August 22, 2014

In a hard-hitting numerically arranged blog in Posts Magazine, much admired Anglo-Irish essayist Jonathan Swift this week outlined exactly why driverless cars spell ruin for the motor insurance industry.

Referencing the findings of a detailed research paper by Señor Risk Manager Raul Gumby, exclusively published in Posts Magazine, Dr Swift, author of such seminal outpourings as The Tail of a Tub and Advice to a Young Pot, explains exactly how so-called robocars are going to kick seven shades of Shinola out of the motor market as we know it over the coming months and years.

1. Insurers, he said, need to adopt a new discipline known as planning “or risk extinction”. No planning = no future. Simple as that.

2. Telematics will have come and gone in no time, so don’t expect salvation from that quarter. Why bother investing in telematics technology, when the days of people driving cars will soon have ended?

3. While you’re busy working out how to do this ‘planning’ thing and then deciding what exactly it is you should be planning, expect to be hammered by massively increased legal costs and claims. Robocars will be on our streets next year and no-one has the faintest idea how the liability bit is supposed to work yet.

4. If you’re not a Lloyd’s operation, you may as well give up now. An inevitable shift in focus from personal lines to commercial is bound to favour people who have some vague idea what they are doing, and they, of course, are all working in the shiny inside-out building in EC3 and already all over the product liability piece, which is where what action remains is sure to congregate.

5. Cyber terorists will quickly work out how to simultaneously hijack entire fleets of cars and ram them into government, military, nuclear and biohazard sites at top speed (stopping off only for loading with high explosives), thus precipitating mass fatalities, societal meltdown, and quite possibly something pretty close to armageddon.

Perhaps there are fresh opportunities for insuring against that…

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