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Driverless vehicles: check loopholes for coverage

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Early adopters of driverless vehicles could be left without insurance coverage because of lagging legislation, an insurance lawyer warns.

Barry.Nilsson Lawyers principal Henry Silvester will tell the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA) national conference that legislation will not be in place quickly because the National Transport Commission is still taking submissions on an inquiry into driverless technology and will not present findings until 2020.

If the software in an autonomous vehicle fails and causes a crash, that would cause a product liability claim, not a compulsory third party (CTP) claim. Determining the cause of a crash will become more complex with autonomous vehicles, he says.

Insurers expect CTP premium rates to decline, as studies show human error causes 90% of crashes.

The AILA conference will be held in Hobart on October 30-November 1. To register, click here