Self-driving car insurance for riders arrives in 2018
When you jump into one of Waymo’s new self-driving taxis next year, there will be insurance to protect you.
The self-driving division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, plans to steer a commercial ride-hailing service through the streets of Phoenix next year, and riders will be able to get trip-based insurance coverage through Waymo’s new partnership with Trov.
Trov’s new on-demand insurance offering will allow Waymo riders to quickly pull up a mobile app and order insurance just for the trip. It’ll provide coverage for lost property, trip interruption benefits and medical expense reimbursement.
“Trov is pioneering a cutting-edge approach to insurance that’s ideal for ride-sharing because it’s customized for every trip. As we prepare to launch a commercial service, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Trov to unlock the full potential of shared mobility,” Waymo’s director of operations Shaun Stewart said.
The insurance will be underwritten by an affiliate of industry giant Munich Re.
The new Trov policies are similar to those just announced by SURE for app-based rental car trips.
Whether Waymo riders will need insurance protection, though, might depend on what other insurance policies the rider has and how traditional insurance companies treat emerging technologies like driverless cars. As with rental cars, your health and life insurance may already cover you for medical expenses and death benefits in the event of a crash, and your homeowners or renters insurance policy might extend to items stolen from you, but probably not those that are lost.
If your ride is part of a larger trip or vacation, you might consider travel insurance to protect from unexpected costs associated with delays or cancellations.
Last month, Waymo announced it had tested driverless cars over 3.5 million miles in 20 US cities, and it’s testing harsher conditions in Michigan this winter. Waymo isn’t the only one testing autonomous vehicles, either. In October, GM announced it will be testing self-driving cars in Manhattan next year.