully a very high-cost coverage to ensure that "they" (vehicle manufacturers, software or telco firms) have created - and continue to upgrade - security features to minimize my smart car being hacked
  • Kidnap & Ransom insurance - to provide a very high base level of K&R coverage
  • D&O insurance - to ensure that the folks in the boardroom and other senior executives know they have skin in the game, so to speak.
  • E&O insurance - specifically for the insurance agent, and possibly the salesperson in the dealership, to be covered for what they should have told me but didn't or what they told me that was just plain wrong.

Not an insurance coverage, but I'd expect software upgrades to be created frequently and wirelessly sent to my vehicle in a very secure manner.


What insurance coverages would you add either for yourself when you purchase a vehicle or that you would expect any of the companies involved with the manufacture, sale, or performance of the vehicle to have?