More than a quarter million people in Pennsylvania and across the nation work in the automobile insurance industry or in a trade that is directly supported by that industry. A large number of these jobs and livelihoods are now at risk because of an amazing new technological breakthrough. Self-driving cars, which have enjoyed unprecedented success in their initial testing and boast excellent safety records, may be so risk-free that they could substantially put the insurance industry out of business. This is an unintended consequence to the amazing road handling abilities of autonomous vehicles, but it still leaves serious questions to be answered.
The insurance industry does more than just collect premiums and disburse payments. It is a key part of the American economic framework, and it employs everyone from insurance adjusters to office staff to automobile repair technicians. If the profits of the industry were to substantially evaporate, as many trade groups and observers believe that they might, then crucial knowledge and services may also become unavailable.
For example, one of the questions that perplexes legislators and industry observers is that of the actuarial tables. Without the automobile insurance industry to monitor and report on car accident statistics in minute detail, the government and other regulatory bodies would be left without a source of high-quality data and estimations of risk. An essential civic planning tool may be lost completely.
Insurance agencies have a legally mandated duty to make all appropriate payments to anyone who has been injured or who has lost property in a car crash caused by a vehicle for which the company has assumed liability. A lawyer could provide advice to anyone having trouble with an agency and considering filing a lawsuit against them.