Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
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Videocast: Insurance and Automated Transportation

The question isn’t whether automated technology will impact the auto insurance industry, but how big that disruption will be and when that disruption will happen. In their videocast, Insurance and Automated Transportation, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP Partner Kymberly Kochis and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Partner Fabian Volz discuss numerous ways the insurance industry will be impacted by automated technology.
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NY DFS Proposes New Reg for Auto Insurers

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released a proposed regulation aimed at prohibiting the use of education and occupation as underwriting criteria.  The proposal comes after a DFS investigation found some auto insurers in New York use a driver’s education level and/or occupational status as an underwriting factor, landing those drivers in a less-favorable initial tier placement.  According to a media release issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, under the proposed regulation auto insurers would not be able to use educational and occupational status in their insurance...
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Videocast: The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Autonomous Vehicles and Beyond

Companies and consumers need to truly understand the impact of embracing aritfiical intellegence, including that the rate of auto-related deaths will be lowered drastically, how our overall transportation, commerce and quality of life will be improve and that AI is a reality today and will become far more advanced with each passing year.  These issues are discussed in The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Autonomous Vehicles and Beyond, a videocast by Eversheds Sutherland (US) Partner Michael Nelson and Eversheds Sutherland (International) Partner Charlotte...
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Transportation Disrupted: Artificial Intelligence in the Driver’s Seat

On May 3, 2017, Eversheds Sutherland hosted a symposium on the future of automated vehicles.  Topics included the legal and ethical risks, the insurance implications, and the data and IP issues arising from the shift to automated technology and the connected car. The conference opened with remarks by Vinn White, the former Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.  Mr. White set the stage, outlining key trends in the automotive industry and the steps the previous administration had taken to prepare for driverless cars.  He also articulated many of the policy questions raised by the new...
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Dealing with Uninsured Drivers

The problem of uninsured motorists is one that has plagued states and insurers since the first financial responsibility laws were enacted.  States have attempted to address this problem through legislation and enforcement, but those actions have had limited success.  For example, one research study indicates that “no pay, no play” laws banning uninsured drivers from suing for non-economic damages after an auto accident have decreased the percentage of uninsured drivers by less than 2%.  Some states now use electronic and online verification systems to identify uninsured drivers, whether on a...
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Increasing Reliance on Insurance Agents

In a recent study, JD Power reported that auto insurers increasingly rely on agent recommendation to drive new business sales.  The market has not grown significantly in the last year, with slight premium increases and similar numbers of insurance purchasers and quotes since the 2016 study.  Although price remains very important to consumers, an agent’s recommendations are becoming more and more significant in considering new insurers and obtaining quotes.  The greatest indicator of customer satisfaction is ensuring that customers understand the coverage they are purchasing, which can also...
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Transportation Disrupted: Artificial Intelligence in the Driver’s Seat

We are pleased to be hosting a special artificial intelligence (AI) forum tomorrow, May 3, from 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. EST titled Transportation Disrupted: Artificial Intelligence in the Driver’s Seat. Attendees will hear from a variety of experienced practitioners on the subject of AI, including: Vinn White, former Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation (at 1:05 p.m.) Hod Lipson, head of the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University and co-author of the book Driverless (at 4:40 p.m.) Please follow the event LIVE on Twitter using #DrivingAI to receive...
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Google Spin-off Waymo Offers Free Driverless Rides

Waymo, the self-driving car program spun off by Google, has announced that it will be offering Phoenix residents free rides in driverless Lexus SUVs and Chrysler Pacifica minivans.  The company specified it is looking for riders from diverse backgrounds and varied transportation needs.  Although the vehicles will be operated without a driver, a Waymo driver will be present to ensure a  safe ride.  Waymo has also announced that it will be adding 500 additional minivans to its fleet, which currently numbers...
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The Question of Liability in Autonomous Vehicle Crashes

Despite the ongoing development of autonomous vehicles, and the push to get autonomous vehicles on the road, there are still many questions about who can be held liable in the event of an accident. For example, while a consumer safety group believes that automakers should assume responsibility, automakers have argued that the issue is covered by state insurance laws determining liability. According to representatives for the Safe Autonomous Vehicles (“SAVe”) Campaign, the Campaign has reached out to executives from Audi, BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Honda, Land Rover, Lyft, Nissan, Porsche,...
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Car Data Transmitters Pose Cybersecurity Risks

Argus Cyber Security Ltd., an Israeli cyber security firm,  recently announced that it had succeeded in using a dongle, a device that many insurance companies install in vehicles to track policyholders’ driving behaviors, to gain access to a  vehicle’s internal communication system. The announcement further raises concerns about the ability of hackers to take control of moving cars. Access to vehicles’ internal communication systems,  could potentially allow hackers to shut down an engine remotely by using a smartphone app, a Bluetooth connection and a dongle. Argus Cyber’s...
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Big Brother Is… Underwriting?

Speakers at the Casualty Actuarial Society’s Ratemaking and Product Management Workshop recently commented that as the internet of things spreads and encompasses devices in vehicles and homes, underwriters for personal lines insurance companies must begin to take into account “exposure data tracking.” With respect to auto insurance, carriers now have access to sensors that can track speed, braking, turning, traffic, weather, and other factors. This information could allow insurers to monitor risks in real time, rather than having to rely on estimates and trends. As fully autonomous vehicles...
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How Patchwork State Regulations Could Benefit Driverless Cars

Several states have taken legislative, regulatory, or executive action to address the prospect of driverless vehicles. Although a “patchwork of regulations” that vary from state to state will be unsustainable in the long run, there may be benefits to the “laboratories of democracy” in the short term. As autonomous vehicle technology develops, different states will choose to balance safety and innovation differently, which will allow manufacturers, developers, consumers, and insurers to determine the most viable pathway...
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Georgia Passes Legislation Allowing Autonomous Vehicles on the Road

In its recently-concluded legislative session, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that would allow autonomous vehicles on the road. The law exempts driverless vehicles from the requirement to be operated by a licensed driver as long as the vehicle is fully autonomous and the automated driving system is engaged; indeed, under the new law, such vehicles may be operated on the roads without a human driver in the vehicle at all. However, the bill also requires that, at least for the present, the minimum liability insurance coverage for driverless vehicles be 250% of the minimum limits...
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Concerns About Losses in the Auto Insurance Market

According to a recent Fitch Ratings report, the auto insurance industry experienced significant losses last year that outpaced premium increases. Although some carriers were able to make a profit in the personal auto segment, an increase in insurers’ average combined ratios indicate that the overall market is weakening. Losses may be increasing due to an increase in miles driven, the dangers of distracted driving, and the increasing cost of replacing complex safety features, among other things.
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