Autonomous cars might hurt insurance company profits

Without human drivers, there almost certainly be fewer traffic accidents. For insurers, that could mean less income, and it's got them sweating already.


Insurance companies are concerned about how self-driving cars may have an impact on their business.

Several firms have highlighted autonomous vehicles as a potential "risk factor" to their future in recently-released annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reports .


Cincinnati Financial, Mercury General and the Travelers Companies have cited the technological change among their "competitive risks", as well as car parts supplier LKQ Corp, who say that "the number and severity of accidents could decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our business".

Cincinnati's report states: "Driverless cars or technologies that facilitate ride or home sharing, could disrupt the demand for our products from current customers, create coverage issues or impact the frequency or severity of losses, and we may not be able to respond effectively."

Insurance companies have already had to adapt to crash avoidance systems in recent years which have helped reduce accidents, such as automatic braking and electronic stability control.

, and are just a handful of tech giants reportedly linked to self-driving car projects.

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