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New Tech Shouldn't Drive up Insurance Premiums

New Tech Shouldn't Drive up Insurance Premiums


The RSA Group says that the extra costs associated with repairing new technology, such as autonomous braking sensors, will be outweighed by the reduction in accidents.

Repairing new safety technology won't push up premiums

The cost of car insurance is a real bugbear for UK drivers, and it’s no secret that sophisticated modern cars packed with electronics and sensors can cost a lot to repair; but, many of these sensors are for new safety kit, such as autonomous emergency braking and these items can actually keep premiums down.

That’s according to the RSA Group, which operates motor insurance company, More Than. Ian Kemp, the group’s director of motor underwriting, said: “While costs of repair will vary due to the level of technology fitted in the vehicle, they’re all expected to be balanced by a reduction in accidents, as cars become more sophisticated, using technology to improve safety features.

Autonomous braking system in action

“The impact on insurers will be dependent on the make-up and profile of their own book of business. Individual’s insurance premiums will continue to be bespoke to their own vehicle and circumstances.”

Kemp also mentioned the shift towards fully autonomous vehicles, which was detailed in a recent report by the RSA Group. The group conducted research with 10,000 UK motorists, and concluded that a reduction in accidents – 93% of which are caused by human error – would have a positive effect on insurance premiums.

But, the process will take time. “Different assistance and safety systems are being rolled out at different rates by manufactures, reflecting their differing range of vehicles,” said Kemp. “Very often though, ‘new’ technology starts on high end and prestige vehicles or as an optional extra”.

“For instance, AEB, which has been around for over five years is still only a standard or optional fit on around 50% of new cars. Allied to the fact that the average age of vehicles on the UK roads is around seven to nine years old, it can take upwards of a decade or more for new technology to be standard on more than 75% of vehicles on the road at any one time.

“As the technology becomes more mainstream, the additional costs of replacing and repairing them will reduce. Ultimately, we expect this to have a positive impact on insurance premiums,” concluded Kemp.